« Health & Fitness

Oaklawn Hospitality Classic 5K/10K

by Michael Louden

This past Saturday I decided to try a different race I haven't done before and that is the Oaklawn Hospitality 5K and 10K over in Marshall. This weekend I could have chosen to run the Howard Hill Hustle or the Southwest Michigan Race for the Cure, but I decided to choose a location I haven't done before. It was well worth it.

This was my second time this year running in a 10K (My goal is to run three this year) and the second time doing the double as last year I ran both the 10K and 5K at the Peacock Strut. The first race of the day was the 10K run and we started by the Honolulu House in downtown Marshall. Before the race I asked one of my Kalamazoo Area Runners buddies Mark what the course was like so I could kind of picture what I was going to be facing.

The gun went off at 7:30 am and the first part of the race took us right through the middle of downtown Marshall and we got to hear a rendition of "Eye of the Tiger" which helped pump us up as we ran. We made a sharp turn and down one of the side streets and headed back toward the finish area although we weren't done yet, we just ran by it, kind of a teaser. We then proceeded to head out into the country side and we had some long stretches of road to run down. For a change their were some runners around me and I was keeping an eye on a couple of runners in blue shirts just ahead of me as I was trying to catch them. When I got to the three mile mark my time was announced at 19:40. Now I was thinking I may end up running my best time for the 10K, but it didn't happen and I found out later in the race the mile markers were not accurate anyways.

Now when I hit the four mile mark two runners passed me and I tried my best to pick-up my pace and stick with them. Although they did get away from me I did notice all the runners, including myself, were beginning to pick up the pace and we were on the home stretch and hit the rolling hills section. I ended up passing the two runners who were wearing the blue shirts and took off toward the finish line. The finish was all downhill which was nice and I actually had a kick and felt like I had some energy left for the last couple of miles to use up. I crossed the line with a time of 42:31 good for 13th overall and first in my age group.

Then about one hour later I took part in the 5K race and once again Mark told me what to expect for the race. The race started at 9 am and I took off like a rocket before I got myself into a pace. For the first mile my legs felt like bricks as we headed down through downtown Marshall again and then back toward the finish area even though I had clocked a 6:04 first mile. A few runners were passing me, but I still felt strong and then heading down the side streets where we hit the rolling hills.

Their was a female runner who was attempting to pass me and I was having none of that as I passed her right back and another runner as I felt like I was getting my second wind and speed boost. My second mile was slower (6:51), but once I rounded the corner and then headed down the rolling hills I had hit for the 10K I knew I was almost done and picked up my speed as I headed toward the finish. I blazed across the line with a time of 20:23 and my last mile was eight seconds faster then my second mile. I took 11th overall and 1st in my age group.

It was a very successful weekend and I look forward to running the K5K on Saturday at Spring Valley Park and then the Run to Climax 7K on Memorial Day.