Showing posts from September, 2012

Race #191 - Run the Valley Half Marathon - Badin, NC - 09/15/12

Just on the edge of the Uwharrie National Forest is the beautiful little town of Badin, population 1,154, just a few miles past Albemarle. As you may know, Albemarle is the home of Peter Asciutto's Vac & Dash, and Peter has helped turn Albemarle and Stanly County into one of North Carolina's hottest running communities. Run the Valley is one of the premier Vac & Dash racing events of the year and the three races this year (5k, 10k, and half marathon) had a combined total of 466 registered runners. It's also on the same day as the Run for the Green Half Marathon in Davidson and the Asheville Citizen-Times Half Marathon in Asheville, which are both great races and I have run each of those twice before. I decided I'd do Run the Valley this year since I hadn't run it before, it's a Vac & Dash race (which is always good), and registration was cheaper. I met 23-year-old Jarrett Culbreth as we ran down Morrow Mountain. together. I was struggling by th

My 4th Anniversary as a Runner!

It's the 4th anniversary of my first race! This is me crossing the finish line on September 13, 2008. My intention was just to run a 5k race and nothing more than that but I was an addict by the time I hit the finish line. I weighed about 30 pounds more than I do now and my pace was about 2 minutes per mile slower than now, but I still won my age group. Of course, in this tiny race I was the only runner over 50 years old. Since then I decided to keep running, and in those four years I've run a total of 190 races (including 41 half marathons and a couple of full marathons). If everything holds up my goal for the next year is to run 60 races (kind of like "60 at 60" since I'm 60 years old) and reach my 5th anniversary having run 250 races for an average of 50 per year. I'm not sure if I can do that but I'll give it a shot and see.

Race #190 - Historic Mooresville 5k - Mooresville, NC - 09/08/12

Weekends like this are the reason that I don't like to pre-register for races. The fall race season has begun and there were races in every direction. I whittled my choices down to this one and the Morganton Greenway race, and decided on this one at the last minute partly because it's a little closer and allowed us to sleep an extra 30 minutes and partly because we hadn't seen our good friend and running phenom Roberta "Bobbi" Villneff in a while. Bobbi just started running a couple years ago and is now easily one of the fastest women over 60 in the state. In the race today she finished as 1st female in the Masters Division (ages 40 and over) for the second year in a row. I managed to get 3rd place in the male Masters Division, which is a rare feat for me so that was nice... gotta cool trophy too! Mooresville is about 40 miles from Gastonia and we don't really know a lot of people there, so we were pleasantly surprised to run into quite a few of our runn

Race #189 - Kiwanis Club Labor Day 5k - Matthews, NC - 09/03/12

This was the 21st annual Matthews Labor Day race but the first time we've been here. In previous years there's been a Labor Day race in our hometown of Gastonia, but that one's been discontinued for some reason, leaving this as our best option. The race is part of the Matthews Alive Festival , which was much bigger than I expected with lots of food vendors, rides for kids, arts and crafts, a parade, and other fun stuff. It was warm and muggy with no signs of autumn, but that's the way I like it. Linda and I discussed the weather on the way over, she complaining of it still being too hot and looking forward to the cool fall races, and me lamenting the fact the it's almost the end of summer. This is a race that's somewhat famous for crossing the railroad tracks, which in itself is not a big deal, but several people had mentioned to me that occasionally the train comes during the race, stopping everybody who hasn't crossed yet until the train has passed b

Race #188 - Midnight Flight 10k - Anderson, SC - 08/31/12

Generally I'm not a fan of nighttime races, but this one's an exception. One of South Carolina's top racing events of the year, the Midnight Flight (10k, 5k, and 1-mile) brings out several thousand people to run, cheer, volunteer, or just watch. It's the fourth year in a row that we've participated and it's one I always look forward to. Part of what makes it special for me is that it marks the beginning of the Running Journal Grand Prix, which is nine races throughout the Southeast. I'm hoping to run most of the Grand Prix races this year. One of the drawbacks of traveling to a race that's out of the Charlotte area is that there aren't as many people there who we know, but it was good to see several of our friends from the Gaston County Runners as well as several other friends from our area who came down to get a start on the Grand Prix season. Most notably for me was Bob Nelson, who's not only a friend but my age group competition most of th