« Health & Fitness

Allegan Strides for Health 5K

by Michael Louden

Today was a good day for running.  It was a nice, cool morning and perfect conditions for running.  Today I ventured over to Allegan for the Strides for Health 5K at Allegan General Hospital.  I arrived about 35 minutes before race time.  I picked up my bib and shirt and once I got my bib on I went for a warm-up run and did some stretching.

About 10 minutes before the start of the race I headed over to the start/finish line.  This was the first time I was running this race.  I had heard it was fast and flat, so I was excited about this.  I was also looking forward to pacing myself better in the race instead of running out too fast like I had done the past two races.  

The gun had sounded and I got out to a quick and controlled start.  There was a slight rolling hill in the first portion of the course, which took us through the side streets of Allegan.  These streets were also nice and shaded.  I passed a few runners in the beginning of the race and kept pushing forward, something I had not done well in recent races.  I had forgot my watch so I didn't know what I had for my first mile time.  I felt OK though and didn't feel like I was going too fast or too slow.  

We kept winding through the streets and I continued to pass a few runners along the course and near the two mile mark we headed down a downhill past a cemetery and hit the two mile mark.  Which at this time I found out my time was 12:50.  The same as last week, but I knew this time was last mile was going to be better as I was not burned out. 

 I got passed by one runner in the last mile and we headed up a rolling hill back toward the finish which was the same hill we came down at the start.  I thought the finish was straight ahead so I started to speed up only to realize the finish line was to the left around the corner.  So I then kicked it again toward the finish and I crossed the line with a time of 20:02.  So I was 46 seconds faster in my last mile compared to last weekend  A much better time compared to last week and it made me very happy.  Now if I speed up just a little bit each mile I will be back in 19s in no time.  

The post race meal was very nice.  They had yogurt with strawberries, blueberries, and granola.  Plus they had cookies, apple slices, muffins, and cheese and egg pizza.  They were also offering free health screenings to check your blood sugar levels and blood pressure.

I ended up finishing first in my age group and 14th overall.  Overall it was a great race.  The course was completely flat, but nevertheless it was fast.  I look forward to my remaining races the rest of the season.

For complete results click here .