Showing posts from May, 2009

Race #35 – Waldensian Trail of Faith Hearts for Heroes 5k – Valdese NC – 05/30/09

The first annual Hearts for Heroes 5k wound its way through the quaint, historic, and beautiful town of Valdese, which is in the North Carolina foothills. There was plenty of up and down, which is to be expected in these parts, and once again I got plenty of hill practice. It was a fairly small race with only about 100 runners (I don’t have access to the results as I’m writing this), but I finished in 5th place overall at 22:05, which wasn’t my fastest time ever but was my highest overall finish in a race (yay!). My mother lived near this area of Burke County as a girl and I always feel a little closer to her when I’m there, wondering if she might have traveled the same roads, so I like to run in these parts anytime I can. There was no computer chip timing for the race but things ran smoothly and the race organizers and volunteers were helpful and courteous. The food was fairly basic race food but plentiful (bananas, apples, oranges, cookies, and bottled water). A lot of people hung a

Race #34 – Night of the Ninja 5k – Asheville NC – 05/23/09

It’s becoming apparent that I have a love/hate relationship with running races in Asheville. Here are 5 random things I HATE about racing in Asheville: (1) It’s so far away! It’s a hundred miles one way and nobody in their right mind would drive that far to pay to run a 5k race. There are probably more than a few people wondering if I may have a couple wires touching in my head that shouldn’t be. (2) Everybody’s old. Virtually everybody who retires moves to either Florida or Asheville. I heard about one guy the other day from Florida who retired and moved to Asheville. All of those retired people are looking for a hobby, and a good portion of them choose running as their hobby. (3) Everybody’s fast. With nothing to do but run, all of those retired people apparently spend a good portion of their time running and working on lowering their times in 5k races. (4) There’s nothing but hills. I guess when you build a city up in the middle of the Blue Ridge Mountains, hills are to be expected

Race #33 – Belmont Classic 5k – Belmont NC – 05/23/09

This was the 5th annual Belmont Classic 5k race, which starts and finishes at the Belmont Police Department with proceeds going towards the operation of different police projects. The weather was beautiful for a morning run and there was a good crowd of about 250-300 runners for the 5k race. Of the 33 races I’ve run so far, this is only the third one in Gaston County, so it’s always kind of special when we’re in our home territory. My wife Linda has been having problems with shin splints and hasn’t been running much lately, but today she felt great and finished 3rd in her age group while I finished 1st in my division (yay!). One of the nicest fringe benefits of the races is meeting other runners, and today I had two different people come up and introduce themselves, saying they enjoyed reading this blog (thanks Debbie and Phil). It’s gratifying to know there are some readers out there! At the starting line I was standing next to David Stafford and talking to him when the race starte

Race #32 – Hickory Crawdad Home Run Trot – Hickory NC – 05/16/09

I always have preconceived notions about how I think a race will be before I get there. Many times it’s been a bit of a letdown to find things to be not quite as expected. Not so with the Home Run Trot sponsored by the Hickory Crawdads, the Class A minor league affiliate of the Texas Rangers. My wife Linda has had a problem with shin splints lately and hasn’t been able to run, but even she had fun at the Home Run Trot. The weather was beautiful, which always helps, and the L.P. Frans Stadium, home of the Crawdads, has to be one of the most beautiful minor league stadiums in the country. As I write this I’m not sure how many runners were in the competitive 5k race, but I would guess probably 100 to 150. That would make for a fairly small race, but there were actually several hundred more runners as  Girls on the Run of Catawba County  also took part in the race. As you may know,  Girls on the Run  is a national program for girls ages 8 to 13 that encourages healthy living and self-res

Race #31 – Right Moves for Youth Twilight 5k – Charlotte NC – 05/08/09

This was the third race in the Run for Your Life Grand Prix series and it’s a big one, with about 2,000 runners. I’m pretty sure it’s also the only evening race in Charlotte so that was a nice variation from the norm. Just like the Corporate Challenge half marathon a couple months ago, the race began and ended at the Wachovia Atrium and the awards ceremony as well as the pre- and post-race activities were all held inside the Atrium, which is hard to beat as a nice place for runners to congregate. Having just run the New Jersey Marathon five days ago and coming away with a sore left calf and hobbling around for a couple days, I wasn’t even sure I’d make it to this one, but I ran a couple of easy miles on Thursday and felt pretty good. Since I’m 3rd in my age group in the Grand Prix I wanted to at least finish this one, and I was really happy to finish in 22:36, only about a minute slower than my PR. I heard several people mention it was a hilly course, and there were a few pretty good

Race #30 – New Jersey Marathon – Long Branch NJ – 05/03/09

It was the best of times. Here’s me (in the white shirt) just before the finish line in about 4:02… It was the worst of times. Here’s me lying on a stretcher with hypothermia and dehydration about 10 minutes after the race… So it wasn’t the ideal ending, but was a good experience nevertheless. I ran the New Jersey Marathon in memory of my mom, who (you might remember) died in New Jersey 50 years ago this year (1959). I was happy to have run the race, and even happier not to have joined her with my ultimate demise. This year’s New Jersey Marathon was cold and rainy. It might have stopped raining a few times during the race. I’m not sure because after a while I was oblivious to the rain and was just kind of on autopilot. I know that a lot of people run a marathon and when they finish they swear they’ll never run another one, but a couple weeks later they’re looking for a new one to run. That won’t be the case with me. One is enough. Although I love to run, too much of a good thing is n