This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Jasper County Hospital 5K

The Fit for Life 5K that the Jasper County Hospital Foundation sponsors is the oldest of the various Rensselaer 5K races. There was a good turnout for the 2009 edition of the race. Some people pre-registered, while others just showed up. There were enough tee shirts for everyone who ran or walked.
There is always plenty of time to kill before the race. One of the youngest entrants found the bell intriguing. At 8:00 the participants lined up at the starting line.
The start signal was a whistle. The runners were off.
The course starts from in front of the middle school, goes to Melville and turns south, crossing the highway. After passing the quarry, the course turns left before Donaldson's, then right when that road turns right. There is a turnaround on the road behind Donaldson's, and then people return by the same route to where they started. One of the good things about a course that is a turn around rather than a loop, is that you get to see the other runners. Here the eventual winner, Patrick M, has pulled out to a lead. He finished in a bit over 17 minutes.

The corn is looking good, isn't it? It may not be as far along this year as in past years because of delayed planting and cool July weather.

About five runners, including Allison M, who ultimately finished second overall, were strung out in front of the pack of runners shown below who would ultimately finish in about 20 minutes.
Not too far behind were several other runners who would be getting 21-minute times. As you can see, I am running way behind them because I still have a long way to go to get to the turnaround.
At the finish the runners and walkers had to run through a chute marked by cones. The bottom of the number tags were ripped off and put on a wire so that the order of finish would be clear. Someone was also recording the numbers, and at least one person was running a stop watch the printed times.
After the race, there were some refreshments (cookies, apples, water, Gatorade, and pop) and there was a raffle. Anyone who entered the race might win a prize. Because there are not a lot of people who enter this race, the chances of winning are pretty good.
Finally the race ribbons for overall male and female winners, and first, second, and third in the various age groups were announced. Some age groups--those that have a lot of high school students who are getting ready for cross country season--are very competitive. Others are not so competitive. So some who place in the top ten do not win anything, and some who place in the bottom ten win a ribbon. The results were posted on the website of the Jasper County Hospital, but they have disappeared as I write this. Maybe they will reappear by the time you read this.
The next 5K in Rensselaer will be the Little Cousin Jasper Festival 5K on September 12. I ran in the 5K for the last Little Cousin Jasper Festival several years ago. It had only about 20 entrants and I think the course was a bit short. The people managing the race were not runners and probably had never been to a 5K race, and it showed in little ways. However, they did a far better job than those managing the early 5Ks that were run with the SJC homecomings. Those courses were not 5K, they were so complex that the runners could not follow them, and each year the course was completely changed from the previous year. I do not know if this race got better once the Youth Center took it over and started charging an entry fee--I stayed away. (This year's Festival 5K is being managed by people who have run many 5Ks.)

(There is a general lesson here. If you are asked to do something you have never done before, find someone who has done it before and listen to what they have to say. I have seen a lot of stupid things done by people who do not listen.)

After the race I checked out the health fair at the Community Services Building. I took some pictures, but they did not turn out well. The health fair was pretty standard--check your cholesterol and blood sugar, weigh and measure you, take your blood pressure, and give out lots of information from various groups. It lacked some of the fancy machines of this health fair.

Community Services offers a variety of programs aimed at older people (over 60--is that already old?). I will have to check them out sometime in the future--there are potential blog posts there.

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