Showing posts from June, 2021

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

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

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

Race #495 -- GTC Sunrise Run 8k -- Simpsonville, SC -- 06/12/21

Without any good options for a race in my local area, I decided to take a short trip to the Greenville, South Carolina, area to try my luck at the Greenville Track Club's Sunrise Run 8k. Turns out my luck wasn't all that good as I finished 4th out of 12 in the 65-69 age group despite running about an 8-minute pace, which is pretty slow if you're 29 years old, but relatively fast for a 69-year-old. My goal going into the race was to finish in under 40 minutes so I was happy with my time of 39:50.  As the race name would suggest, it starts at sunrise, which was 6:15, so I had to get there bright and early. I set the clock for 2 a.m. and went to bed by 9:00 on Friday night so I felt pretty good when the alarm went off. I was out the door by 2:30 and headed down Interstate 85, which is under major reconstruction from the state line to Spartanburg, probably 25 miles or so. Fortunately, the traffic was light and I arrived at the race venue, which was First Baptist Church in Simps

Race #494 -- Jaycees Summer Kickoff 5k -- Belmont, NC -- 06/06/2021

Another local 5k, but this week it was well organized and well managed, and with lots of friends present it was a lot of fun.  There was a staggered start because of the coronavirus, which seems unnecessary, but for some reason it's still being done. I'd prefer that everybody starts at the same time, allowing racers to compete head-to-head, but I'm also not above taking advantage of the situation either. I opted to start at the very back of the pack, where I could get a little bit of a running start, pass a lot of slower runners instead of being passed by so many faster runners, and, most importantly, escape the head-to-head battle with Steve Staley that I knew was coming if I stayed in front. Admittedly, both Steve and I run better if we're competing head-to-head, but it's a lot easier if I take the more cowardly approach of just doing my best, all by myself, and seeing how things turn out. Turns out that it worked okay for me. We weren't sure of the final resu

Race #493 -- Memorial Run 5k -- Shelby NC -- 05/22/2021

Another race directed by the YMCA, this time the Cleveland County YMCA, and dare I say, another stinker. I try not to complain about the organization, which I believe does a good job most of the time, but when it comes to most of the races they're involved with, they're organized poorly with very little consideration given to runners. A case in point at this race is that not only did they not have age group awards, it was also too much trouble for them to even separate the results into age groups. At least they did separate male from female, but if you want to know how you did among the peers your own age, start counting. I mean, I know how to count, and I can do it, but it's kind of inconsiderate on the part of the race directors to have age groups of ages "0 to 99." If you're looking for a banana or a bagel to choke down after the race, go elsewhere. They did have some little bottles of warm water, so there's that, but the pandemic's over and it'