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Running The River Bank: Andy Swartz

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Andy Swartz running in the Siren Chase 5k

Andy Swartz running in the Siren Chase 5k /

People are keeping an eye on the sky and a close ear to the weather reports as Saturday, May 8 and the Fifth Third River Bank Run draws near. Forecasters are predicting cool temperatures and the possibility of rain. Whether it rains or not, 20,000 people of all abilities, elite runners, novices, weekend warriors and walkers will hit the pavement of downtown Grand Rapids in the community's most popular road race.

Andy Swartz
lives in Rockford and works at Meijer as a service representative handling carts and cleaning. Swartz, 29, is an avid runner and is in the 5k, 1500 meter, and relay events for Area 11 Special Olympics Michigan. He recently participated in the SW Regional Spring Games at Calvin College and won a silver medal in the 5k running event. 
Which race are you running and why? 
I’m running the 25k. I’ve been training with the North Kent Running Club. I wanted a new challenge this year. People in the club encouraged me to run the 25k race.
Are you a repeat racer, or is this your first River Bank Run? How did you decide to run it?
I ran the 10k River Bank for the first time last year. I ran it because I have run in the Special Olympics State Summer Games and I like road racing.
Describe your training program.
I train with North Kent Running Club three times a week. I run on my own twice a week.
What animal do you run like?
My friends and family tell me I am a running machine.
Music when you run or not? What kind and why?
No music for me.
What is appealing to you about running?
I like to be around people in the running club. I just like to run and am proud of it.
What is your biggest fear, if any, about running the River Bank Run?
No fears. It might be more fun if it doesn’t rain, but it won’t ruin my day if it does.

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