Monthly Archives: April 2012

Kim Gee 5k-Joseph MacGown 1st place (16:29)


Joseph was feeling weird Wednesday, so his mother took him to the doctor and they played hooky and stayed at her place for the day. I guess he had some kind of rash on his face, so the doc prescribed some type of topical cream to put on his face. Nothing serious. Who knows?  So, he did not run with us today. Ended up being just me and Ian Prester. We met at the South Farm  at 3:30 pm and turned a 6 mile run into a fartlek run. Today, the wind was from the south, so we headed into it. We started the fast portions of the fartlek workout at around the 3 mile mark and only did a few. But, they were pretty good. The first was maybe two minutes, on a fairly flat grassy road and we were right around  a 5 minute pace or better for that. The other bursts varied in speed depending on the duration. The longer ones were slower, and the shorter ones were at a faster pace. With the wind, hills, gravel, and the temp, which was fairly warm, we were pretty thirsty by the 4th mile! Anyway, I thought it was a good run overall. Ian did pretty well, especially considering that he did not even know what a fartlek was before today.

Not too many people running with us right now. College kids are preparing for finals, and most of our regular high school kids have been running track or playing tennis. Hopefully, that will pick back up! Today was no exception, and it was just me and Joseph. We ran at about 5 pm through Longmeadow neighborhood, McKee Park, and down Industrial Park Road. I ended up doing 5.5 miles at a 7 minute pace and Joseph got in about 6 miles in the same time it took me to do my 5.5.

We took Friday off from running, although I did get a pushup type workout in that morning before work. Saturday, I figured we would either go run at the MSU track, or I would take Joseph to the Kim Gee 5k at MSU. He got up that morn and said, lets go to the race. So, there you go. Race time was 9 AM, so we did not have to get up overly early.  The Kim Gee race has been going on for a few years, and is named for a lady from this area who died of cancer a few years ago. So, of course, this is a cancer fundraiser. Holly Wiley is in charge of the race. She is a local fitness guru and a VERY enthusiastic person.

Holly Wiley and Joe Gee

Holly  had lots of help too, from folks like Elaine Schimpf, who rode her bike in the 5k to get everything started. Elaine is a fitness instructor at the Wellness Center.

Elaine Schimpf

Kim’s husband and kids have always been on hand for this race, and today was no exception. They now live in Horn Lake, MS. The dad and son (Joe and Joe) both ran the 5k. The son is only 13, and 13 year olds are not allowed to win awards in this race as they are encouraged to do the 1 mile fun run instead. Even so, he ran the 5k at a good pace and was in the top 8 for sure. I think he must have been around 21 minutes or so. He also won the mile fun run afterward with a time of 5:43 , and out gunned another 13 year old, Lake Spradling from Starkville Academy, to finish less than a second ahead of him.  Joseph ran the mile run with them to push their pace, which I think he succeeded in doing. Joe Gee’s daughter Mary Hollis also did well in the  mile run with her 7:09 and won it! Awesome! A Gee sweep in the Kim Gee mile fun run! I am Kim would have been very proud of them!

Joe Gee (middle) and Will Christianson (right)

We knew lots of folks at the race today of course! Jorge Villarreal, who runs for MSU, and occasionally runs with us, came out to watch Joseph run. In fact, he rode his bike along with him in the race. There was not a lead car or anything, so that was useful. The course itself wound around the Thad Cochran Research and Technology Park Boulevard located over on Old Hwy 82 .The first loop was on the inside of the Boulevard, then somewhere after the mile mark, the runners crossed the median through one of the crossroads, then the route followed the outside loop one time, then crossed back to the inside for another loop before finishing up behind one of the research buildings. Worked pretty well.

