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Chafing the Dream (race report)




PRE-RACE Saturday morning

  • 5:00 - wake up; get running stuff and warmer stuff to wear on drive to start
  • 5:30 - check course map and reference Google maps to find a parking lot with easy in/out about midway between start and finish
  • 6:00 - get in car and drive toward downtown (aka uptown) Charlotte
  • 6:35 - park in previously scoped empty, free parking lot; walk to start
  • 6:40 - make small talk with another runner about start; he's not running though and had to defer; told him that's what I did last year
  • 6:45 - walk into open lobby of sponsoring bank where they have shirts and food setup; but not packet pickup; "That's at the finish by Memorial Stadium"; "That would have been good to put in the email," I reply.
  • 6:50 - Warm-up run ~1 mile to finish area;
  • 7:00 - get packet; bite tongue about location of packet pickup because they can't change it now
  • 7:05 - porta-potty
  • 7:10 - another porta-potty
  • 7:15 - walk back to car; shed layers; pin bib; sip water; eat half of banana
  • 7:25 - walk to start; get asked by lady pointing toward finish, "Is bib pickup this way?" "Yes, keep going and you'll see it." She is cutting it tight.
  • 7:33 - short warm-up run from start line to see what first couple of turns look like
  • 7:38 - hear announcer say we're about 5 minutes from start; hmm, one more bathroom visit?
  • 7:40 - no porta-potties by start; take elevator up with others to 5th floor for office restrooms
  • 7:42 - short line to both men's and women's, partially because some women were using men's room
  • 7:43 - use urinal while women wait for stalls; think to self, "I'm probably going to miss the start."
  • 7:44 - skip elevator; rush down stairs; go out one level too high but see out window that race has started
  • 7:45 - get to bottom level, run around corner to start line and make U-turn to cross timing mat behind everybody


  • 7:45 - 7:59 - Miles 1 & 2 - pass hundreds of runners by hoping on sidewalk on right and then going far left after first turn
  • 8:00 - 8:12 - Miles 3 & 4 - check pace - 6:50ish - hold and conserve; see "Chafing the Dream" poster; show off air guitar skills during guitar solo of "Beat It" as DJ waves to runners
  • 8:13 - 8:26 - Miles 5 & 6 - up down up down left right right right left right left right; passing slows down, but still picking them off; take a gatorade
  • 8:26 - 8:39 - Miles 7 & 8 - mostly downhill mile 7 ends with a steep up from a paved trail back to road; uphill mile 8 slows pace to 6:56; spill a gatorade
  • 8:40 - 8:53 - Miles 9 & 10 - holding a 6:48/49 overall average so far; another runner says, "You must have started late. You're blowing through everybody." I reply, "Held up in bathroom; I'm on about a 1:30 pace so far." He says, "Awesome, there's only about 15 people ahead."; take a gatorade
  • 8:53 - 9:06 - Miles 11 & 12 - pass a few more; see shirtless, muscle, tattoo guy up ahead that beat me in a 10k last year; tattoo on back or a target?; pass him in middle of mile 12; note that he's carrying at least 50lbs more than me; good runner; on the other hand, short, overdressed, older guy who I thought was 12 years old from behind tries to pass me back, hangs for about 100 feet, then fades; take a water
  • 9:07 - 9:13 - Mile 13 - pass many walking/jogging the shorter 9k race (yes, 9); one lady tells me, "You're number 9. Catch that guy!" See the finish line from almost .5 mile away and try not to look at how slow it seems to be getting bigger
  • 9:14 - Mile 13.1 - hear footsteps closing behind me but hold them off and not worried about it because I started more than a minute behind anybody in the front

Near end - shirtless muscle guy is now behind me. Other guy provided the footsteps that I heard closing in at finish line.



  • 9:15 - get medal, water, banana, Which Wich sandwich slices; throw bean bags at cornhole board getting one in to win a t-shirt and water bottle; grab OVI hydration juice; tell shirtless, muscle, tattoo guy that I had been chasing him a long time; he runs in clydesdale class
  • 9:25  - slowly walk to car, skipping awards because son needs to be picked up and errands need to be done
  • 9:30 - change to dry clothes in car; check results to see 1:29:45 official time, 7th place overall and 1st in age group; text wife and running buddies;
  • 9:35 - leave



  • Like 14


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Taking care of all the business before starting, no matter the gun time. That's what chips are for.

  • Like 2
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2 hours ago, CompulsiveRunner said:

Great job, Matt. 

Sorry to hear about that tongue bite. Hope your recovery goes well.

Tongue bites heal relatively quickly. The Rest and Ice parts aren't so bad, but Compression and Elevation are a bit trickier.

  • Like 1
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2 hours ago, Dave said:

Taking care of all the business before starting, no matter the gun time. That's what chips are for.

And I really didn't even need to go again all that bad, but thought, "5 minutes, plenty of time."

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51 minutes ago, BANGLE said:

Skip the awards?!?! The kid can wait.

Nice racing.

They tell me I can pick it up at the store (whatever it is), but not sure if I'll make it down. I got the t-shirt and medal though. And a bonus shirt and water bottle!

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Just now, mattw said:

And I really didn't even need to go again all that bad, but thought, "5 minutes, plenty of time."

I started a marathon once five minutes after the start. No crowds. No weaving. Passed a lot of people that day.

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Congrats on the sub-90!  This is why I always pee behind trees/bushes/dumpsters/whatever will shield me and has no line if time is a factor pre-race...

  • Like 1
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Sounds like you are ready for a duathlon or triathlon -- (bike), run, bean bag toss! Winner, winner, chicken dinner! Congrats!

  • Like 1
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You sure were busy in those pre-race hours!  Probably squandered some energy running around looking for porta-potties and such, but still had a fantastic time!

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