Feb 28

Running With the Grand Rapids Running Club

Earlier this week, the Grand Rapids Press had a write-up about the Grand Rapids Running Club (article here).  So, I decided that I would check it out this morning.  I met a group of about 50-75 runners and John Ball Park at the crack of dawn in the 10 degree freezing cold.  Pretty much all of the runners training for the River Bank Run and following a training schedule that had them going either 7 or 9 miles depending on the group.  When we took off, there were a few people who volunteered as pace group leaders.  This was very helpful because I had no idea how I would find a group with whom I should run.  I took off with the 8:00 – 9:00 minute/mile pace group with hopes of being around the the 8:00 minute/mile mark.  We started by running the last 3 miles of the River Bank Run; winding through the neighborhoods towards downtown.  Once downtown, we had our first water station.  Yes, they have a few people who drive out to different parts of the course with water, Gatorade, and sugary snacks (gummy bears and candy corn today).  From there, we headed out from the start of the RBR out Monroe to Market.  At the 7 and 9 mile turnarounds on Market, there were more people with water.  The 9 mile turnaround was about 6 miles into the run.  I had planned on running 13 miles as part of my Sunburst Marathon training, so I kept going at the turnaround for another 2 miles down Indian Mounds along the Grand  River.  It was very peaceful along the river and the extra 2 miles out and 2 miles back flew by.  On my way back through, I stopped for some water and then it was just 3 miles back to John Ball Park.  By the time I got back, a lot of people had left already because they had been done for 20 or 30 minutes and it was too cold to just sit around.  Maybe once it gets warmer, more people will stick around afterwards.  I didn’t meet too many people this time because there were only about 6 people that headed off at the same pace as myself.  However, I did run with one guy for the first 6 miles (until the turn around), which helped me push myself.  I ended up finishing the 13 miles in 1:41:35 with a 7:47 min/mile pace which I was very happy with.  Overall it was a great experience and I will probably meet up with the group again next weekend and whenever else I can get out.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2009/02/28/running-with-the-grand-rapids-running-club