« Health & Fitness

Steve's Raider Stomp 5K/10K

by Michael Louden

Today I ran a new 5K race for me, the 8th Annual Steve's Raider Stomp in Decatur.  The Raider Stomp benefits the Decatur track and cross country programs.  Five scholarships were awarded today with the funds raised from the race to some lucky Decatur track and cross country runners.  

Steve's Raider Stomp was created eight years ago in the memory of Steve Athey, a three sport athlete at Decatur.  Steve was killed in an auto accident back on November 19th, 2003.

I thought what a great race with a great purpose and who would benefit from the race funds.  So I signed up in early July and then heard the wonderful things posted on the Kalamazoo Area Runners Facebook page that made me truly excited for this race.  The first of course was the flat and fast course.  The rest I will tell as I go along.  

I arrived at about 7:20 am and they had signs directing me where to park and showing me where the registration was located.  Someone was there to greet runners in the gym and was directing us where to go.  I went and picked up my number and t-shirt.  I had heard the only unimpressive aspect of the race was the t-shirts, but this one looks great and is another tech shirt which is awesome.  

I stretched and did a warm-up run and caught up with some of my fellow runners before the race.  Then we headed toward the start line and we said a prayer and had a singing of the National Anthem before we began.

I had made up my mind before we started I was going to stick with my fellow runner and friend Brandon.  With the shout of 'GO' we were off.  The first half mile my strategy was working fine, but then I had to pull back a little.  I had started out too fast.  I got to the first mile mark and my watch said 6:01, a great time but it was going to be hard to hold that pace after my quick start and my pace had slowed.  

We were out in the middle of the countryside and it was nice and cool as well.  We had two water stops along the way and plenty of signs identifying the miles and where to run.  Anyways I could tell my pace had slowed considerably during the second mile and it fell off to 6:49.  I was in shock about my time now and I was starting to run out of energy.  

The course looped itself back into town and we had passed some of the walkers on the way back so I knew I was starting to approach home.  However Brandon was far in front of me at this point.  I came up to the park and used all the energy I had left to run my hardest to the finish.  I crossed the line in 20:48, good for 14th overall and 2nd in my age group.  However this is my 4th race in a row I have run since the Kalamazoo Klassic with a slower time.

July 4th-Pace for Poverty 19:52 (Satisfied I ran in 19s again so I'm OK with this time)

July 13th-Kindleberger 5K 20:22 (Couple of hills at the end slowed me down)

Aug. 3rd-Ready or Not 5K 20:24 (Went out too fast)

Aug 10th-Steve's Raider Stomp 20:48 (Also went out too fast)

Well it seems I have been going out too fast for my races and I have been trying to stick with other runners I thought I could stick with during the race.  This means I am not running my own race.  I need to do this and go out and run at my pace.  If I do this, I will pass other runners in the last mile and start to catch some runners who went out too fast.  Next week in Allegan I will try to get back to this philosophy of running my own race and pace.

Anyway back to the finish.  After I crossed the line a volunteer was there to greet me with a nice cool towel and a Popsicle.  The volunteers had also set up a tent where all the runners could grab a free goody to take home with them a water bottle, coffee mug, towel, or lunch bag.  I took a water bottle.  A nice food spread was also set up.  They provided grapes, strawberries, plums, watermelon slices, and large chocolate chip cookies.  I thanked each of the volunteers for being there for us today.  

Once everyone finished the 5K and 10K the award ceremony took place.  They had a podium we would line up on and signs that described our age group and what place we got.  

They had very large medals to give out to the winners and they even gave us each a picture of us up on the podium. 

This was one of the best, well run races I have participated in and has many perks to it.  As for my time, next Saturday I will improve it again by running my own pace and my own race, not someone else's.  It probably won't be 19:08, but I would be happy with a time in low 20s.  Catch up with me again next week.

Check out the Results here.