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The Will, The Thrill, The Hill???

by Ken Lanphear

This weekend marks the 25th renewal of Kalamazoo's oldest running fitness event, the Kalamazoo Klassic, featuring a Kid's Klassic, Pump and Run, 10K run and 5K run and walk.

But, hill?  If you're not familiar with the event, the Klassic features a hill right at about the three mile mark of the 10K event.  And, it's not just any hill.  It's a half-mile long climb with a cobblestone along the way to conquer before you head into the home stretch of your run.

So, how do you handle such a challenge?  We talked with veteran runner and Kalamazoo Klassic Co-Director Bonnie Sexton about it and Bonnie recommends runners take deep breaths on the approach, shorten your stride and pump your arms, using them to help propel you to the top.  If you have to walk the hill, that's fine because for many runners, walking the steep incline is just as fast if not faster than running it.

Once at the top, you may need a few seconds to get your bearings and get your legs back on pace, but them you're ready to finish the run.

More information on this year's Kalamazoo Klassic can be found at http://www.kalamazooklassic.org/