Runners from across Indiana braved cold temperatures and snow showers on Saturday to take part in the 22nd Annual ‘Ringing In Spring’ 5/10K Race held by the Valparaiso Family YMCA. Nearly 1400 racers battled the elements as they wound their way through the north Valparaiso neighborhood.
“It’s cold!” said the YMCA ‘Ringing In Spring’ Race Director, Mike Jones.”Things went very well this year. It was really a great race!”
“We started the race in 1994 so this is our 22nd year,” added Jodi Jackson, Event and Volunteer Coordinator with the Valparaiso Family YMCA. “We’re the largest springtime race in Northwest Indiana. We had 1389 registered runners this year which is a little low but it’s snowing and this is a weird year where Easter and everything is a little early.”
The race wouldn’t have been possible if not for the help from the over 200 volunteers who came out to make this year's Ringing In Spring another success for the Valpo YMCA.
“We utilize around 200 volunteers and some are members and others are just volunteering with us,” said Jackson. “We go through the neighborhoods so that’s why a lot of people like our race. We have a lot of neighborhoods that, when the weather is nice, actually come out and cheer on the racers. That’s another thing that our participants enjoy about the race. We start planning in October and we couldn’t do it without the cooperation of our sponsors, the City of Valparaiso and the residents in the neighborhoods.”
Extra Mile Fitness was a sponsor of this year’s race and the Extra Mile Fitness racing team was out in force to run the first race of the Spring. Team coach, Sue Brown, was there coordinating and cheering on her team.
“I’ve been coaching for Extra Mile for three or four years now,” said Brown. “This is the ‘5k Beginning Running’ group and there’s about 35 of them and for half of them this is their first race. The other half have run before but they just needed something to get them started again. This program is an 8-week run/walk program so they started running one minute, walking one minute and building up to ten minutes, walk one minute. Their goal today was to get to the one mile mark and then walk one minute.”
“We train twice a week and I think they’re all ready,” Brown said. “I’m really excited to see what they can do. They’ve exceeded expectations. The best thing about running in a group is the power of commitment and the fact that other people are waiting on you. It’s a little bit colder than we hoped it would be today and that’s really hard on beginners but dealing with the elements is just part of being a runner.”
Overall winners of the 5K and 10K races for males were: Sidney Noble who ran the 5K in 16:59.5, and Michael Ridenour who ran the 10K race in 35:20.3.
Overall female winners of the 5K and 10K races were: Crystal Reichert whose 5K run clocked in at 19:36.7, and Chrys Davis who finished the 10K race in 41:24.7.
Sponsors of the event included:
Community Healthcare Systems - St. Mary’s Medical Center
Urschel Laboratories Inc.
Extra Mile Fitness Company
BMO Harris Bank
Teacher’s Credit Union
Meredith Klemm Coldwell Banker
Indiana 105 FM
AJ’s Pizza Co.
Thorgen Tool & Molding
Sunrise Health Foods
Valparaiso University’s Summer Smart, Summer Fun
Relive the history of "Ringing in Spring" with our "In a Past Life" video: