Michigan's Nike+ Human Race Succeeds at Every Stride 5K/10K

10/26/2009 - 11:27

00_humanrace2009_0.jpgBy Jennie McCafferty - BELDING (10/24/09) – The golf course or the roads? In the wet hours before the Nike+ Human Race at the Every Stride 5K/10K, race director Chris Nicholas and Candlestone Golf and Resort GM Mike Husby wondered whether the 5K would have to be moved from the Candlestone Golf Course to the roads. Two inches of drenching rains Friday afternoon and evening before Saturday morning's races left lots of puddles. At race time, the golf course was a go and more than 900 5K runners had themselves a slippery, muddy, classic, cross-country race.

This year, the second running of the Every Stride 5K/10K was part of the Nike+ Human Race, a day of 27 coordinated races in the U.S. and around the world.

The starts for the 5K and 10K races were timed so that runners could run both races for a single entry fee. It appeared that many runners took advantage of that opportunity and were able to experience two very different courses. Shortly after the start, the 5K took a turn onto the Candlestone Golf course which featured beautiful Fall foliage, rolling green fairways, and puddles before finishing on the golf course.

The 10K course took runners along a country road, across and along the Flat River, along the paths of the Silk City Nature Trail, through Belding's downtown and through scenic neighborhoods. The 10K took a short turn to finish up on the golf course.

The Gazelle Sports "Gazelle" mascot led the kids though jumping-jack warmups before the kids's races around a grass course on the Candlestone golf driving range.

David Vandermeer, 31, of Wyoming, wore spikes for the 5K and they served him well as he finished first in 17:04. He came back for the 10K, took the lead early, and again finished first in 35:33. Vandermeer was disappointed with his own performance at the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon earlier in the week and was on a quest to redeem himself. Now, with two wins, he has some bragging rights.

Jessica Sowles, 28, of Muskegon, also tackled both races, finishing first in the 5K with 21:02 and second in the 10K in 42:43. Jessica's times are coming after her own stellar 3:09:59 in the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon.

Nancy Kocsis, 44, of Grandville was the first women's master in 22:54. Michigan Runner of the year, Hank Risley, 41, of Cedar Springs, is having a good fall season. Hank was top master in both the 5K (18:28) and the 10K (36:55).

In the 10K, triathlete Abby Geuink, 25, of Hudsonville, ran the 10K in 42:16. Not far behind was Beth Ciangi, the third female and top women's master in the 10K, in 43:30.

5K Walk winners were Daniel Vangessel, 48 of Ada in 28:45 and Cindy Scoby, 52, of Lowell in 33:27.

All open and masters winners won engraved crystal awards as well as Nike+ gear and certificates for Nike shoes. Age group medals went 5 deep in both races.

Each of the 1,716 participants received Nike+ technical shirts, a round of golf at Candlestone Golf and Resort and a hearty buffet prepared by Candlestone staff.

For complete results see

Michigan Runner TV video will be posted Sunday on YouTube and at

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