« Health & Fitness

Kalamazoo Klassic 5K/10K

by Michael Louden

Every year I look forward to the weekend of the Kalamazoo Klassic. The reason why is because the 5K course is mostly flat and downhill so a fast time is very doable. Now this year I thought about pulling the double and running both the 5K and 10K, but running a fast time in the 5K was more on my mind so I skipped out on the 10K. One of these years I will tackle it and run the Maple St. hill.

This year the starting line was moved back onto the Maple St. hill, so the 5K runners got to experience part of the hill. The horn went off at 9 am and I started back in the front portion of the pack and ran a consistent first mile getting a 6:22 mile. Now that was a little slower than what I wanted to run as I was looking for a mile between 6:05 and 6:15.

However I kept pushing and told myself to go after any runners that were in front of me. I rounded the corner on Oakland Dr. and headed downhill past the Kalamazoo Country Club. Their were a couple of small hills in there, but I kept pushing the pace and then turned down a side street and hit a downhill followed by a short uphill. My second mile was a 6:28 mile. I was running a really great race and now was heading for the downhill section of the course.

I am not the greatest downhill runner, but I did pick up speed and kept pushing myself and as I got closer to the end the pace quickened and once Maple St was in sight I was gunning it for the finish line. I got to the three mile mark and I ran a 6:16 last mile.

I jetted across the field at the Maple Street Magnet School and could see the time was under 20 so my goal was in sight and I sprinted to the finish and crossed the line with a time of 19:46. I finished 44th overall and was two seconds away from third place in my age group.

It was a really great morning for running as it was sunny, cool, and it was calm. I look forward to continued improvement throughout the rest of the season as I push toward my career best 19:08.