My new race year commenced on March 10, 2018, with a brief Run for the Gold 10K in Springfield, Nebraska, by Freedom Running Company, with whom I set my half-marathon personal record last summer. I normally do not race a 10K, and my decision to participate had more to do with getting a breath of fresh air outside Kearney with the generally humble and friendly running community. Running into two familiar faces from a previous race excited me even more.

Familiar faces!

I did have in mind to try to break my 10K personal best of 51:44 from two summers ago until I saw the brutally hilly course entirely on gravel. Adrenaline? Cool windy weather? Rolling hills? I do not know, but I kept my first mile mostly in the upper six-minute and lower seven-minute, which concerned me slightly because I hardly ever run at that pace. I remained fairly consistent until the final 1.2 miles of mostly steep uphill, where I, and probably every other runner, slowed down drastically. This race neither utilized chip timing nor provided an official time, strangely. My Garmin reads 54:51.97, so I could guess my race time by subtracting a couple of seconds because I usually start my watch prior to crossing the start and stop it after crossing the finish. Whatever. I simply came here to have fun, which I did.