Race #503 -- 7th Inning Stretch 5k -- Shelby, NC -- 08/07/21

Since 2011, the American Legion World Series has been held in Shelby, and the 7th Inning Stretch Festival is held every year to celebrate the series. The official festival was canceled this year due to Covid but the 5k race went on as usual. It's a good one as far as local races go, and although a little smaller this year as are almost all races, it was still fun and the organizers did a good job as usual. 

They gave you a choice between a regular T-shirt that was just okay looking and a really great running singlet, and I liked the singlet so much I switched shirts before the race and wore it while I was running. That's usually a no-no but it was easy to make an exception for this one.

The Tokyo Olympics marathon for women was held on Friday night before this Saturday morning race and I was absolutely inspired by Molly Seidel, who in only her third marathon won the bronze medal, becoming only the third American woman to win a medal for the marathon. As I watched her running the marathon, I thought about how I walked ten times in last week's 5k. That's pretty embarrassing but it's a fact. I thought about how all of the women in that race would have liked just stopped and walked, and actually, some of them did, and quite a few of them actually dropped out of the race because of the heat, but the ones who kept going were rewarded and none of them actually died along the way. I know it's not exactly a huge discovery to realize that not walking in a race will result in getting to the finish line more quickly, but it did help me as I tried to push through this 5k with that in mind. 

I won't say I broke any new ground or any records, but I did manage to not walk ten times in this race. Okay, I did still walk twice but that was an improvement and I'm an old man, so there's that. I also managed to shave about a minute off the previous week's 5k, which was a bit of a small accomplishment.

After the post-race awards ceremony, some of us had breakfast at the Shelby City Cafe, which just happens to be right at the finish line. It's a great small-town old-fashioned cafe that's become one of our favorites. I'm not sure about the wisdom in eating 3,000 calories after burning 300 calories in a race, but it's working out okay so far.

Race Name:  Road to Hope 7th Inning Stretch 5k

Location: Shelby, North Carolina

Date:  August 7, 2021

Race Rating:  83

Top 10:


Elevation by Mile:

Weather at Start:

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My Stats:

  • Time:  24:55
  • Pace:  8:01
  • Age Group (65-69): 1 of 5 
  • Overall:  16 of 77
  • Average Heart Rate:  154
  • Maximum Heart Rate:  166
  • Age Grade Percentage:  69.97%





0 - Chip & Gun 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

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

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)

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


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

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

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

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


5 - Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)

7 - Venue (Entertainment, Race Setting, etc.): (1-9)

0 - 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

5 - 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

6 - 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

2 - Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (2)yes, some  (5)excellent

0 - 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:  83


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