VALPARAISO | A strong and steady wind Saturday morning gave runners an additional element to deal with at the 19th annual Ringing in Spring.
All four winning times (men’s and women’s 5K and 10K) were slower than at last year’s event, some of which was attributed to the winds.
“The race was a lot windier than it was last year,” overall 5K winner Ben Savage said. “It was tough, but that’s what road-racing is.”
There were some areas that offered shelter from the wind, but outside of those areas, it was tough going for the racers.
“In the neighborhoods, there was a little bit of shelter from the wind with the houses, but you could definitely tell when you were running in the wind,” said Adam Piaskowy who finished second in the 5K. “It was like, ‘Oh, man.’”
Karen Nagel, who won the women’s 10K, said there were portions of the course where the wind was especially difficult.
“The second loop was very windy,” Nagel said. “It made for a tough second loop.”
Changes come to Ringing in Spring: The event featured a change to the 10K course, a chance for runners to pick their race after they had started and a technological advancement.
Last year’s 10K race had runners run the same 5K loop twice, while this year’s race had a different route that didn’t repeat pervious parts of the course.
The runners said this was a welcome change, especially because of the second-portions lack of hills.
“You don’t get as many hills on the back side as you do on the front,” overall 10K champ Jeff Mescal said. “It had some long straights coming back, and I liked that.”
In last year’s first installment of the 10K race, runners had to choose which race they wanted to run beforehand. This year, the courses shared the opening 2.5 mile stretch, so when the two courses diverged, runners could pick which way they wanted to go.
“If they feel good, when they get up to 2.5 miles, they can go on the 10K course,” race organizer Mike Jones said.
A new technological tool was added for this year’s race. The electronic chip each runner wore for recording times had the ability to have a runner’s final time texted to a cell phone as soon as the runner crossed the finish line.