« Health & Fitness

Meijer State Games of Michigan

by Michael Louden

Last weekend I took part in the Meijer State Games of Michigan.  This was my third time competing in the games and it keeps getting better each year.

I competed in the Track and Field portion of the State Games at East Kentwood High School.  The two events I competed in were the one mile run and the 800m run.  When I discovered this event three years ago, I thought this would be a lot of fun to compete in because their are not a lot of track meets to compete in like their are 5K races.  I also thought 'What if I finish last because these are all elite runners?'  Well, this isn't a meet involving elite runners, just a lot of people that want to have fun running.

People of all ages compete in the Track and Field portion of the games.  In the races I competed in there were people as young as seven and people as old as 75.  

Now my first race on Saturday was the 800m run.  It was a very warm and humid day, but that did not bother me since these two races were not very long.  I was seeded 6th in the race.  The gun sounded and I turned on the jets going out with leaders.  We got back to the start line and had one lap to go and I ran a 1:10 first lap.  Then my legs felt like bricks and my pace started to slow because I started out too quickly.  I came in and finished the race with a time of 2:36 and took 5th overall.  I just missed out on my goal by two seconds as I was looking to beat my best time of 2:35.  It was still good enough for 1st in my age group.

Then a couple of hours later I took part in my final race of the day the one mile run, a total of four laps around the track.  For this race I was seeded 7th.  Before the race I decided I wouldn't go out with the leaders because I didn't want to tire myself out too quickly.  The gun sounded and I held back in the middle of the pack.  I passed two runners in the first two laps and was in 4th place and that is where I finished.  I however put myself into cruise control and felt like I held back too much.  I ran a 6:04 mile and was 5 seconds off my goal of finishing under a 6 minute mile.  I still finished 1st in my age group.

Even though I didn't meet my goals, I still had a great time running and competing and I took home a couple of gold medals.  Next year those time barriers will fall.