Race #511 -- Kings Mountain Running Festival 5k -- Clover, SC -- 10/09/21

I've had better weeks. On Sunday night I started having cold symptoms and I was unsure if I had a cold or possibly COVID. I contacted my doctor's office and they told me to wait at least 24 hours then get a COVID test if I still felt sick, so on Tuesday I was tested and thankfully it was negative. Having the Coronovirus would have kept me from going to next week's Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon, which has been the main race I'm planning for the fall, so I should still make it to the race albeit with a cough and runny nose.

I thought about skipping this race altogether since I'm still not feeling great and only ran about half of my usual training miles for the week, but decided it would probably be better to see if I could get in a fairly decent run before Myrtle Beach. The Kings Mountain Running Festival consists of four races (5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon). I considered the 10k but decided it would be best to go for the shortest distance instead. 

The first mile of all of these races is like a roller coaster and I don't do well when that's the case. I struggled in that first mile, walking several times, before finally hitting the main road where the elevation leveled out for the most part. There was a stretch of maybe a half-mile around the middle of the race that was more like a cross-country course, running partly on a trail and partly on the grounds of the historic farm. I'm always wary of twisting an ankle with that type of running but it wasn't too bad and I actually managed to pass one or two other runners on the unpaved part. 

I wasn't thrilled with my finish time of 27:15 but it's probably about right considering the hilly first mile, having a cold, and just being honest, I'm not running quite as well as I was just a couple months ago anyway. 

I like this race and have run the half marathon a couple times previously. Sadly, it might be the last year of it. The race director said it's his last year and it will only continue if somebody else takes it over. This year there was a total of only 157 runners in all four races (41 in the 5k, 39 in the 10k, 51 in the half, and 26 in the full marathon). Two years ago it wasn't a huge race but there was still a total of 269 in the four races. I'm hoping we'll see it back next year when the pandemic is over (hopefully) and things get back to normal. 

Race Name:  Kings Mountain Running Festival 5k/10k/Half Marathon/Full Marathon

Location:  Clover, South Carolina (Kings Mountain State Park)

Date: October 9, 2021

Race Rating:  85

Top 10 (5k):

Top 10 (10k):

Top 10 (Half Marathon):

Top 10 (Marathon):

Josh Stone wins a lot of races. He told me before the race that he was just running the full marathon as a training run and was "only" wanting to finish in under 3 hours. His winning time of 2:55 was over an hour ahead of 2nd place.

Course (5k):

Elevation by Mile:

Weather at Start:

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Me and my buddy, Jim Owens.

My Stats:

  • Time:  27:15
  • Pace:  8:47
  • Age Group: 1 of 2 
  • Overall:  8 of 41
  • Average Heart Rate:   147
  • Maximum Heart Rate:  161
  • Age Grade Percentage:  63.98%

I walked several times in the first mile and had a hard time getting my heart rate up to the 155 range.





0 - Chip Timing (Start & Finish Mat): (3 points if yes)

2 - 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

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

0 - 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

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


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)

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


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

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

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

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


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

6 - 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

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 - No shirt/No discount for late registration (-3)


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

0 - 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

2 - Kids Fun Run: (0)no   (2)yes

x - Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  85


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