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Risley takes second at Sedona marathon

Master runner Hank Risley during the Sedona Marathon.

By Judy Reed


Most runners begin their career in the sport while still in school. But not Hank Risley, of Nelson Township. The 44-year-old marathon runner played no sports in high school, ran only a little in college, and didn’t pick up the love for running until he was 38. Earlier this month, he placed second at the 7th annual marathon in Sedona, Arizona, a challenging course for any runner at 4,500 feet, let alone one over age 40.

“It was a tough course because of the elevation,” said Risley, a Senior Vice President of Retail Lending at Independent Bank. “Michigan air is thicker. But it was beautiful to look at the red rocks and other scenery.” Risley finished the course in 2:54:40, which he said is the second slowest race he’s ever ran.

Risley said it was the fall of 2005 when his sister-in-law challenged him at Thanksgiving to run a marathon. He didn’t think she was serious until she showed up at Christmas with a training schedule. And the rest, as they say, is history. He began running with the North Kent running club, where he found the support of other runners, and ran his first marathon in May, 2006 at the age of 38. At the age of 40, he started to run in the masters division, for runners over age 40.

In December 2008, at 40, he was named Michigan Runner of the year by the magazine of the same name. He had finished first among masters runners in four of the six Michigan Runner Series races he ran, and placed second in the other two. He also finished first or second in several other races he ran that year—all by July. He couldn’t run the second half of the year because of a calf injury.

“I had gotten greedy, running in as many races as I could. But my body started breaking down,” he explained.

Two weeks after receiving the award, he was running near Lake Mitchell in Cadillac, when he was hit from behind by a car, and flew up on to the hood, causing a herniated disk and a torn sacroiliac joint. “I got up and walked away, I wasn’t transported by ambulance or anything,” said Risley. “I think I was in denial that it had happened.”

But Risley said that event changed his life. “When I got hit, I thought I was going to die,” he explained.

Now he doesn’t run nearly as many races each year. “You can probably count them on one hand,” he said. He does some marathons, and some pacing runs. Last year he paced someone in the Boston Marathon. And he’s also a bit more cautious about where he runs. “I now have a treadmill set up in my basement,” he said.

While training, he runs 60-80 miles a week. But after a race, he takes some time off—and only runs half of that.

So what keeps him going during those long marathons? It’s his favorite fan—his 10-year-old daughter, Madison Risley, a 5th grader at Cedar View Elementary. “When your daughter and your mom are there every two miles saying, ‘Go Dad go!’ they get you going,” he said with a chuckle.

Risley had two words of advice for anyone thinking of starting to run. “Consistency and commitment. If you stick with it, your body will adapt and you’ll be able to sustain a lot longer,” he explained. “The ability to take in food and liquid is also important to keep your energy level up and body hydrated,” he added.

To see a video of when Risley was selected Michigan Runner of the Year, go to http://michiganrunner.tv/2008risley/.


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Business Bits

MJ Dalton joins Hair Taylors

Hair Taylors, located at 4633 14 Mile Road, welcomes MJ Dalton to the select group of stylists at the salon.
Hair Taylors, owned by Dawn Roberts, is a group of professional women stylists who have closed or left a previous business and rent space in the Hair Taylors salon.
“The women here have become co-workers, friends, and team members,” said stylist Susan Reason. “As women in business, it’s imperative we come together. In this economy we have to find ways to cultivate services, to offer a relaxing atmosphere, and be affordable,” said Susan. “We are happy to have MJ Dalton in our family.”
The salon will be offering several buy one service, get one free specials throughout the holidays. Check out their specials in future issues of the Post! To make an appointment or get more info, call 696-2096.

Cyber Spot Electronics

A Greenville electronics store has a new location.
Cyber Spot Electronics, owned by David Ries and Greg Keates, is now located on M-91, one-half mile south of M-57. The shop, which specializes in computer and TV repairs, gives customers a quick turn-around  by doing their repairs immediately, when possible. The owners say what makes their business unique is that they can fix any electronic device with a battery, and can also aid in data recovery. They also carry refurbished PCs as well.
This family-oriented business said they plan to “grow-up with Greenville” and have bought the building they are now in. Stop by and check them out!  They are open Monday through Friday 10-6 and Saturday 10-2. Closed Sunday. For more info call (616) 232-2099.

Independent Bank

Hank Risley has taken the role of senior vice president of retail lending at Independent Bank. Risley will lead the retail lending team statewide. Risley previously worked as a senior vice president of retail banking in West Michigan. This change will provide expanded service to Independent Bank’s customers throughout Michigan.
Brian Talbot, senior vice president of retail banking at Independent Bank, has an expanded role as the leader of retail administration throughout West Michigan. Talbot previously oversaw the retail administration in Ionia and Newaygo counties.


Meet and greet for Linda Lehman

Linda Lehman, Finance Director for the City of Cedar Springs, has taken a job with the City of Rockford. There will be a public meet and greet to say goodbye to her on Monday, November 28, from 1-3 p.m. at Cedar Springs City Hall.  Cake and punch will be served.

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Dewys Manufacturing
Kent County Credit Union
Ray Winnie
Chartwell Real Estate Auctions


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