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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