Yay, another new race! Well, new to me. The Reeds Lake Run has been happening in East Grand Rapids for 38 years, so it is familiar to most runners around here, but I’ve never had the pleasure.
Truth time: I kind of wrote this and forgot about it. Yes, it’s three months late. But hey, you can still file this info away for next year!
The race is a 5k run or walk, a 10k wheelchair or hand cycle race, and a 10k run. I decided to do the 10k. My thought at the time was, “Well, I’m half-marathon-trained anyway, so 10k will be easy.” Plus they said there are only two hills. I haven’t run anywhere near that course in 3 years, so I believed their lies!
Race day was about to roll around and I realized that I didn’t know where to park, didn’t know where the starting line was, and basically didn’t know anything except that I was going to run six miles in the proximity of a lake that I am vaguely aware of. I checked the website and found some answers, but I had to ask some friends to figure it all out. It wasn’t that hard, but race day anxiety, even for a ‘just for fun’ 10k, is still a thing.
Race day was hot and gross, but the plus side is that I got to wear my new Priority Health visor. PRETTY SWEET, RIGHT!? Yeah, wearing a hat while running feels dorky, but I’m a legit super-dork so I don’t care. My eye doctor said it’s better for my eyeballs. Sunglasses and sunscreen, too, you rebels! Not sunscreen in your eyes. Just, you know, in general.
Anyway, I started off the race with a friend and then held back a bit because the heat really gets to me and I have to slow down. No worries. I was just running for fun anyway. It’s not like I’m going to come in first, am I right?
I slowed down and walked quite a bit for two reasons:
- It was wicked hot and I needed to walk through people’s sprinklers and stand in hoses being sprayed.
- THERE WERE HILLS EVERYWHERE!
So many hills. I probably wouldn’t have cared if it weren’t so hot. I mean, considering I’m coming off of a hilly 25k PR just a couple weeks ago, you’d think I would have done better on a 10k, but I swear, it gets over 60 degrees and I am sweating like a pig and feel like I’m breathing in soup instead of air. Meh. Whatever. See, the way that I think of it is that I get more experience for my money if I run slower. If I run faster, it’s over too fast!
Although I could just hang out at the finish with the fast people and pound strawberries. And pretzel bread. Whatever that bread was, it was so amazing. Mmmmm.
Okay, okay, back to the race. I ran around 11 minute pace and there were some boss ladies who were around me for the last couple miles. One team of two was supporting each other when the one woman held back and the other went ahead, so we all started chatting with another older woman who was running near us.
Then they started talking about how much colonoscopies suck. I was suddenly able to run a little faster and go back to listening to my 90s jams playlist.
Finally, we rounded the home stretch and it was great to see the finish line for so long. It felt like it took a while to get there, but in the end, you can be like, “Whoa, we’re done already?” because brains are stupid things that make you think a sweaty 10k is no big deal even though you slogged through every step.
The food at the end was boss. There were plenty of bathrooms, which was nice. I kind of got trapped inside the stadium, but it turned out alright. Why do they make it so hard to get out of there!?
I really think the best part of the Reeds Lake Run was seeing the kids and dogs that participated. I LOVE that they allowed strollers this year, and that they allow dogs in general. There were so many happy dog faces and happy people with their pets and kids. It was so cute. Plus, you can tell that there are a lot of friends and neighbors who participate, so the vibe is pretty friendly.
What would I change or improve about the Reeds Lake Run? Well, the shirts are kinda weird. The sleeves are long-ish in a strange way. The website needs a lot more information: parking info, aid stations, bathrooms, etc. That’s probably it. The volunteers on the course were great, and there were lots of nice people cheering. Everyone did a great job and it was a lot of fun! I would do it again, but if it’s going to be that hot, I’d sign up for just the 5k and bring my booboo in the stroller with me. He would love all the dogs!