Showing posts from October, 2014

Race #274 - Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon - Myrtle Beach, SC - 10/19/14

For my running group, the Gaston County Runners (GCR), this has become our biggest event of the year. It was the fifth year of the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon and I've run four of them. I'm not sure about the year I didn't run, but for all four years that I've been there the weather has been perfect. The last five miles or so is straight down Ocean Boulevard, with a turn onto the new boardwalk to the finish line at the site of the old Myrtle Beach Pavilion. It's one of the best finishes of any race I've been a part of and I look forward to it every year. This is a pretty big race with more than 3,000 finishers in the half marathon, and this year the GCR had seven runners who finished in the top 3 in their respective age groups. For the third straight year I managed to win the 60-64 age group, this year with a time of 1:35:44. I'm happy with that time although it was on a flat course and was about 30 seconds slower than last week's Hokie Half Marathon,

Race #273 - Hokie Half Marathon - Blacksburg, VA - 10/11/14

The 40% chance of rain turned into 100% and the rain didn't let up until sometime later in the day. There was at least one bright spot: I won the 60-64 age group with a time of 1:35:20 and was also the first Senior Grandmaster to finish (age 60 or older) so that gives me first place in my division in the Running Journal Grand Prix after two races. Other than that the race was a complete washout for me. I think it would have been a beautiful course and a fantastic race on a clear day, but with the pouring rain throughout almost all of the race I was just glad when it was over. Pros: Scenic course if the weather had cooperated. A few hills but not nearly as bad as I expected for a race in a mountainous area. Well organized race with 300+ volunteers that did a great job under the circumstances. "No Frills" option allowed you to save some money by not getting a shirt. There was an additional "finisher shirt" given at the finish line. When somebody offered

Race #272 - Run Around Downtown 5k - Bessemer City, NC - 10/04/14

With some big out-of-town races coming up in the next few weeks I decided to stay near home this week and run this small local race (49 finishers). It was fun and actually seemed bigger since the 2k started at the same time as the 5k. The first mile was nearly flat but the 2nd and 3rd miles were fairly hilly on the side streets of Bessemer City. Despite the small size of the race there were quite a few fast runners there and I barely squeezed my way into the top 10, finishing 8th at 20:26. I did enjoy the race and it was organized nicely, but I did have one beef: there was an extra charge for the T-shirt if you registered on race day. I understand if they run out of shirts at a race you might not get one, but I've never seen anybody charge extra for the shirt, especially since they were already charging an extra $5 for race-day registration. Not a huge deal for me personally since I've got more shirts than I want or need, but some people really want the shirt and it should