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Robert Blaszak


Today, I woke up and ran 8 miles. I ran 8 miles yesterday too. Both times in the snow, and uphill both ways.

Now, I’m not a cantankerous old runner. I never came close to being a runner in high school or college. For starters, I weighed about 100 pounds more than I do now. I’d always told myself “I can lose this weight if I try hard enough,” but I never had. One day, I just had enough and decided to do it.  The same thing happened with me and the Fifth Third River Bank Run. It’s always been the most famous and enduring running event in Grand Rapids, so despite never having run a race before in my life, I decided to sign up for the 25K.

I’ve run it seven times since then, and have been a pacer for the 2-Hour-Club for the last four. There has been no greater delight in running than being part of our running community, one that loves helping others to reach their goals! As a co-captain of the Farmers Insurance running team, I’ve had many opportunities to keep helping folks reach goals they never thought they could… from their first 5k to their first marathon.

With the support of my wonderful wife and daughter, I’ve conquered many of my own challenges in the past year: I’ve started a new career path, I’ve qualified for the Boston Marathon, and I’ve finished my first Ironman side-by-side with my wife (because she let me catch her, of course). I’m thrilled to be taking on the next challenge, training for my best ever time as part of the Road Warrior team!

Sadly, the Clydesdale division is no more- my dream of gaining back another 10 pounds and winning that race has been shattered. Instead, I’ll have to continue maintaining that careful balance between running and beer… so count on me to toast you a tall Perrin lager at the finish, and plenty of other times along the way! Come and say hi and feel free to join us for beer runs at Perrin Brewing Company on the second Tuesday of each month December-May at 6p!

Fifth Third River Bank Run

PO Box 2194
Grand Rapids, MI  49501-2194
616.771.1590   |