Ryan Shay Mile Race Report – Matt Cooper

Coach Matt Cooper speeding by in blue on the left

Race: Ryan Shay Mile

Runner: Coach Matt Cooper

Race Date: 07/23/2022

Location: Charlevoix, Michigan

Results: 4th place, 3:56.41

Strava Activity Link: https://www.strava.com/activities/7516054883

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. Competitive Field
  2. Great atmosphere
  3. Fun course

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

It was hot (over 80 degrees at 10 in the morning).

Weird factor – What’s the weirdest thing about this race?

The official start line was a line of tar in the road.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

The highlight of the race was kicking towards the finish line with three athletes that all run professionally.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

Give yourself a chance. On paper, some of the competitors in this field had much faster personal bests than me. A quarter mile into the race, I committed to the fast pace and just competed to the best of my ability.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Stay mentally engaged the entire race. While it’s okay to zone out for longer races, racing the mile requires a high level of mental focus to stay with the fast pace.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Use the downhill at the end of the race to your advantage!

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?

Beautiful course running through downtown Charlevoix right before the Venetian Festival Parade.

Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

The 5k and 10k courses have a few rolling hills, but it is mainly flat.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

Very well-organized event. The 5k and 10k races go first, followed by the pro miles.

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Yes, there was a strong field of professional runners and high-level collegiate athletes in the mile. The 5k and 10k races span from runners of all ages and ability levels.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

The logistics are very easy to follow. Easy to register and to reach out to the race director with any questions.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

Standard fare for the 5k and 10k race.

Weather and typical race conditions

Temperatures are generally moderate to hot, given that the race is in mid-July in northwest Michigan.

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

A pair of flats or racing shoes if you’re chasing a big personal best.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Very spectator friendly, as all three races finish running right through downtown Charlevoix.

How’s the Swag?

Great swag!

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?

5/5 stars. I would recommend it to other runners.

Matt Cooper is a coach with Team RunRun. To learn more about him or to work with him, check out his coaching page.