« Health & Fitness

2013 WMU Campus Classic

by Michael Louden

It is always great to go back to my former college as an alumni.  Granted I am not that far away, but it is still good to be "home".  It was time for the annual Campus Classic 5K run/walk.  I was running in it and my girlfriend Kathleen was walking in the race.  I also caught up with my friend and running buddy Lars before the race and chatted about our expectations for the race and what our upcoming plans were for the rest of the season.

I went and picked up my gear and then rested and stretched before the race.  It was a perfect day for running.  A clear, sunny, and cool morning.  Last year it was windy, cloudy, and cold.  The route has also been changed for this year, as it was changed last year as well.  This year it was changed due to construction at the dining halls.  

We started at 9:15 am and approximately 1,500 runners took off.  The race almost got off to a disastrous start for me as a little kid and I almost tripped over each other.  After that I headed up the Bernhard Center hill which is a LONG climb and I was feeling a little worn out, even though I tried to run the hill a little slower to save something in the tank for the flatter portion of the race about halfway through.  I headed down a long hill near Sindacuse and then through the Valley's to the first mile mark where the time keeper was not shouting out the right times as he said I was at an 8:07 mile.  

Then after that we had a flat portion for a little while before we headed up the final big uphill to Schneider Hall where the course then flattens out.  Lars and I were battling back-and-forth as he passed me near Schneider Hall, but I passed him for the final time just after the uphill and Lars finished a few seconds behind me.

I still was feeling worn down and it was hard to get a fast pace going after the hills wore me down.  I headed toward Miller Auditorium and then past Brown Hall for the final little uphills of the race.  I picked up my pace as I headed past Waldo Library and then used all my energy I had to get to the finish near the Rec Center.  

I crossed the line in 21:16, my best time ever at the Campus Classic beating my 2007 personal best of 21:28.  It is a very tough race to run a fast time, but I would like to beat this time next year and run under 21 minutes.  Lars had told me my first mile time was 6:53 as he was right near me and my pace was 6:52, so I held my pace well the rest of the race after the first mile.

My next race is October 26th, the Trick-or-Trail fun run on the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail.