There’s Girls on the Run, there’s Let Me Run and then there’s Katie on the Run. Katie had to strategically plan out her spring race schedule as she was coaching not one, but 2 different running teams at her school. In the past two weeks both seasons have come to an end.
Back in December I started planning out the season for my elementary’s runners. Because “it takes a village,” many of my fellow staff members signed up with me to coach our Girls on the Run and Let Me Run teams. Once we had our kids registered, adults trained and ready to go we had 36 girls, 20 boys and 12 adults participating in this happy, 10-week adventure.
Over the course of many weeks, the kids learn about goal-setting and making positive choices. Students and Coaches followed a training plan which teaches the basics and builds mileage and confidence. We also ran a practice 5K, just to make sure we had it.
The Girls on the Run 5K was held May 12 at Harper Creek Stadium. The girls had amazing weather and did a great job. It is so rewarding to watch families celebrate with their girls. The Let Me Run SpringFest 5K was May 19 at River Oaks Park in Galesburg. Even though it was a bit rainy and cold, the boys had a blast, with tons of energy and excitement. Our school’s boys were able to bring in a 2nd, 3rd and 7th place finish. (The girls race is untimed, while the boys event is timed.)
These programs mean so much to me, and our school is very involved with supporting the kids. The positivity, encouragement, and strategies taught in these programs are very important for kids as they grow up. This year’s goal was 50 kids participating from my school (we had 56) and next year’s goal is 70!
WSI riders also led out the Let Me Run SpringFest 5k event.
Saturday, May 13, women took to the trails and streets of Battle Creek for the first all women’s duathlon in the area. The Women Who Du, presented by Cereal City Athletics, focused on women showcasing their strength, passion and commitment, and was a great first year event, complete with an oatmeal and yogurt bar AND a spread of chocolate goodies at the finish. The event intentionally took place over Mother’s Day weekend and encouraged mothers and daughters to participate together.
WSI riders Katie and Holly participated in the event.
For Holly, it was her first duathlon. She was up for the challenge, although she usually avoids duathlons like the plague because of the double run! Being a road runner, the trail run was challenging but gorgeous. The first run was 1.3 miles, but it was so much fun she decided to extend it to 2 (read: wrong turn). The first run was followed by a 9 mile bike and ended with 5k run. This event was created as an event to introduce more women to multisport events and it did just that. It was an accessible event for all levels and drew women with a variety of backgrounds and a fair amount of newbies. Can’t wait for next year!
Katie felt like she was on home turf, being a frequent runner of the trails at Woodland Nature Preserve. She loves the uniqueness in the trails constantly changing from hard wood chips to dirt to rolling prairie and back. The bike course was quite hilly, which she had somehow forgotten until back on it tackling the hills. The finish line food spread and chocolate was much appreciated.
Wednesday, May 17, cyclists across the country participated in the National Ride of Silence. The National Ride of Silence consists of hundreds of slow paced rides across the country that are done in complete silence to raise awareness and remember those that have been lost or injured in cycling accidents. WSI riders were present at rides in both Marshall and Battle Creek. Rides were held in Kalamazoo and other local cities as well. The ride had a even more somber significance this year as we approach the one year anniversary of the accident in Kalamazoo which took the lives 5 and injured 4 other cyclists.
I have been racing the Willow TT for about 8 years. It takes place at the Willow Metropark near the Detroit airport. It is a 13-mile race which requires you to circle the park 6 times, and yes… it is important to keep count :). The weather is usually cool and windy with a few exceptions – so pacing is tricky and important. Yesterday was cool and windy so a good warm up was very important.
I warmed up for almost an hour with leg warmers and decided to take them off to race. While my training has been a bit off the last few weeks, I felt really good in the race. I rode a good race but would have liked to go a bit faster (as always). I have averaged over 26 mph there twice but could not pull that out yesterday. 25.4 mph for a 31.10 finish. About the same as last year but 3rd instead of 4th – podium! I will take it for a 47-degree day.