Runners of all ages compete in Prairie Run
July 30, 2010
FORT RILEY, Kan. - Runners born in seven different decades raced in the 25th annual 10-5-2 Prairie Run at Fort Riley.
About 225 participants competed in the anniversary event July 24.
"I think it went really smooth," said Matt McAsey, Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation. "This was our 25th annual race, so some of this stuff out here was extra - like K-ROCK coming out. I think it really added a lot to it. To me, it feels like there's a lot more going on out here, which made it a more conducive environment for having fun and socializing."
Tim Testa, a student who ran cross country at Pittsburg State University, recorded the fastest time in the 10-mile race with a 1:02:20 finish.
"It was by far my slowest 10-mile race," Testa said. "It was ten minutes slower than my best, but it was just because it was so humid out today."
Runners recorded slower times than normal due to the weather, he said.
"It was just too hot for distance running," Testa said, although he added he enjoyed the event.
"I appreciate that they put it on, and I like how it's ran," he said.
Betty Severson, a 77-year-old woman from Oak Hill, Kan., impressed many in attendance with her 5-mile performance, and received a large ovation while accepting the first place medal in her category.
"It gets harder as you get older," Severson said. "I do it just to prove I can do it."
Severson, who said she has been running since her 50s, recently broke the state record in the 10K at the Kansas Senior Olympics for her age group by 18 minutes.
Severson said she runs two to four miles a day.
"I live way out in the boonies, so I can run out on the roads," she said.
She added that her training partner can't keep up with her.
"I can out run my dog. I tell her she's a wuss. I've worn out many dogs. I always have a boxer, usually. The first one I got in Colorado, I could go up the hill faster than she could, so I said, 'Oh, bless your heart.' I had to get another dog, so I got another younger one, and he kept up with me pretty well. The one I have now doesn't want to run at all, so I might have to get a greyhound to run with."
Hunter Calby is just beginning his running career.
Hunter, 9, competed in his first-ever 5-mile race at the Prairie Run with his father.
"It's very exciting," said his father, John, who is a federal guard for the Fort Riley Police Department. "It's a bonding experience for me and him. He's a naturally good runner."
Hunter has been running since he was 3, and now runs six miles, three times a week.
He's trying to win a medal for his mom, who just got back last year from Iraq," John said. "This is what we started to do when she got deployed last year. "
John said they ran this year because they wanted to keep the tradition alive after competing in the 2-mile race last year. Hunter finished second in his age group.