TRAVERSE CITY — Geoff Burns just finished a one-year stint at St. Jude Medical in Los Angeles.
“They make pacemakers,” he said.
On Saturday, Burns was a pace-setter as the former Traverse City West and University of Michigan runner won the Bayshore men’s 10K.
The 24-year-old Burns finished in 32:22. Another 24-year-old, Midland’s Nathan Bussiere, came in second in 33:13.
“You lost us after the first mile,” Bussiere told Burns after the race.
Turns out, that was the plan.
“From the gun I wanted to go hard and see where I was,” Burns said. “I got out front, kicked it into cruise control and just had fun rolling out there and coming back.
“There were a couple guys with me the first mile, but I figured if I went hard and shook everybody off to start with that it would be, I don’t know, easy.”
Burns, who holds a degree in bio-medical engineering, won the 10K in 2009, finishing in 32:49. He said he was surprised to run nearly 30 seconds faster Saturday.
“Yeah, considering I haven’t been training a lot,” he said. “But this is probably the longest stretch I’ve gone in my career without injury. That’s clutch. It goes a long way as today shows.”
Burns said he is now in his “funemployment” stage, looking for his next job opportunity. He’s racing periodically — he did a trail run for his birthday last month — but it’s been a couple months since he did “a hard race.”
“I still get out and run every day, but with the job finishing and moving cross country, I haven’t been doing my intervals and any structured stuff,” he said.
His favorite part of Saturday’s 6.2-mile race? The final 3.1 miles on the out and back course.