Race Start, Kim Gee 5k

Joseph had a pretty good race today and easily won with a time of 16:29. As I mentioned in a previous post, he has been training more for the mile and two mile, so his 5k times are not expected to be great. He said he felt good until the two mile point, then was pretty tired, but slogged in decently even so. His training will come back to the 5k later in the summer, so hopefully he can get under 16 next fall. He said he felt like he could have or should have been 16:10 or so today. His form did get a little sloppy on the last mile, with him crossing his arms across his chest. Need to work on that! The course, according to Garmin watches (including mine, which Jorge wore while biking), appeared to be relatively accurate today. And, at least it was not a quarter mile long or anything as in the last couple of races. I think Joseph was happy overall with the race as this was his best 5k time yet.

Joseph during the Kim Gee 5k

Local fireman Wade Jones was 2nd overall at 18:21.

Wade Jones

One of our XC runners from Starkville High, Nathan Gaudin, was 3rd overall and 1st in his age group with a 20:05 effort. Nathan is in excellent overall shape and can do lots of pushups, pullups, and that sort of thing, in addition to his being a decent runner.

Nathan “the beast” Gaudin

Gaudin doing pushups after the 5k

Several other folks we know did well, including Steve Shaffer (Steve ran the race, but apparently did not go through the finish-just did it for fun I gues?), who was near the 21 minute mark (not bad for 58) and  Will Christianson, who was 5th overall with a 21:12. Will is 14 years old and runs XC at Starkville Academy where his mom is the coach now.  The person who won my age group, 46-55, won with a time of 20:30. I feel pretty confident I could have done that, probably by about two minutes. So that was cool.

Happy runners: Melissa, David Gaudin, Amanda Gaudin, and some red haired dude. They look so happy!

I won’t list everyone, but we probably knew most of the runners at the race today.  Another fireman, Brian Arnett, ran the race in full gear, including mask and everything. He still ran 23:43 and managed to beat lots of folks! Quite a few of our firemen are in great shape, which is good to know considering that they are the ones out there saving lives. David Gaudin, whose son and daughter both ran, is another fireman who ran well today. He also seemed to really enjoy it (see the photo above)!

Overall 5k results: Kim Gee 5k 2012 Results 

Overall mile fun run results: Kim Gee Youth Race 2012 Results

Brian Arnett, local fire fighter in full gear (except shorts and boots)

Tomorrow, we will again meet at the South Farm at 5:30 pm to run. I am thinking about taking the punk to either the Market Street 5k or the Coke Classic 10k next Saturday. The Market Street race is nice and is held along the riverwalk in Columbus, MS. Very flat, pretty. Usually nobody super fast though. On the other hand, the Coke Classic, which is in Corinth, MS, will have some quality runners. This race has cash prizes, so will pull some speedy jokers in. Also, the Corinth Coca-Cola Classic 10k has been designated as the 10k championship for the State of Mississippi by Roadrunners Club of America! No race day registration for this one! Very sweet race though with cool awards.

