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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SJC Homecoming 5K

I have written unkind things about the 5K that SJC has had on homecoming weekend. This year the race had new management, a sports-management class in the PE department, and at the urging of the teacher of the class, Pat Querry, I decided to give them another chance. The students planned the course, did the publicity, and ran the event. I do not know if any of them had ever had previous experience with a 5K run-walk. Below is a picture of them registering runners and walkers.
There were quite a few people at the start line. However, unlike every other 5K I have witnessed, there was no announcement at the start of the race for all those who had not registered to get out. In fact, two sports teams were using the run as a morning work out. Since they did not discourage gate crashers, I crashed the gate. (Of course, that meant no tee shirt or award.)
The course began at the start line for the Little 500 go-cart race, went south to Shuster Road, and then east to the highway. It followed much of the 5K course that is used for cross country meets. However, 5K runners are not usually cross country runners--they like to run on hard surfaces rather than grass. So when the course routed them on the grass along US 231, all the runners ran on the shoulder of the highway. When they got to the bowling alley, they finally had to run on grass as the course took them north of the football field. Below you can see a string of runners heading toward Sparling Avenue. The lead runners are already out of the picture as they are moving south on Sparling.
The course followed Sparling, and the runners did not, to my surprise, run on the road but rather on the path west of the road. Once past the youth center, the course took them west around the parking lot and the softball field. Then it was west on 650 south, around Lake Banet, and then back to the finish line. Below the runners have strung out a lot more as they emerged from the Lake Banet area and are back on Sparling. Note the yellowing of the soybean field. Harvest is getting close.
It is always fun to watch people finish. Below are two of the baseball players who had a sprint to the finish. They probably were not running too hard on the course.
The women's soccer team used the run both as conditioning and as a team-building experience. All but a few finished in this happy pack.After waiting for the walkers, it was time for awards. Pat was taking pictures until her camera started showing the low-battery indicator. Then she asked me to help her out.
As a result, I have pictures of many of the finishers. Here are some local runners who did well. (One of the little glitches that they need to fix for next year is that they combined men and women awards instead of having separate awards as pretty much every other 5K has. There is a good reason to give awards by age and gender.)
The little awards platform is a nice touch, isn't it? Pat's husband made it.

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