Race Review: 2011 Hickory Flat Out 5k

13 Sep

On Labor Day, I did what I’ve done on many of the recent holidays: ran a race! Races are the reason I go out to run otherwise – if it wasn’t for the opportunity to compete, I wouldn’t go out.

Race Logistics:

I preregistered on Active.com about 2 weeks before the event to save $5 ($20 race fee instead of $25). Number pick up started one hour before race time at the church. They were well organized when I arrived about 50 minutes pre-race and I had my number in seconds.

The race was not tag-timed. Timing was by cards and tear off at the finish.

Race Route:

Hickory Flat Out 5k Race Route (from Runkeeper)

The out and back route started and finished at Mount Zion Baptist Church on East Cherokee Drive in Canton, Georgia. The route followed East Cherokee Drive to a small subdivision, and then back on to East Cherokee Drive and looping back to the church for the finish.
Note my GPS recorded less than a full 5k distance – there’s some odd turns in the data around mile 1 and mile 3 that may have altered the path. I also wasn’t perfect starting and stopping the app.
Runkeeper reported a 163 foot total climb so it was a really flat course for this area. Miles 1 and 2 were downhill.

The Race:

They had a good turnout – more than 300 runners on an overcast morning just before the Tropical Storm Lee remnants settled over the region for the day. From my starting position near the front, there were a lot of High School Cross Country team runners in the mix.

The first mile had some congestion but opened up as the truly fast runners (13 runners finished in less than 20 minutes) stretched out a lead over the middle pace runners (another 75 finished in between 20 and 25 minutes).

I finished in 20:35 – 2nd place in the Men’s 30-34 Age Division and 21st overall. This was an 11 second improvement over my best previous 5k distance (December 2010). I trailed my age group winner by six seconds.

The Judgement:

Worth running again.  While it’s less than the most interesting route (most local 5k’s aren’t interesting) the race logistics made it easy to get to and get done.

It would be nice to have tag timing for the event as well, but usually that comes at increased cost.

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