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Windy Start to the Week


Sunday at 5:30 pm Joseph, Brent [Wallace], Arash [Taheri], and I did a few miles on the gravelly South Farm. It was a crazy windy today! And, cooler than usual. Wind can be hazardous. Even opening the door to my truck become dangerous.  As I was getting out of the truck, the wind blew the door back at me hitting me in the head! Arash arrived after us, and he said he only got in about 30 minutes. The rest of us started out at at a decent pace, with me and Brent behind Joseph. Brent and I did the first mile right at 7 minutes, then we  picked it up with a 6:40 second mile, and a 6:33 third mile. Joseph was off doing his own thing, and took some different loops than we did after the 2nd mile, but was going at a slighter faster pace than us. As we made the turn back to the north, we hit a wall of wind! The next miles were 7:00, 7:14, 7:06, and 6:58. Brent and I basically ran side by side for the entire run, except for the last 3/4 of mile, of which Brent slowed down. This was the longest run he had done in some time, as he had been going no further than 5.5 miles or so the last couple of months. On our way back, the wind was blowing so hard, we could not even think about talking because the wind was so loud! When Brent and I got back to the parking lot, Arash was already there, following his run. I got some water, talked a while, and then went back out to get in a couple more miles. The other two running jokers took off.  At some point while I was running, I found Joseph out there cruising around. We headed back, stretched, and got out of there. I don’t know how far he went, but at least 10 miles. Finished off the day with a “Rock and Roll” pizza from CJ’s Pizza. I highly recommend them! Loads of toppings, including jalepenos. When we picked up the pizza, we were greeted by Ian Prester, who sometimes run with us. He was there with some church friends. On Monday afternoon, it was Ian, Joseph, Arash, and I meeting at the research park for a nice workout. Like the day before, strong winds prevailed making the running arduous. I only did the warm up mile with the guys, then after stretching, rode my bike with them. This works out pretty good, I can help pace them, tell them where to stop, and can carry water for them in my back pack. The negative is that I am not getting the workout in. But, I can’t keep up with Joseph and Arash any more, and although I can keep up with Ian, I am enjoying pushing Joseph and all of them more than my need to push myself. Also, with the plantar fasciatus injury that I am apparently finally getting over, I don’t want to over do it! Trying to keep the running to no more than 5 times a week right now. Today they did 3 X 1 mile then a 2 mile run with about 2 minutes breaks between the miles and slightly longer before the 2 mile run, before cooling down with a 2 mile jog. Times for the run were supposed to be geared to 10k pace. Arash’s times were  5:14, 5:16, 5:26, and 11:36; Joseph’s were 5:27, 5:19, 5:08, and 11:18; and Ian’s were  5:46, 6:01, 5:45, and 12:32. That last 2 mile run was hard for all of them following the 3 X 1 mile runs. The wind definitely increased the difficulty of the workout today! On Wednesday, Joseph and I ran through Longmeadow neighborhood.  Since I did not do much the day before, I thought I would run part of the run today at a decent pace. We got going at a 7-7:15 pace for the first 1/2 mile or so, then I picked it up. I ran a 5k portion of the run in 18:55, which included the first half mile at the 7 minute-ish pace. This was the best I had done since my foot injury. And, on a positive note, I ended at a 5:40 pace and the 2nd part of the first mile was about that same pace. I think I could probably do something in 18:30 or better right now. Starting to get back in shape. Would like to get back to running at least in the 17’s for the 5k. Maybe I can stay healthy! I think I was about 17:30-ish shape when I hurt my foot. On the other hand, maybe I was pushing it too much and that is why I hurt my foot. While I was doing my thing, Joseph ran about 25 minutes at a decent pace. He did not go the same route as me, so I don’t know what he did exactly. Tomorrow we will meet at the South Farm for an easy run plus a few 200m strides.

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Old Cotton Mill 5k and 20th reunion of the Boardtown Running Club


Ian Prester, Joseph, and I ran a six mile loop at the South Farm Wednesday afternoon at about 3:40 pm. It felt pretty good out, but with strong north winds. Started the pace maybe a little fast and my first mile, which I ran with Ian was 6:45. Joseph was well ahead of that, probably around 6:00 minutes, then our second mile was 6:40, not too bad. I was feeling alright, so I picked up the next one to about 6:20. Ian slowed down a bit, and Joseph was still well in front of me. At the 3.5 mile mark, I stopped to stretch and wait for Ian. Then we headed back with a nice wind in our faces. I only ran with Ian a couple of minutes, as he seemed to be dragging a little. With the wind, I figured I would be hard pressed to run the remaining distance under 7 minutes per mile, but managed to keep the 2.5 miles left just under 7. Ended up averaging about 6:40 for the 6 miles. Joseph was well ahead of me. I don’t know his pace but it was decent today for sure, and not sure about Ian either. His first 3.5 were for sure better than the last 2.5. He said that he started out too fast and in the future would either start slower or do a little warmup jog to get loose.

