The 4th annual Randy Miner Memorial Country Run was held on June 10, 2017 in the small town of Etna Green, IN. Race time was 4:30pm for the mile race and 5:00pm for the 4 mile race. The weather was sunny and 84 degrees.
As stated, this was the 4th annual race, and I have ran all 4 years now. The race director is a good friend of mine, Todd Hoffer. While preparing as race director for our respective races, Todd and I bounce ideas off of each other throughout the year. Todd started Randy Miner Memorial Country Run soon after Randy Miner passed away. Randy used to be the race director of the Etna Green Country Run every 4th of July years ago, so Todd brought it back in his honor. Randy was also a relative w of mine (my moms cousin). So there are a couple of connections that I have to this race.
This is a small town race. The 1 mile race is a competitive race, not just a fun run. There were 53 finishers in the mile. The Four mile race had 71 runners. Some doubled up in the mile and 4 mile race. I am already not a huge fan of shorter races, so I stick to just running the 4 mile race. Tina and Chloe did run the mile though. It was hot but chloe refused to walk in the mile and ran the whole way. I didn’t even care about the time, she pushed through and finished it.
The Four mile started soon after the mile. I came into the race with very little expectations. I ran a marathon 13 days prior, a half a week prior, and a 5k just 3 days earlier. My legs were feeling trashed. Several of my running friends including other members of the Fleet Feet Racing Team were at the race as well. Bruce Faltynski, who I have known since high school and later team mates at Bethel College, was once again one of my biggest competitors. I say that but it has been a long time since I had actually beaten him, but I am alright with that.
Todd this year arranged for a canon start to the race. It was louder than it sounds in the video.
My plan was simple for this race. Start off relaxed, and try to keep even splits. Last year, I went out fast, and paid for it later on due to the heat, so much so, I walked, in a 4 mile race. Sad for me. I knew it would be another warm one so I didn’t want a repeat performance. I probably started off somewhere around 12th place, and just hoped some would have started off too fast. Sure enough, a lot did. First mile was in 6:15. I was probably in 8th place at that time. By the 2nd mile, I was 4th overall, but 3rd mile and ran the mile in 6:19.Honestly, I didn’t care about the one female that was ahead of me, I just wanted to be in top 3 for the men’s race. Todd makes very nice clock trophies for the top 3 overall in his races and I wanted another one to go with my 3rd place trophy from 2015.
For the first 2 miles we were battling the wind so it was great to turn north and get some reliefe, but it actually made it more difficult to breath and your throats became dry quickly. The last two miles I just hung on. I honestly thought I might be able to pass the first place female and maybe Bruce by the end, but in the last mile, I was not able to make up any ground, but didn’t lose any either. The last 2 miles were in 6:21 and 6:20. I finished with a time of 25:24, about 14 seconds behind Bruce and 4 seconds behind the first female. Maybe could have kicked it in to pass her at the end, but Todd does have the first place male and female runner break the finishers tape so thought that would be a cheap move to ruin her moment, and I wasn’t in danger of losing my 3rd place male finish. First place was only 26 seconds ahead, so top 3 were real close.
Todd does this race right. He has also made improvements. One of the things I talked to him about after last years race when temps were in the mid 90s was that there needed to be a second water stop. Todd and I talked the week leading up to the race on where the water stops should be and we came up with at mile 1.5 and 3. There were also a couple sprinklers on the course as well.
If you read last years review, you know Todd gives out great door prizes. Last year, we won a 52 inch flat screen. He gave another one away this year (no, we did not win it again). We did walk away with some great door prizes though. I won a training log, Tina won a medal rack hand made by Todd, and Chloe won the letters R-U-N cut out about 24 inches tall that he designed to have your bib numbers decoupaged onto them. Tina was really excited about these and will go in the basement of our new home as soon as we move in. The Fleet Feet Racing Team. Todd is standing between Bruce and I.
This has become a great race. Yeah I wish it was a morning race to avoid the heat, but it’s such a cool race that I won’t miss this race next year. Todd puts on a first class event and I love the small town feel. Who knows, maybe next year we will win the TV again.