Showing posts from August, 2009

Race #49 – Yiasou Greek Festival 5k – Charlotte NC – 08/29/09

It’s one of the fastest and flattest 5k courses in Charlotte, and PRs were dropping like worshipers at a Holy Ghost tent revival. Despite waking up with the stomach virus my wife and grandson passed on to me (at least I think they were the culprits), after a few trips to the john I felt stabilized enough to give the race a try (thanks Immodium A-D!). I wasn’t sure what to expect out of myself, but luckily for me and everybody in the nearby vicinity, during the race nothing came out of me but sweat and I managed my own PR! (chip time 21:13 & gun time 21:23), which was good for 2nd place in my age group. I’m grateful for the PR but now I don’t know which one’s the PR, so somebody fill me in… or will I now need to use an asterisk when referring to my PR? This was the 7th of 9 races in the Run for Your Life Grand Prix Series for 2009 and all of the Grand Prix races bring out a big crowd, this one with 1,278 finishers. This was the last of the 5k Grand Prix races, with the last two bei

Race #48 – Soldiers Reunion 5k – Newton, NC – 08/22/09

It was my first race in Newton and I’d been looking forward to it for a while. Having grown up in nearby Hickory, I had always heard of the “Old Soldiers Reunion” in Newton. It’s one of the oldest events of its type in the country, having begun in 1889 and held annually ever since except for two years in the 1940s when it was canceled due to a polio outbreak. The 5k part of the festival is fairly new, relatively speaking, but this was the 19th annual 5k race. It was also a special race for me because I lived in Newton for a year or two about 1966. It was the town where I sowed the wildest of all my wild oats as a 14-year-old rebel without a real cause back in 1966. It was more than I or anyone else could handle, and before my 15th birthday it landed me in Stonewall Jackson Training School, where they had a way of getting things like that out of your system. I’ll save the details for my never-to-be-published autobiography, but suffice it to say that on those rare occasions when I visit

Race #47 – Blue Points 5k (Carolina Panthers) – Charlotte NC – 08/08/09

Maybe I was just pumped up because we were heading to the beach for the first time this year after the race, but I really didn’t notice the hills I’ve heard everybody talking about in this race. My chip time of 21:41 was just 2 seconds off my PR although my gun time was 21:49, but I’m happy anytime I finish in under 22 minutes these days and I ended up 3rd in the 55-59 age group. Because of road construction the route had to be reversed at the last minute, and I’m sure that was a good idea after running through the construction mess in the last half mile or so. It would have been a disaster for all 1300 runners to hit that point at nearly the same time, so reversing the direction gave us some time to spread out. We’re back home now (Monday) but I’m behind on my work so I hope nobody minds that I’m keeping this short… just didn’t want anybody to think I broke a leg and they had to shoot me. Just a couple other points: the Panthers cheerleaders handed out the awards, which of course

Race #46 – Hot Summer’s Night 5k – Columbia SC – 08/01/09

It was slim pickin’s in the Charlotte area for races this weekend so we slid down Interstate 77 to the Hot Summer’s Night 5k in Columbia, South Carolina. I’m not sure of the official temperature at the 7 p.m. race time, but it was probably somewhere between 85 and 90 degrees, so it was probably too hot to be running, but I was happy we did it, at least after it was over. It was our first race in the Columbia area, and it was one of the Palmetto Grand Prix races. The race management by Strictly Running seemed excellent and included computers with fairly large and readable screens with the results just after you finished the race and an announcer who encouraged you across the finish line. The course was pretty much flat, with just a few small inclines, but with the way I felt in the heat I decided to take a 20-second walk break in both the 2nd and 3rd mile and definitely felt better for it. I had been maybe 20 or 30 yards in back of two guys who appeared to be about my age and I figured