I went to the MS coast on Thursday and Friday looking at crazy ants! Fun stuff for sure. While I was down there I got a great 30 minute run in down a very flat road. Probably the best run I have had since my foot injury! Felt great the entire way. Joseph said he got in a an easy run that day too. I got back Friday after 5 pm and did not run. Joseph said he also took the day off from running. I planned on signing Joseph up for the Old Cotton Mill 5k the next morning.  We looked at the weather forecast, and it looked bleak! Thunderstorms through the early morning into late morning. Chances of running looked grim! We got up early the next morning just in case and found that it had not rained. Checked the weather, and rain chances were now only 10%! Crazy. Instead, it was much cooler, but not bad really, about 53°F, and very windy and cloudy. Looked good. The kid ate a breakfast bar, apple, and drank some orange juice at 5:30 AM, then went back to bed for an hour. He got up and we headed to the Cotton District section of Starkville for the 5k race held in conjunction with the arts festival. Even the awards are art; pieces of beautiful pottery made by MSU ceramics professor Robert Long.

With the race being in Starkville, we, of course, knew many people, even met a couple new ones. Some of the high school and junior high XC and track kids from both Starkville High and Starkville Academy were there. Our buddy Ethan Musser ran, as did his dad Fred, and his two sisters Abigail and Shaunika. Eighth grader Patrick Bell ran, as did sophomore Alex Ross, who is currently ranked number 1 in the 3200m event for the 5A  division in the public schools. Of course, Steve Shaffer was there. Brent Wallace, who runs with our group some, ran the race without entering, but probably would have won his age group with his time in the 19’s.

Saw an old classmate of mine, Steve Porter, who is now a dentist in Columbus, MS and caught the running bug a while back. Great to see him!

Steve Porter

The race, with its 287 runners, was slated to start at 8 AM, but due to accommodating late entrants, they ended up starting at 8:15. Bummer, because everyone was ready to run at 8 AM. But, it did eventually get started. Joseph was up front with Ethan, Patrick, and Alex ready to roll.

Race Start

As the race started, a feller wearing baggy shorts and a coat took off in front (see the guy on right in photo below). Joseph said the guy told him that he would not be there long, but was going to keep up with him for a couple of minutes anyway. That is about how it worked out!


As in previous years, the race started on University Drive and headed toward the MSU campus where it meandered around the North side of campus around some dorms, the Sanderson Center Lake, and elsewhere, before heading back. Its a difficult course, with some long slow hills strategically located to make the race harder (or so it seems). I did not run this year, but according to some friends who had Garmin watches, the course was slightly long, and instead of being 3.1 miles was more like 3.2 or so. But, it was not raining!

As the cop headed back around Joseph came running in first. He ended up running 17:16, the same time he ran last weekend, and still within the time I wanted to see him for a Saturday 5k right now. Actually, with the course being a little long, that would have equated to about a 16:41 5k time, so that was fine. Also, during the run, some one had forgotten to take down a rope between two barricades. The police officer saw in and went around it, but Joseph did not. He ran full force into it with his waist, knocking things over and him mostly as well. After the race, the cop checked on Joseph to make sure he was ok. That was very nice. Other than slowing him down, he was mostly fine.

Joseph near finish

The second place finisher was around 18:46, which I think I could still have done, even with the course supposedly being long.  Alex Ross, who will be running the 3200m race in the regional high school meet next week, came in around 4th or 5th with about a 19:07. Ethan Musser and Patrick also did a pretty good job. This was the first time Alex had beaten Ethan, although to be fair, Ethan has run much faster than he did today. He has been playing tennis this spring, not running. At any rate, All four of them were in the 14-19 age group and Joseph took the overall trophy, Alex was then 1st in the age group, with Ethan 2nd, and Patrick 3rd!

Joseph, first place overall

Alex Ross, 1st place 14-19 male age group

The overall female winner was Meg Henderson, a very nice young lady who runs with the Boardtown Running Club, and does triathlons. Second place overall was Shaunika Musser!

Meg Henderson

Our buddy Steve Shaffer did well and won his age group today!! If you are reading this blog Steve, I have your awesome pottery trophy in my truck and will give it to you when I see you.

Steve Shaffer

All in all a nice race today. Lots of people, lots of enthusiasm! Runners are all nice and love to talk about running, as do I! One guy we met was Cliff Story, who is a doctor at the MSU Heath Clinic. Apparently, he has just recently started running and has lost around 60-70 lbs! He is in his early 40’s and already running in the 22’s for his 5ks! He even placed 3rd place in his age group today.

