DECATUR – It’s a training session disguised as an actual meet. The Bi-County Conditioner cross country meet at Bellmont on Tuesday is something a little different for runners early in the season.
It is a whole different ballgame than the 5K because you are breaking the race into individual miles and teaming up, Bellmont coach Carl Risch said. There are a lot of differences. The key difference is going to six runners and three pairs that count. The sixth runner is more important than your usual meet.
The event, also called a Hokum Karem, is set up with three teams of two runners running a lap on the 1-mile course and then handing off (or in this case just slapping hands) until both runners complete three miles. The three miles ran is just short of the usual 3.1 miles for a 5K.
The annual match between the three Adams County schools (Bellmont, Adams Central and South Adams) and the three Wells County schools (Norwell, Bluffton and Southern Wells) had traditionally been run on a Saturday at Bluffton, but has rotated around between different schools recently and been moved to a Tuesday.
I’d like to run (the race) all at once instead of each individual mile, said South Adams’ Brody Shane, who is not a big fan of the event. It is nice pairing the guys up and see where we are at each mile, and it gives us something new instead of running 3.1 miles each meet. We usually run mile repeats (in practice), and this is just like another workout.
The Bellmont girls had a winning-combined time of 1 hour, 56 minutes and 36 seconds. Bellmont’s Bailey Beery and Emily Gunsett won the event with a combined time of 37:06.1.
You are breaking it up and running it workout style, Risch said. It is fun for the kids and something different. It is good early in the year because it gets the kids to work out in a little faster pace than you would in your 5K and it benefits you later on in the season. It is a good training tool and early season race.
On the boys side, South Adams won in 1 hour, 37 minutes and 11 seconds. Shane and Sawyer Miller (31:03.5) led the Starfires with a first-place finish.