« Health & Fitness

Allegan Strides for Health 5K

by Michael Louden

Last Saturday I traveled to Allegan for the Strides for Health. The race starts near the Allegan General Hospital and takes us through the side streets of Allegan. I arrived at about 8:20 am, 40 minutes before the start of the race. I grabbed my gear and then headed out for a warm-up run. During the warm-up I almost got lost on the side streets. That would have been something if I missed the start of the race. Runners could have gotten their blood pressure checked and other numbers dealing with their health as well.

After I stretched I headed toward the start line. They sounded the gun and then we were off. After about a half mile we turned right down a side street and this was a long stretch. I was pacing off of one of my fellow Kalamazoo Area Runners. We hit the mile marker and were at a 6:25 pace, right where I wanted to be for the first mile.

During the second mile their was one runner who was pacing with us who decided to pull in front of us. We weaved our way through the streets and they were mostly shaded so they kept us nice and cool. As we approached the two mile mark we headed past a cemetery and hit a downhill stretch. We hit the two mile mark and the time for the mile was 6:54.

I could no longer hang with the runner I was pacing with. I decided to pick up the pace because that time for the second mile was too slow for my liking. Most of the last mile downhill which helped out. As I hit the last incline coming toward the finish I began to pick up my pace more. I thought the our turn to the finish line was just up the hill, but it was actually two turns ahead. I made the same mistake last year as well and it played tricks with my mind.

So when I made the turn toward the line I sprinted as hard as I could and came across the line in 20:47 good for 15th overall and 1st in my age group. After the race I grabbed a nice cup of yogurt with a mix of fresh strawberries and blueberries which was delicious.

My next race will be September 6th in Paw Paw at the Grape Lake 5K.