Cliff Story, 3rd place 40-45 male

After the awards, I left Joseph at the arts festival and went to a the Boardtown Running club’s 20th reunion at the home of Mike and Marcie White. Actually, 20th reunion is not really accurate, as the club was around before that. This was really the 20th reunion of Mike and Marcie opening their home to runners. They have done this basically every Saturday morning at 6:30 AM for the last 20 years!! Folks bring food to eat after running, and hang out eating and talking about running! How awesome is that. I stayed there a while, then back to the festival to listen to music, look at art, eat, and talk to folks.

Tomorrow, back to it. We will be at the South Farm at 5:30 PM for a run. Come on out if you like! Meet at the parking lot near the softball and soccer fields on Stone Boulevard near the Vet school.

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Rain, running, and rest…


Joseph and I met Newman Kazery Sunday at 5:30 pm for a run through the South Farm gravel roads. Newman  has never run with us before, but has wanted to. His busy schedule makes it difficult for him to do everything. Among his many talents, this MSU student is apparently a great violinist! Newman participates in many of the local road races. We saw him at the Frostbite Half Marathon, for example. Two of his younger brothers, William and Peter, run XC at the University of West Alabama. Their dad is also an avid runner and has done many races. Anyway, I like Newman, he’s a crazy joker!

Joseph and I planned to do at least an hour today, but Newman was only going 4 miles, then back to his studies. I ran the first 2 miles with him, and he turned around and headed back. Joseph was so far ahead by then, I could barely see him. Punk. I ended up doing a 7 mile loop, got some water and ran a couple more. About 7:25 per mile average. I was hurting from another day of cutting trees and moving them. Joseph ran for 80 minutes, not sure how far. His first few were obviously in the mid 6’s, but he said he slowed down later. Probably a good idea, since he had just run a decent 5k the day before.

The forecast for Monday was for rain, and more rain. But, we only got a little that morning. So, at 3:30 pm, Joseph and I met Ian Prester for a 5 X 1 mile workout around the MSU Research Park Loop. Paved road, continuous loop, some elevational gradients, all in all, a great place to do mile intervals. At least in prep for road races, which this simulates quite well. On the way through the research park, we saw a guy running who I thought was an MSU track runner.  I said to Joseph, “that guy runs just like the MSU guys’ coach, Houston Franks. Coach Franks [who is and was a great runner], has his guys trained well”. Then, when we got closer, I realized it was Coach Franks! Anyway, I guess his running style is pretty distinctive!

I jogged along with Ian and Joseph for the warm up, which was about a mile. Then I got on my bike to pace them, and let them know where to stop for each mile. Based on Ian’s best 5k time, which is around 19:25, I figured he might want to shoot for 6:05 to 6:08 per mile. Joseph’s best 5k is around 16:30ish, so figured his should be around 5:15 or so. The rest break between each mile was 2 to 3 minutes. Here is their breakdown: Joseph-5:14, 5:08, 5:19, 5:22, and 5:04; and Ian was 6:20, 6:04, 5:50, 5:44, and 5:16.  Joseph looked a little tired today, probably with the 5k Saturday, the hard week before, and the probably too fast 80 minute run on Sunday. But, still, for the most part he was right around where he needed to be with an average of 5:13 per mile. Ian ended up with an average of about 5:51 per mile, which was much better than his 5k’s indicated he would do. In fact, I would guess that he should easily be running 18:30’s or better right away. And, his last one at 5:16 was super good. He said it was his fastest mile ever. PR! Pretty good for the last one in a set of 5. If he can get those all down to mid 5’s or better, he will be running under 18 before long! Anyway, they got in a 1.5 mile cool down (more or less), stretched, and we got out of there.

Well, we got the rain on Tuesday! Been raining all day with no end in sight. Will take today off and rest! Back to it tomorrow, but probably nothing hard. I think we are going with the one workout this week, with the rest easy. Joseph and some of our other guys will be running in the Old Cotton Mill 5k this Saturday morn here in Starkville. A few other folks will be heading to the Warrior Dash in Jackson. There is yet another 5k here in Starkville next Saturday, the Kim Gee 5k, which will actually be held at the Research Park where we ran today.

