June 16, 2012  A record number of runners (somewhere in the neighborhood of 150) turned out this morning for fairly flat and fast 5 mile fun run at Bennington Elementary School in Bennington, Nebraska.  It was a fund raiser for the St. John’s Outreach there in town.  Bennington is in the northwest corner of the Omaha metro and was very easy to get to from Bellevue.  It was a nicely run event.

First off, I LOVE small town runs!  Just cannot get enough of them.  Would run them every weekend if I could.  This race was $10 for the run, $20 if you wanted a shirt and $12 the day of race.  Yes, $12!  Unheard of in this day and age of $50 10Ks and $125 Marathons.  With running’s growing popularity and high expectations by the attendees, fees have continued to go up.  Scary trend.

Second, I committed to this race on Friday afternoon at 4pm.  I was feeling like I needed to race this weekend and looked to the Omaha Running Club website calendar to see what was open.  Had the choice of about 5 races close by and chose this one.  It was the closest and cheapest.  In the end, a great choice.

It’s been a rainy weekend the the sprinkles let up for most of the morning.  With an 8am start and plenty of humid sunshine, the herd of 150 of us 5 milers and 2 milers blocked 1st street for about 5 minutes while we started the race.  A few race instructions (which everyone talked over) were given by the director “Bob” and all too quickly the race was off!

The 5 mile course was an out and back that started at the Elementary School, ran past the High School, up and over the dam and part way around Bennington Lake.  It was a very nice run and a very open and clear trail.  They even had a water station at the mile 2/3 point.  The best part was the last mile of downhill.  I used some momentum to catch a few people and was able to finish in [39:44]!  Not a bad indicator of where I am 6 weeks post Lincoln Marathon.  The goal was 8s, so I hit it.

I thought I had a good shot at an age group metal and I was right!  A 2nd place finish in my age group of 40 – 49. I even was the first one picked to win a prize for the raffle!  My lucky day!

All in all, a great test of how the legs are coming along this summer.  This fall I have the Omaha Corporate Cup on my schedule as well as the Omaha Half Marathon in September.  I would live to run a 45 minute 10K and [1:45] half this fall and will need to work on my speed in order to get there.  There is still a lot of running to do.