« Health & Fitness

Kalamazoo Area Runners Banquet

by Michael Louden

Last Thursday was our annual Kalamazoo Area Runners awards banquet.  It is a fun evening where we award the top three people in each age group based on the season standings and also some individual awards are given out as well.  

It is mostly a night where we all reflect on the season we had as we celebrate each members individual accomplishments.  I brought my girlfriend and greeted Brandon there and we all sat together right in the front row.

When I got called up for finishing second in my age group, which is 25-29, I reflected on three things about the season that made it memorable.

1.) I said at the end of last season I wanted to join a couple of mid-week group runs so I could have someone to run with instead of running by myself for each of my runs.  I joined the Wednesday night runs at Borgess Health and Fitness Center and the Thursday night runs at the YMCA.  I highly enjoyed running with both groups, but my work schedule took me away from those group runs in the middle of the year.  However, I will be able to join my Wednesday night run after the new year for most Wednesday's.

2.) My goal this year was to finally break 20:00 in the 5K distance.  My best time was 20:25 which I had set the previous year.  I told myself if I could keep myself in shape over the winter and run consistently I could break that barrier.  By April I had matched my time of 20:25 and then over the next two months I was able to bring my time down by a few seconds and set new PRs on a consistent basis getting my time down to 20:07 by the end of May.  The Kalamazoo Klassic rolled around in June and because most of the course is downhill and flat, this was the place I would set my PR.  I was right.  I started the race off at a very fast pace and was determined and stuck with some of the faster runners and I kept my eye on some others in front of me as I would not let them out of my sights and with all of my determination I came across the line in 19:08.  A PR of all most one minute better.  Now my goal next year is to break 19:00 minutes.

3.) This one happened to come out of thin air.  Brandon had talked me into doing a 10K this year.  My plan was to run my first one next year, but I decided to give it a shot this year, so I chose to run the Peacock Strut 10K.  My goal was to finish and run in the 10K in under 43 minutes.  I wanted to go out and run a 6:30 pace to start the race and my first mile was 6:28, so I was right on track where I needed to be.  My pace did slow during the race, but not too much as my first three miles were a little under 20 minutes.  Brandon and Chris were about 15-20 seconds in front of me, but at this point my goal was just to finish.  This goal changed as I could tell I was starting to close the gap on them and then finally passed them at mile five and finished 14 seconds ahead of them as I ran 41:52.  I also managed to finish ahead of both in the 5K as well that day.

I did receive one other award and it was for running the most races of the season.  It was a three way tie between Brandon, Fred, and I and we each ran 19 KAR club races.

So here my top three goals next season

1.) Break 19:00 in the 5K

2.) Run in at least 3 10K races

3.) Finish first in the KAR standing for my age group

I have two races left for the 2013 season (one timed event and one fun run).  Next week I will be running in the WMU Turkey Trot 5K, my last timed race of the season.