« Health & Fitness

Borgess Run for the Health of It 10K

by Michael Louden

It was a perfect day for running as it was sunny and cool. Their was a little bit of wind that would come into play on the course, but it wasn't too bad. My fiance, Kathleen and I, arrived on campus around 7:40 am and we walked over toward the starting area to see the start of the Kalamazoo Marathon. After that I began my stretching routine and then hit the facilities one more time and then saw the half marathoners take off. Kathleen wished me luck before I filed in for the 10K and got up near the front of the pack. I kept myself loose and moving around. Once 8:30 am hit we were off.

One important item I had forgotten was my watch so I did not know what my times were going to be at each mile marker, but it didn't hurt me too much.

I made sure to start out at a fast pace, but a steady one as I had a longer race ahead of me. I headed down Nazareth and I passed a few runners before their was a gap between the runner in front of me and the runner behind me. I headed up the first two hills and hit Parchmount Ave. and I was one mile into the race and was feeling good. However their were not a lot of runners around me.

This is where the "wind tunnel" was and we all had to run a mile into this wind, but it wasn't too bad and didn't think about it that much. Kathleen's parents were on this street cheering me on which gave me an extra boost. Once we got to the second mile I hit one of the side streets and their was a kid cheering us and holding a sign that said "Touch here for a Power up" and it was a Mushroom from Super Mario. Naturally I touched it as being a Mario fan.

Once I got off the side street I was on Glendale and a couple of runners were on my heels before passing me. Now I was starting to see more spectators as I got to the water stop at the three mile mark. I got water and walked for about five seconds while I drank it. The 10K race was now down to a 5K and I was out on Mount Olivet Rd. and I was beginning to be around more runners and spectators and then I headed down to into Spring Valley park for the last two miles. I was still feeling good about my pace.

Their were many spectators in the park cheering people on and they gave me plenty of encouragement and support. Once I approached the end of Spring Valley Park I had hit mile five and their was one mile to go.

I was tracking one runner in a bright yellow shirt, but I then turned onto Brook Dr. and hit a mass of 5K runners and lost all sight of this runner. I headed up the hill, but did not notice the hill as I used all of the runners in front of me as motivation to catch them all. Once I crested the top I headed down Fairfield and tried to remain on the side of the road to easily past all of the 5K runners. Now once I got to Gull Rd. it was easier as I headed down the side outside of the cones and then pushed myself to the finish line as hard as I could.

I was so happy when I was done because I had just finished my second ever 10K run. I ran the course in 43:11. I wanted to run in 42 minutes, but I still did good so I am satisfied. Plus, I finished 15th overall and 1st in my age group. What an added bonus that was I had finished so highly out of over 900 runners in my race. The award I got was awesome too as it was a photo of the start of last year's 5K race and I looked and found myself starting right at the camera, so I got an award of myself.

After I was done I cooled down and then watched my fiance Kathleen finish the 5K walk. She has done other 5K walks, but this was her first ever Borgess 5K walk. Then I took advantage of a free massage which helped me relax.

Their are three big races I have always wanted to place in my age group: Fifth Third Riverbank run, Kalamazoo Klassic, and the Borgess Run. Now I have placed in two of them and will look to cross the Fifth Third run off my list this Saturday. Next year I will be back for the Borgess Run for the Health of it again, but this time I will be taking part in the half marathon. It will be my first and I look forward to the challenge, training and the satisfaction from finishing next year.