Saturday, March 19, 2016

2016 Irish Jig

Each year immediately after St. Patrick's Day, Spectrum Health sponsors a 5k run here in Grand Rapids called the Irish Jig. I've run it several times in the past, and decided to go out again this year.

I don't do a lot of running, but I like doing middle-distances like 5k and 10k to keep myself from totally going to seed on the couch. I'm not fast enough to sprint in short distance races, and don't have the cardiovascular fitness to do marathons, but the middle works well for me. Some minor knee issues have put me on the elliptical trainer and stationary bike more than doing actual running over the last couple of years, but it's nothing serious and doesn't bother me as long as I don't go overboard.
Irish music entertainment pre-race. The poor guy in front is a workout trainer who got "volunteered" by his co-workers to guest-sing.
There's no reason I can't run on my own, of course, but it's nice to do an organized race every month or so (during the warm months) to keep myself honest. It's worth the $30 to have a set date to work toward, and besides, you get a nice shirt. Hard to skip workouts when you know there's going to be a race coming in a few weeks. Not that I'm in any danger of winning any prizes, but I still want to feel like I kept a decent pace.
Starting out. That banner you can barely see is the start line. Lots of folks slowly making their way toward it.
The Irish Jig is pretty early in the running season. You can find people running at all times of the year (even crazy ones out at the New Year) but I prefer a nice warm workout room when it's cold out. In past years, I've been snowed on at the Irish Jig, but this year was precipitation-free. Still pretty chilly, though, just above freezing. Of course that didn't stop some insane people from running in shorts and short sleeves. At least I didn't see anyone going shirtless. I'm not entirely sure why the race organizers have this set to start at 9 AM rather than waiting until the afternoon when it might be a little warmer. Anyway, it felt fine after getting through the first mile or so.
Finish line! From the rear, after I finished, which is why you see everyone just standing around.
This year I started way in the back, largely because I stayed inside as long as possible before venturing out in the cold. That meant I went a little slower than I usually would as I maneuvered around people going at a slower pace. Not a big deal, as I still ended up finishing in almost exactly 30 minutes. I'd prefer to be around 25, but considering the weather, other racers, and my general laziness this time of year, I'm pretty happy with 30. The results web site tells me that I was just under the median point for my age group, which I can live with.

Water and minor snacks at the end.
I may do a few more of these races over the summer. My recent trip up to Rockford made me think about the last time I did Mitchell's Run, and there's always several small events around Caledonia. They're fun, and a good reason to keep on a regular exercise schedule.

No comments:

Post a Comment