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(Grand Rapids, Mich.) For years, Midland University has hosted the Warrior Half Marathon as a no-frills NAIA qualifying event. The flat, point to point course is always run downwind to ensure fast time.
After sending athletes to the Dallas-White Rock Half Marathon for several years, Cornerstone men's distance coach, Nate Van Holten decided to make the drive to Fremont, Nebraska to run at Midland. Only an hour before making the 13 hour van ride, the race director cancelled the event due to forecasted snow.
Van Holten and CU Track & Field head coach, Rod Wortley discussed the possibility of putting together a race in the next 36 hours. "Between the 5/3 River Bank Run 25k and the Grand Rapids Marathon there are miles of already measured routes between the west edge of Grand Rapids and Johnson Park in Grandville," said Wortley. "In theory, it wouldn't take much to set up a 13.1 mile out and back course. From a practical standpoint the question was could it be done between Thursday night and Saturday morning."
Since Van Holten didn't have to drive to Nebraska, he used that time to lay out a course between from Market St. to Indian Mounds Dr. across the Grand River into Johnson Park out 6.55 miles then back. Using a measuring wheel he checked accuracy twice and marked each mile in chalk.
Spring Arbor University had an athlete scheduled to run at Midland and welcomed the chance to race in Grand Rapids. Three Cornerstone T&F alumni also agreed to race.
Saturday morning after a brief technical meeting, nine participants headed to the corner of Godfrey and Market. Light rain and temperatures just above freezing made for fast, but uncomfortable racing.
Cornerstone's Jared Courtright and Travis Mabe made quick work of qualifying racing together the entire way. Courtright took the win in 1:11:04 breaking Stephan Larson's school record of 1:11:49. Mabe ran the second best time in school history breaking his previous best by 1:40 to finish in 1:11:17. Spring Arbor's Bryan Burk also bettered the NAIA automatic standard of 1:13:00 taking third in 1:12:06.
First Annual Q Elite Half Marathon
Grand Rapids, MI
35 degrees and raining
1. Jared Courtright Cornerstone 1:11:04
2. Travis Mabe Cornerstone 1:11:17
3. Bryan Burk Spring Arbor 1:12:06
4. Nathan Martin Unattached 1:12:06
5. Isaac Withrow Unattached 1:26:536.
6. Mindy Lewis Cornerstone 1:35:12
7. Kris Shear Unattached 1:35:13
8. Janelle Lindman Unattached 1:35:13
9. Stephan Larson Unattached 1:35:13