Showing posts from May, 2011

Race #127 - Belmont Classic 5k - Belmont, NC - 05/28/11

Hometown races are always a lot of fun and it's just a couple miles to downtown Belmont from where I live. Our new running group, the Gaston County Runners, is doing great thanks to the enthusiastic bunch of people who are involved, and today we had more than 20 club members at the race. Things went okay for me despite the fact that I ate three hotdogs for lunch yesterday. I need to be reminded occasionally that that is not a great idea. My time today of 21:36 was 29 seconds slower than last year (21:07) but 31 seconds faster than I ran it two years ago (22:07). I'm happy with that considering I'm two years older now. I don't have a lot of time to write today. Linda and I are heading out for Huntsville, Alabama, for the 32nd annual Cotton Row Run 10k, which I'll be running on Monday (Memorial Day). It's the final race of the season in the Running Journal Grand Prix.and one of my favorite races of the year. This year I've got a 180 point lead over 2nd plac

Race #126 - Caped Crusaders 5k - Boiling Springs, NC - 05/21/11

For Linda and I, this was our first race ever in the Shelby/Boiling Springs area. I'm not sure why that is, and on the way home we talked about running more races here in the future. This race was held on and around the beautiful campus of Gardner-Webb University. As soon as we arrived we started seeing friends from this area who we know from being regulars at the races. There was Bruce Putnam and Bubba Anthony, who both live near the campus, and Angie Burn and Becky Strahler, who finished 1st and 2nd overall in the female division, just a second apart. There were also several from our Gaston County Runners group who made the short trip to Boiling Springs for the race, so although it was our first race in the area it felt like a home-town race with lots of friends around. From what I was told, the route was the same as several other annual races. There was a small uphill start, which always helps to get the juices flowing, and people jockeyed for position. When we reached the main

Race #125 - JAZ Alive 5k - Bessemer City, NC - 05/14/11

It took 125 races to do it, but this one will be immortalized, at least in the minds of Linda and I, as the race where we both won the Grand Masters trophies. With so few races even having a Grand Masters division these days (50 years and older), there are very few opportunities to win it, so it's very likely it's the first time and last time it'll ever happen for us. The JAZ Alive Memorial Scholarship 5k is held each year in honor of three high school students who died in an auto accident a few years ago, and the proceeds from the race go to a scholarship fund in their memory (JAZ stands for their first names: Jonathan, Amber, and Zachary).  It's the type of small-town race I've been enjoying lately with no huge crowds, parking problems, or jockeying for position at the starting line. I wasn't able to find results from previous years online and for that reason I'm not overly optimistic there will be any official results posted online for this year either.

Race #124 - New River Half Marathon - Todd, NC - 05/07/11

How do I walk thee? Let me count the ways. To say I walked a lot in this race is an understatement. I'm not sure I strung together a solid mile of running throughout the entire race. Hills are not completely unexpected when you travel into the North Carolina mountains for a race, but I've got a short memory and I could almost swear there was something to the effect of "flat and fast" on the New River Marathon website. There was quite a bit of discussion along with some of the other Gaston County Runners as we talked about how mountainous it might be. The elevation map only showed a couple of sizable hills in the first half of the race, not nearly so daunting as those in the second half, so I figured it would be a piece of cake. Uh... not so much. Although we did follow basically the same route that the full marathon course took, in order to stretch out the mileage to 13.1 we needed  to veer off onto some side roads that just happened to be built on the sides of mounta

Race #123 - Cherry Blossom 5k - Cherryville, NC - 04/30/11

This week we decided to go cherry picking at the Cherry Blossom 5k. It was a fun small-town race, surprisingly well organized, and we had eight members of the Gaston County Runners who decided to run it. The race is organized by the Cherryville branch of the YMCA but they didn't really promote it outside of Cherryville so the crowd was small, with only 72 runners in the race. Still though, it was a lot of fun, especially since 4 of the 5 top finishers were from our club. The race was started with a deafening blast from a musket, which Cherryville is famous for. I held my breath as I ran through the smoke left by the musket firing, and we were on our way. Early in the race I took the lead, a place that I'm not only unfamiliar with but uncomfortable with as well. I stayed out front for possibly a half mile, all the while listening to the pitter patter of younger footsteps than mine and knew it was only a matter of time before people began passing me. First up was Mike Wilson,