By RJ Walters / For the Jackson Citizen Patriot
If not for his worn out running shoes and a bloodied foot, it would have truly been an all-American Fourth of July for Josh Perrin.
Donning a festive USA jersey, Perrin, 24, a Hillsdale High School and Eastern Michigan University graduate, crossed the finish line Sunday in the Firecracker 5-mile run in Hanover ahead of everyone else, but his attempt at breaking the race record and cashing in on a $100 prize for doing so was deterred by the most essential equipment a runner has.
“(Sunday), I wanted to break the meet record, to try to score a hundred bucks. That’s a new pair of trainers, and I train quite a bit, so I go through shoes pretty fast,” he said. “Unfortunately, my current shoes didn’t allow so much.”
Perrin’s time of 25 minutes, 49 seconds was 28 seconds off the record set by Nick Allen in 2009, but he said he knows he was on pace for a time close to 25 minutes flat midway through the race.
“I was thinking I was going to be set, but right about half way into the third mile — I don’t know what it was, my insole or something — I got bloodied up and cut,” he said. “I’m in pretty good shape right now, and I’ve been running a lot of road races. I did the Dexter/Ann Arbor half-marathon, and my pace through 10 miles was faster than (this) meet record.
“I should’ve had it, but you know, such is racing.”
Runner-up to Perrin was 2010 Hanover-Horton High School graduate Taylor Heath (27:39), the son of race director Jeff Heath. He had the home-course advantage, having run the route so many times he couldn’t put a number to it.
“Between freshman year and junior year, we ran it every Sunday,” he said. “I know how to run-point-to-point on this course and when the next turn is coming up.”
In the women’s 5-mile run, Kristina Olsen of Jackson won her second event in as many races after winning the Concord Classic on June 26.
Her time of 30:54 was more than a minute ahead of runner-up Lindsey Burdette (32:08) of Horton.
In the 5K walk David Swarts, 45, was the men’s overall winner with a time of 29:41, and Erin McComb, 25, was the women’s overall winner with a time of 35:58.