Greg, what’s the course like?
All of it?
Pretty much. Be careful.
This is a conversation I had countless times as I returned from my warm-up prior to the start of the 5 mile race on St. Patrick’s Day in Downtown Sioux Falls. The annual tradition of running the Irishman, a ridiculous joy of a 5 mile race, followed by a 5k race and finishing up with a 1 mile dash down Phillips Avenue to kick off the parade. To be frank you do not run this event because of how well it is organized. In fact the 5k route changed mid-race. You run this event because it brings a whole bunch of runners together to have fun. This year was a coming out party of sorts for the 605 Race Crew.
Each year we organize a race team or crew. Our goals are pretty simple. We want to create a team environment for runners to train and compete in local races, at all skill levels and abilities. Each member completes an application and interviews with a staff member from 605 Running Company annually to join the team. This process takes place in November and December for the upcoming year. With over 50 members in 2018 we made a pretty big impact on the streets and bike path of Sioux Falls during the Irishman. This was the first event with our new jerseys – all members are easy to spot in a blue tank top or grey technical tee shirt.
On the competitive side, in the 5 mile race, we had three men in the top four places including the winner Jeremy Van Veen who drove from Aberdeen to participate. On the women’s side of the field we had three in the top seven including Jordin Kopplow taking second place. For the 5k and 1 mile events our team took six of the top seven spots overall. Our very own Benson Lang’at won the 5k race for the men and Tessa Stoltenberg won both the 5k and 1 mile for the women. In a very thrilling 1 mile race Bobby Brockmueller edged Benson for first place. Finally, bringing home the combined events prize, the Irishman title went to Jeremy Van Veen. Not to be out done, one of our most humble members cleaned house wining the Irishman, 5k and the 1 mile in her age division Deb Shissler!
For me there is nothing quite like a race day. Especially a home town event. Seeing so many of my awesome crew members out posting Personal Records, making new running friends and celebrating one of my favorite holidays in a healthy manner is so much fun. In the future I hope that this event will continue to grow and be better organized. The one mile race could legitimately attract competitive runners from all around the region. Watching mile times that start with a 4 is a spectacle to behold! The course down Phillips Avenue with the streets packed with people is a unique, one-of-a-kind experience that I hope our community at large can appreciate and celebrate.
Greg Koch is the General Manager/Co-Owner of the 605 Running Company. When he is not at the store he volunteers on the Sioux Falls Marathon Board and Co-Coaches his church softball co-ed team. Greg is an avid runner and enjoys being outdoors whenever possible. Follow Greg on Instagram @gregrun605