Race #489 -- Red Carpet 5k -- Albemarle, NC -- 04/25/21

With the Academy Awards being held on this night, Vac & Dash decided to celebrate the event with a 5k for those of us who weren't invited to the gala in Hollywood. No acting was required although some might accuse me of trying to act like a runner these days. As is the case with most Vac & Dash races, it was a lot of fun. V&D owner Peter Asciutto (pronounced uh-SHOO-toe) says that his main goal is that when runners drive home after an event they smile and think, "That was a fantastic event." It's an almost 2-hour drive from home for me to get to Albemarle so I don't go there as often as I'd like, but I've run quite a few of the Vac & Dash races over the years and have never been disappointed. 

This was the third and final race of the Vac & Dash Trifecta, a series of races all held on Sunday afternoons in March and April, and the weather was perfect for all three races. For those runners who competed in this race as well as the Easter Eggstravaganza held at the same location three weeks ago, if you ran the course faster this time you were entered in a drawing for a free pair of running shoes. My time was about 20 seconds faster this time around so I was one of the 20 eligible to win. A 5% chance was quite a bit better than winning the Powerball lottery, but I didn't win either one of them. I didn't really expect to win the shoes anyway, although oddly enough I thought I might have a chance at Powerball. Nope.

A nice race perk was the goody bag. The canvas shopping bag was filled with movie theater stuff -- popcorn, a movie-sized box of Junior Mints, a Dr. Pepper, and several other items. 

Yep, I received an Oscar for "Best Male Runner in a Leading Role -- Ages 60-69

When I ran this course three weeks ago I only walked once, and that was at the turn-around point of this out-and-back race. I finished that one in 26:06 and my goal this week was to not walk at all so I could hopefully nudge my time to under 26 minutes. I felt like I was in a little better shape this week but when it came down to it, I not only took a walk break in the first mile, but I walked again in the second mile and then a whopping five times in the third mile. Ouch. 

I'm still using a modified run-walk-run method in races, running pretty hard for 70 seconds then slowing down to an easy jog for 20 seconds. If the 20-second jog doesn't allow me enough recovery time I resort to walking, so that's where the total of 7 walk breaks came from. A graph from my Garmin shows that my heart rate was under 160 for the first 2 miles then hit 160 as I entered the third mile. Each subsequent walk break brought it back down to a little under 160. Everybody's heart rate is a little different so these numbers wouldn't fit most other people. I spent quite a few years just running according to my heart rate in races. I had what I thought of as a "cruising speed" of 165 beats per minute. I'd get to 165 then try to stay there for the entire race, speeding up or slowing down as needed. That worked great for several years. The problem though is that as you age your heart rate gradually gets slower, probably about 1 beat per minute per year. That means that I've lost about 10 beats per minute over the past 10 years so I could maybe cruise now at 155 beats per minute. Unfortunately it also means that I'm inevitably going to be slower. Even if my legs can still keep up with the 165 speed that I was running, my heart will only allow me to go 155, thus the need to slow my heart down by walking. 

Race Name:  Vac & Dash Red Carpet 5k Run/Walk

Location: Albemarle, North Carolina

Date: April 25, 2021

Race Rating:  98

Top 11:

I'd normally just post a pic of the Top 10, but since I was 11th, well, you know...


Elevation by Mile:

Weather at Start:

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for FREE Race Photos on Facebook from Vac & Dash

Froilan Frutos (Left) won both this race and the one three weeks previously.

Lynn Ramsey (Center) continued to be amazing, and celebrated her 61st birthday by winning 1st Female Overall!

My Stats:

  • Time:  25:52
  • Pace:  8:21
  • Age Group (60-69):  1 of 3 
  • Overall:  11 of 57
  • Average Heart Rate:   154
  • Maximum Heart Rate:  164
  • Age Grade Percentage:  67.40%





3 - Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)

2 - Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]

1 - Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good

3 - Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic

1 - Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out

2- Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good

6 - Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=spectacular!

0 - Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes

2 - Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes

1 - 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


2 - 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)

0 - 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)

1 - 14 and under group (1)

0 - 65+ group (1)

1 - 70+ group (1)

2 - 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


5 - Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent

5 - Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent

7 - Door Prizes or Drawing: (0-9)

0 - Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals


3 - 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


0 - Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

2 - Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful


2 - T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes

4 - Design: (1-5)

3 - Material Quality: (1-3)

0 - Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes


0 - Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes

x - Prices: (1)expensive  (3)reasonable  (5)cheap

8 - 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


0 - Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes

5 - 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)

TOTAL:  98


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