Showing posts from June, 2014

Race #260 - Rhododendron Run 10k - Bakersville, NC - 06/21/14

The Rhododendron Run 10k is now in its 37th year, making it one of North Carolina's oldest road races. It's held on the weekend of Bakersville's Rhododendron Festival, and this year it was chosen to be the RRCA State Championship 10k road race. I've wanted to run this race for several years but never have because it's not easy to get to from Gastonia. This year though, since it was the state championship, Linda and I made the trip up the mountain and spent the night in nearby Spruce Pine in one of the 50-year-old motels in the area. It was the weekend of our 35th wedding anniversary so it was a good time to get away for a couple days. Being in the mountains the course was far from flat, but after looping around the town for the first mile the remainder of the race was an out-and-back through the countryside so whatever hills you climbed you got to go back down them on the return. Pros: Beautiful setting:  It's hard to beat running a road race through a

Race #259 - The Cat's Cradle 5k/10k - Morganton, NC - 06/14/14

Last year a few of the Gaston County Runners made the trip up Interstate 40 to Morganton for this race and spoke highly of it, so this year even more of us attended (15-20 maybe?). The Cat's Cradle is a nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, sheltering, and finding homes for homeless cats. I'm a cat lover, so I'm all for supporting a race that rescues cats, and the organizers are doing a great job with this race so I hope it will continue for many years. Having run two half marathons in the previous two weeks and with a 10k on my schedule for the week after this race, I decided to take it easy and run the 5k instead of the 10k. Pros: Cheap! Race day registration was only $20 for your choice of either the 5k or the 10k! Flat and mostly shady course on the greenway that runs along the Catawba River, with the race starting and finishing at the beautiful  Catawba Meadows Park . Both the 5k and 10k have 5-year age groups all the way up to 80+. Lots of good food

Race #258 - Downhill at Dawn Half Marathon - Black Mountain to Old Fort, NC - 06/07/14

This was my 65th half marathon, and my fastest half marathon ever. It was my first half under the seemingly unattainable (for me) hour and thirty minutes. My old PR (Personal Record) of 1:31:57 had stood since the autumn of 2011, when I had set all of my race PR's and did my best running ever. In 2011 I was 59 years old, and that was my best year of running since I began at age 56. Now at age 62 I seem to be undergoing a resurgence for some reason, at least for now. It may end in a week or two but it'll be interesting to see how things go over the next few months. I'm hoping it continues for a while. Running buddy Stu Stepp from Salisbury finished just ahead of me. He's gotten way faster than me over the past year so I was happy just to be able to almost keep up with him. Sure, I had the help of about 6 miles of downhill running so it wouldn't hold up if there was some kind of official record involved, but for me it's a Personal Record that I'll pr

Race #257 - Charity Chase Half Marathon - Hickory, NC - 06/01/14

This week I revisited the place I call my hometown even though I left it more than half a lifetime ago. It was my fifth straight year of running this race and every time it's been one of my favorite races of the year. The course passes the site where I lived fifty years ago, now just an empty lot full of memories. It passes my old high school, travels past the houses of old friends, and runs along roads where I still remember every curve. Every year it reminds me of how fortunate I am to still be doing what I love, and it amazes me that I'm able to run 13 miles in relative comfort, which is something that I would have thought to be nearly impossible when I was a teenager if running that distance ever even crossed my mind. So no doubt I'm biased in my appreciation of this race, but the Charity Chase should appeal to all half marathoners whether or not they've ever stepped foot in the City of Hickory before race day. It's one of finest races you'll find anyw