This weekend was the 7th annual Bill Roney Memorial 5k. This was my 4th race this year and my first 5k since last year’s Corktown Races 5k where I PR’d. The race is put on by Hanson’s Running Shop and was part of the Hanson’s Racing Circuit.
The short of it:
Chip Time: 25:25 (a new PR!)
8th of 13 in age group.
80th of 184 in men’s overall
Who is Bill Roney?
Bill Roney was a local runner here in Southeast Michigan. He was very enthusiastic towards the Hanson-Brooks Distance Project and maintained the houses where the teams members live in. He became a close friend of the Hanson brothers over the years. In 2007, Bill lost his fight with cancer and that same year the annual Hanson’s 5k was renamed in his honor. There was a great article on Roney and his family a few years back that is available here.
My morning prep has been a little more impromptu lately. I woke up around 7 and lounged around trying to wake up. Breakfast was an English muffin and a slice of pizza leftover from the night before (I swear, pizza is my power food). By 7:30, I hastily threw on my gear and opened headed out. I had no idea that 3+ inches of snow had came down overnight. I quickly cleaned off the car and drove off since I wasn’t sure how long the commute would take. In decent weather its a 35 minute drive, so I figured it could easily take an hour.
The race starts at an elementary school about 4 blocks form the Hanson’s Utica store. Tables were setup along the side of the building for packet pick-up, trying to avoid the cold wind. The snow was still falling. I grabbed my bib and shirt, then decided to sit in the car until closer to start time. Warm-up run? No, I’ll just crank up the heat and listen to the radio.
Around 9:30 I decided to get out and scope the start area again. I noticed that parked a few spots over was the truck of my running friend and fellow Hanson’s Circuit member, Jon. I went to look for him and instead spotted the Bigby’s had setup a tent with free coffee. I made a beeline for a cup. When I turned around, I didn’t see Jon, but Melanie. Melanie was the little sister of one of my close friend’s growing up, Adam. I found out earlier that week that Bill Roney was their uncle. I may have even met him in my past, but it was too long ago to remember. After spotting Melanie, I found her mother (Bill’s sister) and Adam with his daughter. We talked a bit, catching up before it was time to line up.
The course starts at the elementary school, winds around the residential streets of Utica and ends at the Hanson’s Shop. I’m not familiar with the area at all, I had left my watch at work and there weren’t mile markers; so I was really running blind. I think it was to my advantage. There was a guy calling out split times at what I figured was the mile mark. I was just over 8:00. At first I wanted to tell my body to pull back. I was worried I was going out too fast, too soon. Instead I convinced myself to try to hold on to this pace. I could feel my pace slip a little in the next mile, but not by much.
Fortunately after the first 2 blocks, the roads were all plowed. There were only a few patches of slush to avoid. There was no one calling out split times at the 2nd mile mark, so I had no real grasp of time or speed. My only reasoning was to keep the guy wearing shorts and a Hanson’s BDP shirt in sight, thinking he was running at a decent pace. I didn’t have a grasp of how much further I had until the last 3 blocks. Once I turned the corner to see the finish line, I kicked it in. Once I was close enough to see the clock reading 25 and change, I put in everything I had left to make sure I stayed sub 26.
Lined outside of the shop were bagels, bananas, water, Gatorade and GU Chomps. Bigby’s had a second tent set up at the finish line, too. I bumped into Jon as he was finishing and we chatted a bit. before he went off for a cool down. I decided to go inside the shop to warm up. A rep for Brooks in the store, with free Run Happy swag. I scored a koozie and a sticker.
In the parking lot behind the store, they held the awards ceremony and raffle. They had two boxes full of prizes including Brooks beer mugs, Amphipod gear, Lock Laces and a few copies of their book, Hanson’s Marathon Method. Kevin Hanson announced the winners and members of the elite team (including Olympian Marathoner, Desi Davila) were there to had off the awards and prizes.
One last thing of note. I thought it was great that all 12 and under participants of the fun run were given awards. You can really tell that the Hanson family is committed to promoting running in the community. We’re very fortunate to have a company so committed to its community. If you you’re lucky enough to have a company like Hanson’s in your area, remember to support them and buy from them. The online stores have great deals at times, but they will never be able to give that local support, which I think is priceless.