FOOT NOTES: A runner with high cholesterol?

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Editor’s Note: This week, we welcome Foot Notes/Andy Sandrik to Local.News. Andy is a Central Pa. “sports guy” who writes the Foot Notes column. He will be featured bi-weekly.

With a beer in one hand and a game controller in the other, it almost felt like I was in college again.

And then one of the guys brought up his back pain, before another fellow started talking about his CPAP machine. Of course I had to jump in about my high cholesterol.

I was the oldest one at the party, so I could have bombarded them with a list of everything that’s broken with my body, but instead I stuck to cholesterol because I just learned of it, myself, at a public health screening event.

When the nurse took my blood pressure, she said she was impressed, but my cholesterol was a different story.

I was perplexed. I’m active from dawn until dusk, either working outside or running. I mean, I’ve lost 20 pounds this summer, how can this be happening to me?

But as I look over the possible causes of bad cholesterol, I realize I’m checking quite a few boxes.

The first is a poor diet. I admit this has been my biggest weakness as an athlete, dating back decades. When I put in a hard, physical effort over the course of a day, my stomach often just turns into this bottomless pit, and it’s hard to stick to appropriate servings. And don’t even get me started on snacking.

The next box I checked is obesity, which ties in with the previous paragraph. Even with my summer weight loss, I’m still eight pounds away from moving from advancing from the “obese” category to just “overweight.”

There are some causes of bad cholesterol that are out of our control, like genetics and age. Check and check, by the way.

It’s been a few weeks since the diagnosis, and the surprise and denial phases are nearly in the rear-view window. I have been in acceptance mode, but I believe I’m ready to step forward and take a stand.

Luckily one of the main ways to combat high cholesterol is through exercise. I do this every day, in spades, and now that I know it can help my cause, I have yet another reason to keep the train rolling.

Perhaps even more vital, though, is properly managing my diet and the way I approach fueling myself. I’m dreading this part of the journey, but sometimes the only way to defeat our demons is to confront them head-on.

It must be noted that every person with high cholesterol is different. Exercise and dieting isn’t necessarily a cure-all for everyone.

Before you make any extreme lifestyle changes, consult your doctor. I know I’ll be.

1 STEP BACK, 3 STEPS FORWARD

It’s been a long three years since a trio of late-summer racing staples — the Fred Kaley Road Race, Ausherman 5 Miler, and Krumpe’s Donut Alley Rally 5K — were all held according to schedule.

Because of COVID-19, the Krumpe’s race was canceled in 2020, while the Ausherman event had been out of commission since last running in 2019. And although the Kaley Road Race powered through the pandemic, its numbers took a hit last year.

There is a bit of good news, even though it’s taken a few years: All three races are back in business and on the path toward a healthy future.

With 119 runners spread out over 5K and five-mile races, the Kaley Road Race in Greencastle surpassed its totals from both 2020 (89) and 2021 (61). The Kaley 5K saw Jarrett Gelsinger run away for victory in 18:32 over fellow Greencastle runner Cash Monn, who posted an 18:46. Smithsburg’s Jonah Smith landed third place in 19:34, while Waynesboro’s Noah Bockstie (4th in 19:55) and Ryan Kelley (7th in 21:59) rounded out the Local.News runners in the Top 10. Other top times were posted by Chambersburg’s Kurt Gipe (24:31) and Brian Booze (24:45), as well as Fayetteville’s Wing Lam Cheung (24:55).

Waynesboro runner Chad Vaughn broke the tape in 32:43 in the Kaley 5 Miler, while Angie Fuss of Mont Alto was the top female in 42:05. Greencastle’s Matthew Smith finished second overall in 34:04, while Chambersburg’s Jordan Statler was fourth in 37:46. 

In Chambersburg, the Ausherman 5 Miler emerged from a two-year hiatus with a field of 130 runners. The race was highlighted by Fayetteville’s Aiden Alleman, who finished sixth in 29:19, while Chambersburg’s Sarah Boward was the top female in 33:03. Other top finishers were Chambersburg’s Michael Day (30:00), Andrew Feldman (31:03), Bill Dann (32:06), and Scott Long (32:57), Greencastle’s Denver Norcross (30:13), and Waynesboro’s Jeffrey Hein (44:13) and Megan Miller (44:26).

Finally, the Krumpe’s 5K in Hagerstown, Md. continues to carry on without missing a beat, with over 1,300 runners crossing the finish line over the last two years, including 622 for this year’s race. Chambersburg’s Ari Snyder (3rd in 15:45) and Waynesboro’s Luke Manning (8th in 16:58) each cracked into the Top 10. A number of other stellar performances dotted the results sheet, including solid efforts from Chambersburg’s Ryan St. Clair (19:13) and Jason Ackerman (21:32), as well as Waynesboro’s Noah Bockstie (19:19), Nicholas Piechocki (20:25), Bella Ruefle (20:47), Dalton McKean (22:26), and Katie Manning (25:57).

And now, a look ahead:

Ben and Tim Day 5K: Saturday, Aug. 27, 9 a.m., in Hershey. Take on this race, in its 31st running, to benefit the Ben Yupcavage and Tim Russell Memorial Scholarship funds. Learn more at benandtimday.org.

Run Wild for Wildwood 5K/10K: Saturday, Aug. 27, 8:30 a.m., in Harrisburg. Enjoy the beautiful views in this race, which runs through Wildwood Park. Register for the race at runsignup.com.

Rail Trail 10 Miler: Saturday, Aug. 27, 8 a.m., in York. Challenge yourself with this long-distance race and help those with intellectual and other disabilities in the process. Check out the event on runsignup.com.

Also: Cedar Nation 5K (Saturday, in Lebanon); Cousler Park 5K/10K (Saturday, in York); Steve Fealtman Awesum Possum Lake Trail Adventure (Saturday, in Carlisle); Wyalusing North Branch Triathlon (Saturday, in Wyalusing); Amos Herr Honey Run 5K (Saturday, Aug. 27, in Landisville); Burning Coal Marathon (Saturday, Aug. 27, in Rimersburg); emPOWERed OCR at Clipper Magazine Stadium (Saturday, Aug. 27, in Lancaster); Hyner Half Marathon (Saturday, Aug. 27, in Hyner); Lancaster Junction 5K/10K (Saturday, Aug. 27, in Manheim); Rail Trail 10 Miler (Saturday, Aug. 27, in York); Run Wild for Wildwood (Saturday, Aug. 27, in Harrisburg); Hellbender Half Marathon (Sunday, Aug. 28, in Bear Gap); Philly 10K (Sunday, Aug. 28, in Philadelphia). 

 Foot Notes is a self-syndicated column by Central Pa. sportswriter Andy Sandrik that has been “running” since 2016. Andy always follows back on Strava and can be reached by email at [email protected].

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