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Kudzu Killer 5k done, Cotton Mill 5k next


Got up early this morning and left Starkville around 5:30 am enroute to Holly Springs to take Joseph to the Killer Kudzu 5k. Drew Kellum told us about it. Not a giant race, but with cash awards for first through third male and female, they get a few decent runners. Today was no exception as three time SEC cross country champion Barnabus Kirui, a Kenyan who ran for Ole Miss, stole the show with his 15:15, and Meggan Franks ran a 18:01 for first place in the female division and a course record! Barnabus was maybe 5’4″ and couldn’t have weighed more than 110 pounds. He was shooting for Brian Pope’s course record of 14:55, but did not get it. Actually, he could possibly have done it, but at some point in the race, he made a wrong turn and had to turn back around. Not far, but possibly enough to have made a difference. Nice to see Meggan get a course record though!

Meggan Franks

The race started at 9 AM with a send off by the Queen of the Pilgrimage and her escort. The race was held in conjunction with the Holly Springs Pilgrimage. The entire thing was pretty weird, but also pretty cool. Random dudes were dressed up like Kudzu monsters. Yeah, whatever they are. They also had some sort of battle reenactment in a nearby cemetery, which was part of the 5k course. A few booths selling crafts, a nice lady selling Italian Ice, and things like that.

I met the Pilgrimage queen, Emma Elgin, and her escort, John Lafever, after the race started. They are both seniors at the high there. Very nice kids.

A couple of other Starkvillians showed up for the race too. Ian Prester, who has been running with us some lately was there with his mom, dad, and sister, all of whom ran! They live in Memphis, and with a large contingent from Memphis, made their way down here to the race, which was not far away. And, of course, superstar Meggan Franks was there as well!

I jogged along with Ian and Joseph as they warmed up, then I hung around talking to people after the race started.

Joseph and Ian at the Start

As I mentioned, the former Ole Miss star easily won the race. Coming in second was former Tupelo standout Drew Kellum. Drew ran in college at Hendrix College in Arkansas also. He is now working on some sort of degree at MSU. He is super nice and very enthusiastic about running and life in general. I believe he ran around 16:23ish. Pretty respectable time.

Drew Kellum

He was followed by someone I did not know, then Joseph was 4th in 17:17 (1st in the 15-19 age group). One of the race directors, a friend of Drew’s came in 5th with an 18:00, despite being dressed as a Kudzu monster and having started the race late. Meggan Franks was the first female and right behind him with an 18:01.  Ian came in about 19:30ish (don’t have his exact time yet), which was good enough for 2nd in his age group (20-24). His dad also placed 2nd in his age group, and his mom won an award as well.

Joseph’s 17:17 was certainly not blazing, but not terrible. I figured he would have been in the mid 16’s, but that might have  been irrational thinking. Even though he opted not to run track this spring, he has been training as though he is running the 1600m and 3200m races. He is doing that to keep his training consistant year to year, plus, he may run the 1500m and 3000m in a couple of AAU meets in early June. So, I have been giving him workouts and a running schedule designed for 1 to 2 mile races, not 5k and 10k races. However, doing some 5k and 10k’s works out well, because it pushes him to run the distance at the threshold pace that I want him to do for that amount of time. And, since we would do the tempo runs on Saturdays right now, it works very well. However, it frustrates him a little to be running slower 5k’s than during XC season when he knows he is probably in better; albeit, different shape. And, even though he is not training for the 5k, I think he could be running them much faster if he really believed he could. He said that today he felt like he never got running fast enough and just stayed with that pace. Either way, the training he has been doing is working for his 2 mile race, as he can easily run 10:08 now as part of a workout, and I am pretty sure he could break 10 minutes for that distance. So, he should be happy that taken in totality, his workouts and other running are all at the right paces for the training he is doing!

Ian, Meggan, and Joseph

Back to the MSU South Farm for a run tomorrow afternoon at 5:30 pm…

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