Showing posts from July, 2014

Race #264 - Beat the Heat 5k - Winston-Salem, NC - 07/26/14

I wouldn't normally drive 100 miles to run a race on a hot Saturday evening in July, but this is a special race, being the USA Track and Field North Carolina State Championship 5k. There weren't any good races in the Charlotte area this weekend so we decided to head over to Winston-Salem and check out the Beat the Heat 5k for the first time. The temperature was somewhere around the mid-80's for the 7 p.m. start, which is pretty hot but it could have been worse, and there was no threat of thunderstorms so that's good. I'm not a current member of the USATF so I wasn't eligible to win one of those awards, but of course I wanted to be competitive. I did manage to win the 60-64 age group but was beaten by two particularly fast runners in the 65-69 age group. I also managed to aggravate a minor hamstring issue I've had for the past week, so it wasn't my finest moment. There was $7,000 in prize money up for grabs to the top overall runners and most of the t

Race #263 - Athletic Quilt Street Light 5k - Morganton, NC - 07/12/14

To say there's not much advance promotion for this race is an understatement. There's no website or even a Facebook page, which could be set up for free in about 5 minutes. I couldn't even find an address for it until I saw that somebody on Facebook had posted the address of the Roses store in Morganton. Having said all that, it was their 20th annual race and word of mouth over the years has resulted in it becoming a popular race even without any promotion. It's a nighttime race, beginning at 9:30 p.m. There are enough street lights that the entire out-and-back course is lit pretty well except in just a handful of areas. There aren't any hills at all and no turns to slow you down so it should be a really fast course, but most nights in the middle of July are hot and muggy and that generally slows things down. On this night it was really muggy, resulting in several people dropping out, and there was also at least one runner who needed an ambulance. From what I'

Race #262 - HFFA Firecracker 5k - Huntersville, NC - 07/05/14

This was my third time to run the Huntersville Family Fitness & Aquatics (HFFA) Firecracker 5k but the first time in three years. There was one noticeable difference from the two previous races: the race this year was less than half the size that it was then. In 2009 there were 401 finishers and in 2011 a whopping 471 finishers, but this year only 152 crossed the finish line. I'm not sure why the race has shrunk so drastically, but possibly the result of new races that have sprung up since then, most notably the Run for Your Life Spectacular 4-Miler and the Charlotte Firecracker 5k, which are both fairly new and popular races (although the Charlotte Firecracker 5k was canceled at the last minute this year because of severe thunderstorms). Anyhoo, this is an enjoyable race on a good course and if nothing else it was nice to be able to compare my present running times with those from previous years. This year my time of 21:19 was a little slower than 2011 (20:23) but a little f

Race #261 - Fighting ALS with Jay 5k - Fort Mill, SC - 06/28/14

This was the 2nd annual "Fighting ALS with Jay 5k" held for Jay Tolar, who now lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina. Last year's race was held in San Antonio, Texas, where Jay was living at that time. This year's race was handled by Start2Finish Event Management, which with their great use of technology is becoming one of my favorites. Every race they've done that I've been a part of has been outstanding as far as timing, quick results, great finish line, etc., and this one was no exception. Pros: Nice size -- Not too big and not too small (287 finishers). Immediate printout of your race results as soon as you finish. Nice finish on middle school track. Nice medal for age group winners. Finish line video for all runners posted on YouTube... Cons: No complaints other than the sound on the video (you might want to turn your volume down). Click Here for Race Results My Stats: Time:  21:34 Pace:  6:57 Age Group: 1 of  6 Overall:  17 of