Showing posts from 2009

Race #68 – Cold Winter’s Day 5k – Columbia, SC – 12/26/09

When you think of Columbia, South Carolina, cold is not usually the first thing that comes to mind, but it was pretty chilly Down South for the Cold Winter’s Day 5k. Our last race in Columbia was the Hot Summer’s Night 5k back on August 1st, and let’s just say the 50-degree difference between the two races was definitely noticeable. It was actually a nice day for running though, and this was the final race of the season for the Palmetto Grand Prix and the final race of the year for me as well. The “off season” for me and Linda is short though — our first race of 2010 is at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. We were happy to meet up with some of the Charlotte runners who made it down — Tom and Lana Torkildsen and Bobby Aswell — and we were kind of surprised that more Charlotte runners didn’t show up since there were no Charlotte area races this weekend. I guess it’s that time of year when a lot of people are taking a little break. This race was touted as “flat and fast” and I al

Race #67 – Thunder Road – Charlotte, NC – 12/12/09

This is ya big boy. North Carolina’s biggest racing event of the year. This year a total of over 10,000 runners ran in one of the three races (marathon, half marathon, and 5k), about a 30% increase over last year. I ran the half marathon again, as I did last year in  Race #14 , thinking that I would like to do better than I did in the 2008 Thunder Road Half, which was my first, and I’m happy to report that things went really well. Last year I finished 16th in my age group with a time of 2:01:05; not terrible, but of course one always wants to improve next time around. This year I finished in first place in the 55-59 age group with a time of 1:35:34, which is a new half marathon PR for me. I should also probably mention that it was the first time I finished ahead of Bob Nelson, who time after time throughout 2009 has managed to polish me off pretty good in every race. It was the first time I finished 1st in the 55-59 group and he finished 2nd, but I won’t gloat lest he goes home, train

Race #66 – Jingle Bell Run – Kings Mountain, NC – 12/05/09

Races are like pizza: when they’re good, they’re really good; when they’re bad, they’re still pretty good. We knew in advance that they were calling for lousy weather this Saturday morning, but as a card-carrying weenie when it comes to bad weather I know I have to get out occasionally in the elements and run, just so I won’t feel so out of my element when the time comes that I have to be out in the elements. Over the past week all of my runs were on the treadmill, and while I love basking in temperatures in the 70s while I run, this ain’t Florida, and the treadmill can get a little unrealistic in the middle of the winter. Thus I decided to run outside today come h-e-double-hockeysticks or high water. Last night’s hour-to-hour forecast called for about a 60-70% chance of rain at race time, but when I got up this morning and checked it the chance of rain had dropped to 10%, which was a welcome surprise. Linda and I ran this race last year and it was one of the coldest of the year, not

Race #65 – Southpark Turkey Trot 8k – Charlotte NC – 11/26/09

One of Charlotte’s most popular road races of the year, the Southpark Turkey Trot has people running off the calories before they even sit down to eat Thanksgiving dinner. Yesterday I received an email from the race directors stating that the race was full, with 6,000 registered runners. Not all of that was for the 8k; there was a separate 5k race, a 1 mile fun run, and a 26.2 yard Tot Trot. Still, the main event was the 8k, and when it was over a total of 3,742 runners crossed the finish line in the 8k alone. It was a big race for me personally since it was the  fourth  of nine races  in the Running Journal Grand Prix series. I’m running most of those Grand Prix races this year in an attempt to gain points in the  55-59 age group . Today I finished 3rd of 93 runners in my age group (33:28 chip time – 6:45 pace) so I’m happy about that. The top 8 runners in each race receive Grand Prix points, and after the first four races I’ve finished in 2nd place twice and 3rd place twice. For Lin

Charlotte Observer Running Blog Features The Old Runner

If you’re a runner in the Charlotte area you most likely already know about the popular Charlotte Observer running blog, “ Run, Theoden, Run ,” which is written by local running enthusiast and Observer entertainment editor Theoden Janes. Theoden was very kind in profiling me in his blog today and in case you missed it here’s a link so you can read it… Thanks Theoden!

Race #64 – Hendrick Marrow Program Half Marathon – Concord NC – 11/22/09

This was the inaugural running of the Hendrick Marrow Program Half Marathon held at Lowe’s Motor Speedway. The field of runners was small, probably 50 or 60 runners for each race (half marathon and 5k). As we lined up to run, the race director told us that they purposely didn’t advertise the race because it was the first one and they wanted to iron out all the kinks, so we were a test group of sorts, and that next year they were planning a big advertising campaign surrounding the race. Sounds logical to me. There were definite kinks to be worked out but it was truly a unique half marathon and I’m glad we ran it. The entire race took place on the grounds of Lowe’s Motor Speedway, which is huge, so it’s not hard to map out a course 13.1 miles long. We ran up and down the ZMAX Drag Strip twice (at the beginning and as we were finishing) and ran around The Dirt Track and around the outside of the big speedway before going inside and taking a lap around the big track itself, which was pret

Race #63 – Santa Scramble – Concord, NC – 11/21/09

I won’t say I told you so, but I did tell you: this is the fastest 5k race in the area. I of course was relying on my old fogged-up memory of running it last year but that was the way I remembered it. Today as our GPS system took us right down the course I was able to get a new look at it, and it wasn’t quite as downhill as I remembered although the trend was definitely more down than up. Actually there are quite a few flat areas along the way for the first two miles, with some gentle downhill and just a couple of tiny uphill areas, with the last mile being a huge downhill nearly to the finish line, with just a little bit of uphill over the last 200 yards or so. It’s still a fast one, and of all the races I’ve run I’m convinced it’s the fastest. Most of the races I’ve run over the past couple months have been longer ones, but my times have steadily gotten better anytime I’ve run a 5k. Last year when I ran this race I cut about a minute and a half off my previous Personal Record, finis