“Two minutes!” shouts Lorain County Community College cross-country Coach James Powers as the runners make their way to the starting line after finishing up their warm-ups of quick sprints and stretching. After a few words of encouragement, they take off into the fields surrounding the LCCC Tennis Courts.
About 101 runners of all ages and levels of experience and one dog turned out for the Santarelli 5K and one-mile run on Aug. 17 to commemorate David Santarelli, who ran cross-country for LCCC in 1973 and passed away from cancer in 1977.
“We had a great race this year,” Powers said, who commented on how the 2014 race had been the best in the past 10 years.
As the runners begin to stretch out from one another on the track, it is clear that their surroundings were a challenge, more so than the actual three mile run.
“The grass is high, the hill is tough. That is just how it goes,” Powers clarified before the race even began. The surroundings even affected the finishing time of the runners.
“The winning time of 18:34 is very good on our course at this time of the year,” Powers added, which are usually slower than most courses due to the hill and uneven terrain, and quite a few horseflies’ stings.
Many of the runners were from schools such as Lorain County Community College, Western Reserve and Elyria Catholic. Several that placed in the top positions of the 5K participated in the summer running camp at LCCC, which is geared to assist middle school and high school distance runners prepare for the fall cross country season, but is also open to the public.
Most of the participants ended the race with a high five and a smile, and some even returned to the sidelines of the track to help friends and family members run out the rest of the race. The encouragement from the crowd, that did their own sprints to get to various parts of the field to watch the runners, didn’t cease.
Coach Powers also gave tips for future runners on how to prepare for any future race or to start getting into shape.
“Make sure you have medical clearance to begin a running program. Start slow and easy with a combination of walking and jogging. Get a good pair of running shoes. Set a small number of specific, realistic goals to accomplish, and give yourself plenty of time to achieve the goal. Listen to any aches, pains you have and it’s ok to take a rest.”
2014 Santarelli Memorial 5K Race Results
1. COLIN MCCAULEY 18:34
2. NICK MILLER 19:14
3. JOSH CONRAD 19:29
4. BRENDAN OSWALT 19:30
5. SAMUEL WEILAND 20:47
6. TYLER ROBINSON 20:59
7. AMANDA MILLER 20:59
8. DERRICK VILK 21:17
9. TERRENCE BAKER 21:31
10. TIMOTHY STEPHENS 21:48
OVERALL TOP FIVE
1. COLIN MCCAULEY 1. AMANDA MILLER
2. NICK MILLER 2. JULES FROMBACH
3. JOSH CONRAD 3. VICTORIA OEFTERING
4. BRENDAN OSWALT 4. MCKINLEY SHAWVER
5. SAMUEL WEILAND 5. KATIE BARLOW