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Showing posts from 2021

Race #501 -- Meet Me at the Fountain 5k -- Forest City, NC -- 07/24/21

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There are a few small inclines along the way, but the course is generally flat and fast and one I've looked forward to running each year since my first trip to Forest City's Meet Me at the Fountain 5k three years ago. It's well organized and part of the Rutherford Outdoor Coalition race series . I haven't been a part of that series and it's been off to a bumpy start because of Covid, but it's one I'd like to participate in if it gets back to normal next year.  I'm not sure whether "the fountain" in the race title refers to the fountain on Main Street that I noticed as I was warming up, or the soda fountain in Smith's Drug Store which apparently has been a meeting place in Forest City since 1939. Perhaps it's a combination of both. To be honest, it's not so much the flattish course or the well organized 5k that is my major attraction to this race, but the post-race breakfast at Smith's Drug Store. It's not included with the e

Race #500 -- The Scream! Half Marathon -- Jonas Ridge, NC -- 07/10/21

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It all started with me just "seeing if I can run a 5k" back in 2008. Once I started, I didn't want it to stop, and over these past 13 or so years there have been a few speed bumps to slow me down, but overall it's been one of the best experiences of my life, and now at age 69 I'm hoping to keep running as long as my legs will carry me. Would I like to run another 500 before I quit? Sure, but it's not likely. I've learned to take one race at a time and just be thankful that I'm still able to put one foot in front of the other. I thought about going back and breaking down how many races I've run at different distances, but that's a lot of work so I'll just be happy counting the total races along with the half marathons. This was my 118th half marathon and the 117th half marathon in a row under 2 hours.  This was my 8th time running The Scream in the 10 years of its existence. It's always been one of my favorite races, and still is, but th

Race #499 -- American 4 Miler -- Charlotte, NC -- 07/04/21

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For several years the American 4 Miler was Charlotte's premier Independence day road race, but this year there were only 284 finishers, a drop from 1,142 in 2019. The pandemic I'm sure had something to do with it, but other races are vying for runners and there seems to be a hesitancy for people to get back to the races. Still, it's a good race that draws a lot of the top competitors from the area.  It was my second race of the weekend, and after the previous day's flop of a race for me personally, I would have liked to change things around. That was not to be though, and I struggled to get going, walking (out of necessity) three times in the first mile. Things didn't get any better for me and when the smoke cleared I had taken a total of ten walk breaks. Add the nine walk breaks from the previous day's race and that's 19 walk breaks in 7 miles of racing. Ouch. Next week is race #500 for me, a milestone I wasn't sure I'd ever achieve, and it's on

Race #498 -- Shiloh 5k Mission Run -- Faith, NC -- 07/03/21

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  Just outside Salisbury, the Town of Faith, North Carolina, with a population of around 800 residents, is known for its big Fourth of July celebration that has been held since 1946 and has drawn visitors from all over, including President George W. Bush who came to the celebration on July 4, 1992. This 5k race is a part of the festivities and is held at Shiloh Baptist Church, which is right in the middle of the action, but since it's early in the morning, it's before the big crowds arrive. I enjoyed running the race in 2019 and wanted to return for another go at it this year. You may remember that from the beginning of the year until recently my weight had dropped from 172 to 152 pounds, resulting in a pretty big improvement in my race times this year after almost dropping out of running altogether in 2020. This week the bottom dropped out though, and my steady improvement took a step back. Before I left home I stepped on the scale and it read 158. Yikes, my undisciplined eati

Race #497 -- Racefest 10k -- Charlotte, NC -- 06/27/21

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Charlotte Racefest has been one of Charlotte's premier racing events for the past twenty years or so, long before I became a runner in 2008. It was virtual-only last year during the pandemic, and for some reason unknown to me it was moved from its usual location in the Southpark Mall area of Charlotte to the university area for this year only. According to the website, it'll be back at Southpark next year. Either location is fine with me and this year's race was outstanding, even though there were fewer runners than in previous years. Still, there were more than 700 finishers (469 in the half marathon and 264 in the 10k) so it's still one of the area's bigger races. Since I ran a half marathon the previous week and have another one coming up only two weeks from now, I chose the 10k option. Looking back at my past race results I was kind of surprised to see that I had run the Racefest Half Marathon six times in the past, but this was the first time I ran the 10k. I w

Race #496 -- Charlevoix Half Marathon -- Charlevoix, Michigan -- 06/19/2021

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I'm not in the habit of driving a thousand miles from home for a half marathon, but this one was special. It was my 48-year-old son Joe's first race since he began running last year during the pandemic. Joe's a professor at Michigan State University in East Lansing who's spent a lot more time on academics than exercise in his adult years, and up until he started running I was kind of worried about his health. He had become overweight at about 190 pounds and had picked up a smoking habit when he was a teenager that seemed to me might lead to his ultimate demise, but my constant badgering about the dangers (and general nastiness) of smoking led nowhere.  Now, with the help of his health-conscious girlfriend Lindsay his diet has improved, the smoking is gone, he has dropped about 50 pounds, and for the first time since they've been grownups one of my kids can outrun me! Having run almost 500 races myself, I recommended that he start with a little more reasonable distan