Single digit temperatures accompanied the inaugural Winter Blast Half Marathon and 5k held February 17, 2013, with 461 of 553 registered runners finishing the half marathon and 214 of nearly 300 registered runners finishing the 5k event. Presented by the Kalamazoo Area Runners and the City of Portage, the event commemorated the city’s 50th anniverary celebration.
Michael Nasuta won the overall men’s title in the 5k with a time of 17:54, and Katie Sorensen the overall women’s title in a time of 23:13. Dan Higgason and Sarah Hamric won the men’s and women’s master’s titles with times of 20:12 and 25:52, Ken Miller and Kathy Farrow the men’s and women’s grand masters titles with times of 21:06 and 26:23, and Doug Krueger and Rita Lareau the men’s and women’s senior grand masters titles with times of 25:04 and 33:20 respectively.
The Winter Blast Half Marathon served as the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) State Half Marathon Championship. Zachary Baker won the overall men’s RRCA Championship title with a time of 1:24:20, and Lauren MacVicar won the overall women’s RRCA State Championship title with a time of 1:27:44. Mike Waterman and Leslie Scheffers won the master’s titles with times of 1:26:13 and 1:32:53, Kevin Steely and Pam McBride the grand master’s titles with times of 1:44:56 and 1:54:09, and Dean MacVicar and Sue White-Sutton the senior grand masters titles with times of 1:54:10 and 2:08:57 respectively.
Congratulations to all our Winter Blast Half Marathon and 5k participants.
The highlight of the morning was the engagement of Jeff Baas to Stacey Lyon, both of Plainwell. Jeff finished the half marathon in a time of 2:01:16, then waited at the finish line with family and friends for his future fiance’ Stacey Lyon, who crossed the finish line in 2:33:34. Upon crossing the finish line, the Jeff surprised Stacey with a traditional wedding proposal, which she happily accepted.
Sincere thanks to all the planning committee members, Kalamazoo Area Runners, the City of Portage, volunteers, sponsors, community supporters for making the 2013 inaugural Winter Blast Half Marathon and 5k possible. Portage Mayor Pete Strazdas served as official starter, Jacob Potter of WLLA TV 64 and Jim McKinney of AM590-FM96.5 WKZO as finish line announcers. Sponsors included half marathon presenting sponsor AT&T, Agility Physical Theraphy, Biggy Cofffee, Bronson Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Doughchicks, Imperial Beverage, Organic Gypsy, Portage Pharmacy, Pride Care Ambulance, Awards Sponsor Blue Cross Blue Shield, Media Partners MLive Media Group, AM590-FM96.5 WKZO, WLLA TV 64, Pace Team Sponsor Gazelle Sports, Pace Vehicle Steensma Lawn and Power Equipment, RRCA State Championship Sponsor Gatorade, Rathco Safety & Supply Co, Break Out Band, Eaton Corporation, Gordon Water, Healing Moments Massage, Migala Carpet One, Portage Community Center, Wightman & Associates, Inc., BASIC, Borgess Sports Medicine and Dunkin’ Donuts.
What are participants saying about the 2013 event?
“Yesterday’s race was great. From a runner than has done eight half
marathons, several marathons, an ultra, and a bunch of 5k/10ks, this race
appeared to go very smoothly. I cannot believe how clear the course was
from ice and snow. Great job!” - Steve Brueshaber
“I just wanted to say that the half marathon and entire event was excellent. The festivities were fun, the course was excellent and in spite of the cold temperatures and potential for icing was very clear, and I can’t wait to do it again next year!” – Scott Afman
“I’ve very much wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the race on Sunday. It was extremely well executed with a ton of good energy. I had a great time.” – Tim Krone
“Excellent, excellent event. Everything was well prepared and taken care of for the runners. Thanks for all of your efforts. There could not have been a better event.” - Susan Kallewaard
“I am pretty new to running and wanted to tell you what a great race you organized! This was only my second ½ marathon so I don’t have much to compare it with but I thought the post party (band, food, location) was excellent.” - Kim Sass
“I just wanted to write a quick note to thank you for this great event. It is amazing that the trails and roads were all clear and that so many wonderful volunteers braved the crazy temperatures !!! It was my son Nicholas’ first half marathon and he thoroughly enjoyed every moment. THANKS!!!!!!!!!” - Michelle Tombro Tracy