RAISING FUNDS ON THE RUN IN NORTHPORT
Both wanted to run into Northport and run off with two victories in the Saturday races that were renamed the Grafton Mac Thomas Memorial in honor of a friend of longtime race coordinator George Anderson.
Something had to give, however, as Hughes, who was competing in the 10K, and Miller, who was entered in the 5K, were both running in the two mile event to start the day.
Miller, a 22-year-old Michigan State cross country and track standout, ran away with the two mile event in 9 minutes, 41 seconds. He beat out 113 other competitors including Hughes, a 45-year-old former MSU runner who lives in East Lansing and Good Harbor. Hughes was second in 10:34.
“So I didn’t stand much of a chance there, but luckily he gifted me the 10k by running the 5K.”
“I definitely used a little more energy than I wanted because Chris was a little closer than I would have liked, but it was fun,” said Miller, who is prepping for his final season of running at MSU.
Both Miller and Hughes, after about 30-minute breather, lined up for the joint 5K and 10K start and took off again.
Miller won the 5K in 17:12 and Hughes captured the 10K in 37:12.
“I’ve won both these races a few times,” said Miller, who was staying with family in Northport for the holiday weekend. “I usually run the 2 mile and 10K as part of my workout regimen.
“But this year I decided to switch it up. I talked to my coach and did the 5K. Most people probably would think that I’d do the 10k here, but I kept people on their toes and switched it up a little bit.”
Although Miller broke a sweat during the early morning workouts, he was happy to be done before the day started to heat up.
“It was warm out there,” said Miller, who had been running about 70 miles a week and preparing to bump it up this month. “I thought I was running a little quicker, but the temperature may have gotten the best of me.
“I’m not going to complain. I have the lake right there and family.”
“I took the 10K out slow just because I wanted to win it,” said Hughes, who ran with a pack where the 5K and 10K courses split up. “But it was a good workout for my age.
“I’m not in top shape, but I’m still trying to keep up with the youngsters.”
Hughes, who had double victories in Northport in 2001 and 2003 but hadn’t run there since, said he knew in the first half mile he wasn’t going to repeat that feat.
“I knew who he was,” Hughes said. “If he was a 40-year-old, I would have said, ‘No way that’s going to happen,’ and run with him.
Hughes, won the Leland Harbor 5K Run for Funds last month, plans to give it his best shot again on Saturday, July 18 at the Fishtown Preservation Society’s 5K.
Marshall Remmele of Bristol, Conn. was second in the 10K event in 40:58.
“Maybe next year, I’ll beat him,” Remmele said of Hughes.
At the start, Remmele ran with his wife, Carolyn, who was the top women’s finisher.
“I haven’t been running much, but I felt pretty good,” Remmele said. “I just figured those front guys would leave me in the dust.
“But they just kind of came back to me.”
When Remmele hit the hills, his wife said “go get ‘em.”
Other top male finishers in the 10K were: Ben Flood, 41:32; Ben Cook, 42:14; Thomas Stryk, 46:34: and John Dean, 46:47.
Other top male runners in the two mile were: Christain Kotila, 12:07; Max Arbury, 13:31; Kyle Howe, 13:34; Henry Kotila, 13:39
Other top male runners in the 5K were: Ben Brown, 21:25; Jeff Ragains, 22:01; Kyle Nacey, 23:34; and Thorin Oakensheild, 23:52.
The three different races drew a record 269 total participants.
“This was the biggest turnout, outstanding,” Anderson said.
The race results were done by a computer chip program. Anderson said that may have had something to do with it and the fact that the race was run in memory of Thomas, a former runner who passed away earlier this year.
“The fellas timing did a wonderful job and I think dedicating the run to Mac was big,” Anderson added. “A lot of the Thomas clan did run.”
Anderson said $5,354 was raised for the American Cancer Society.