Race #487 -- The Country Mile 5k -- Slater-Marietta, SC -- 04/11/2021
The plan was to drive the camper van the 100 miles or so just north of Greenville, camp out, and enjoy watching some of the 48-hour, 24-hour, and 50k ultramarathon races before running the 5k myself on Sunday morning. Turns out that by the time we arrived on Saturday afternoon there was a huge storm coming through and it rained the rest of the evening. That didn't deter the ultra runners but it did keep Linda and I hunkered down in the van until Sunday morning.
I paid an extra 25 bucks for a camping spot in the designated RV camping area but it was packed when we got there. We were able to park right at the starting line/timing mat which we did for about 30 minutes until we decided that the nonstop music blasting from the speakers was way too loud for our 69-year-old ears, so we opted to cross the street and park in the "Day Use" parking area which was a much tamer option.
No doubt the focus of this racing event was the ultra distances, so the 5k on Sunday morning seemed like an afterthought added to appease those of us poor souls incapable of running for hours on end. All of the ultra races were finished except for the 48-hour so most of the participants were gone.
By race time at 9 a.m. the rain was long gone although there was plenty of mud along the course, particularly in one area maybe a tenth of a mile long where the mud was nearly ankle deep. There was no escaping it so I trudged through as best I could, trying to at least keep moving forward. In my last 5k I had walked one time, finishing at 26:06, and I felt like if I could just not take a walk break I might be able to get under 26 minutes. Unfortunately the one huge hill in the race surprised me. It was steep and maybe 200 yards long, so I took not one, but two walk breaks on the hill.
I felt a little defeated by the walk breaks so I took another one in the final mile, having given up hope for a better race time. That's always a mistake, of course, but sometimes it's hard to think clearly in the midst of suffering. When my head cleared a little, I noticed that I was gaining on another runner who had passed me earlier in the race. He was an older guy, and although I didn't think he was as old as me, you never know, so I thought it would at least be a good idea to try to catch him. I did catch up and pass him, although he passed me back shortly thereafter. I decided I'd try to stay right in back of him until we were close to the finish line. Maybe a tenth of a mile before the finish I made a move and passed him again. He immediately picked it up and the race was on. At least for a few seconds. I decided this was not the hill I wanted to die on, so I backed off enough to let him beat me and I finished a second behind him. I wanted to "good job" him at the finish line but he took off and I never saw him again. I found out later from the results that he was actually 50 years old (19 years younger than me) so there was no big battle for the age group. He actually finished 2nd in the 50-54 age group and I got 1st place in the 65-69 division, which was pretty easy to do considering I was one of only two guys in the race over 60, and the other one finished next to last in the race.
I was happy to see that I had finished the race in 25:20, my best 5k so far this year. My happiness was short-lived, however, when I noticed on my watch that the race was short, only 2.98 miles according to my Garmin. I thought for a second then hit the start button again and took off just like I was restarting the race. The distance discrepancy is not a huge deal, but I was trying to beat my last race and needed to run the same distance for comparison. I stopped running when my watch read 3.11 miles and was a little disappointed to be about 10 seconds slower than that last race. No biggy though, and I'll take the 25:20 time the same way I took the half marathon time that was slower than it should have been a couple weeks earlier. It all averages out in the end.
Below is a short video that captures some of the fun and excitement of this event. The 5k itself was a little underwhelming, but the ultras seemed to be a blast. I'll never be an ultra runner due to bad knees and old age, but I'm kind of envious of the ultra peeps when I see how much fun they have.
Race Name: The Country Mile at Beechwood Farms
Location: Slater-Marietta, SC (near Travelers Rest)
Date: April 11, 2021
Race Rating: 85
Elevation by Mile:
Weather at Start:
Click Here for Race Photos on Facebook from John Lewis*
*(Nice free race photos of the ultra races but I didn't see any pics from the 5k)
- Time: 25:20
- Pace: 8:09 (actually 8:27)
- Age Group: 1 of 1
- Overall: 18 of 57
- Average Heart Rate: 155
- Maximum Heart Rate: 164
- Age Grade Percentage: 68.86
* RACE RATING *
0 - Chip & Gun Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 - Water Stops: (0)none (2)normal (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 - Course Marking: (0)bad (1)good
4 - Course Scenery: (0-5) 1=bad and 5=fantastic
0 - Mile Markers: (0)poor or none (1)normal (2)with clocks or time called out
2 - Volunteers: (0)too few (2)good
7 - Finish line: (0-9) 0=bad and 9=spectacular!
0 - Certified Course: (0)no (2) yes
0 - Correct Distance: (0)no (2)yes
0 - Partly or fully on unpaved roads: (0)yes (1)no
2 - Cost: (0)expensive (2)reasonable (5)cheap!
3 - Race Day Registration: (0)no (3)yes
2 - Posted online within 24 hours: (0)no (2)yes
1 - Easy to find results: (0)no (1)yes
0 - 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 - 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 - 14 and under group (1)
1 - 65+ group (1)
1 - 70+ group (1)
1 - Top Overall M/F: (0)none; (1) first only; (2)top 3 or better
0 - Masters Category(40+): (0)no (2)yes
0 - Grand Masters Category (50+): (0)no (3)yes
0 - Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no (5)yes
0 - Overall Winner Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 - Age Group Awards: (0)none (2)yes (5)excellent
0 - Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)
3 - Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no (3)yes (5)really cool medals
7 - Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
7 - Entertainment: (0)no (1-9)yes
2 - Finisher times posted after race: (0)no (2)yes
2 - Porta Potties: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
0 - Indoor Restrooms: (0)no (1)limited, long lines (2)plentiful
2 - T-Shirts: (0)no (2)yes
3 - Design: (1-5)
2 - Material Quality: (1-3)
2 - Discount for no-shirt option: (0)no (2)yes
0 - Professional Photography: (0)no (5)yes
x - Prices: (1)expensive (3)reasonable (5)cheap
10 - Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.): (0)no (1-10)yes
2 - Close to Start: (2)yes (0)no
2 - Close to Finish: (2)yes (0)no
2 - Plenty of spaces: (2)yes (0)no
2 - Free Parking: (2)yes (0)no
2 - Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no (2)yes
2 - Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no (2)yes, some (5)excellent
2 - Part of race series or Grand Prix: (0)no (2)yes
0 - Kids Fun Run: (0)no (2)yes
x - Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)