Race report: Freedom Run 15K

Freedom Run 15K

15K #4

July 4, 2018

Place: 9/12

Time: 1:33:04

This is such a cool event. I’ll probably do it every time I’m able to. Love holiday races. Love low-key events. Love cost-friendly events. All-around win.

I know a lot of people ran July 4 races where they paid twice as much (or more) and ran half as far (or less)… Not me. No, thanks.


Didn’t take my phone with me, so photos are limited here. This is Lyons High School, where the race would start.

This one starts at Lyons High School at finishes at Sterling Lake. Pretty much 9.3 miles straight alongside one highway with zero turns until the last 200 yards or so.

The shirts have gotten better each year, while the entry fee has remained incredibly reasonable. I’m not mad about that.


Great color, great feel, great fit. Love it.

I was coming off a rare summer cold for this one. With the added strong headwind, it proved to be incredibly hard to breathe throughout.

bib on shorts

Bib on shorts. Purple laces already in for Rodeo Run later this month.

Smaller turnout than ever this year. Only 12 runners for the 15K — probably 130 or so in the 5K. I didn’t mind. I just like the miles, man.

I felt okay early and ran the first couple miles with my friend Delaine Wright at a decent pace. Knew she’d pull away soon after and she did.

I was in sixth place until my friend Jessica White caught up to me around mile 3.5. Two others passed me within the next half mile, putting me in ninth. That’s where I would remain for the rest of the race. So that’s another six miles or so, solo. I run alone all the time, so that didn’t phase me a bit.

The heat and humidity was actually pretty tolerable, given the time of year. But the cold I wasn’t (and am still) not quite over + the headwinds took a toll. I did a fair amount of walking for such a short race.

Oh well. Like I said, I just like the miles — which is good, because this one was SLOW.

Splits: 7:39 | 8:11 | 8:34 | 9:35 | 11:05 | 10:21 | 11:31 | 11:31 | 11:05 | 10:04 (0.34) — 9:58 overall

Plus, with it being such a small turnout, I managed to win my age group once again.


For real. Love the shirt.

Kami, Bryant and the in-laws were waiting (sorry for that, you guys) for me at the finish. Had a good time post-race hanging with them for a bit.

Even pushed the boy the last 15 yards or so across the finish line. But then the real fun started.


Next up: Cauldron Run 10K at Sunflower State Games — Saturday, July 14


Race report: Freedom Run 15K

Freedom Run 15K

15K #3

July 4, 2017 —Lyons/Sterling, KS

Place: 8/24

Time: 1:14:27

Made my way back to the Freedom Run for the first time in a few years. I had run the 15K in 2013, then the 5K in 2014 with Kami. Hadn’t been back since. This run is an incredibly monotonous course, starting at Lyons High School and finishing in Sterling. Basically, 8.7 miles of the 9.32 mile course is one straight shot along the highway with no turns.

It’s a small-ish race (the 5K had a good turnout of 131, although quite a bit smaller than the 255 in 2014) with only 24 finishers in the 15K. The shirts in year’s past were not exciting at all, as I wore each probably twice each.

This year, however, was different.


One of my favorite race shirts so far. I don’t even like red, but combined with the blue, the faded look and the boot design, I’m a fan. Doesn’t hurt that it fits pretty well.

Kami dropped me at the start at Lyons High School. We chatted with some running friends before she took off toward the finish.


Here’s a picture Kami thought I would like. I present to you: A wall. And a flag. And some flowery things. Enjoy.

Always good to see Wyatt and Kristina Clifton and Bev Exposito. Made a new friend in Delaine Wright, who wound up proving to be a challenge. I finally caught up to her around the 5 mile mark and only beat her by a minute and change. Saw some other old running friends at the finish — ones who had done the 5K — Mark Kauffman and Ron Blanton. I know my friend Courtney Wilkey did the 5K as well, but I didn’t get a chance to see her. I’m sure there were others I’m missing. Point being: It’s a good time to run some miles and see some friendly faces.

I planned on just trying to run a steady, goal marathon pace somewhere between 8:30 – 9:00 per mile. I had no interest in flying out of the gate and racing anyone or any particular time.

That plan didn’t really hold up too much. I threw down a 7:52 first mile and knew I had to slow down, so I did. But not for long. Ran an 8:12 mile two and figured I might as well see how long I could hold a pace around 8:00 or so. Turns out, a while.

7:52 | 8:12 | 7:55 | 7:53 | 7:57 | 8:02 | 7:57 | 8:07 | 8:02 || 7:34 = 7:59 / mile overall

I finished in eighth place overall, seventh male and first in my age group. I’ll never understand the age groups for this particular race, as my age group was 26-35.

I got edged out in the last mile by a guy who was 38 and would be in my age group in many races. But… I’ll take the age group win, all the same.


My collection of plaques is limited. I’ve got medals, trophies, even a few ribbons — but only one or two of these bad boys. I’ll take it.

Hung around a bit after to chat with friends and get results before changing and hitting the road. Had a good time.

w Cliftons

Me and the Cliftons. Good people.

w Bev + Delaine

Bev, Delaine & me: Age group winners.

It sure was good to be back near family over the weekend.

I played in the Sterling Tennis Tournament on Saturday, July 1 — yeah, you read that right. No, I don’t play tennis. I finished 8th place…

There were 8 people in the tournament. But, man, I had a blast. I even won a set. Yeah, I know, it’s not running stuff. But it was part of my holiday weekend — and the main reason I hadn’t shaken off the soreness until probably right before the 15K began.

Final results:

First match: 0-6, 0-6

Second match: 3-6, 6-2 (4-10)

Third match: 0-6, 0-6

tennis 1

I managed to hit a few good shots. For a guy who doesn’t play tennis, anyway.

tennis 2

Tennis Skill Level: Novice.

Sept 7, 2013 — Wichita, KS


Poker Run @ Wichita State University

Place: 7/63, no age groups

Time: 22:56

Ran with Jon (older bro) as he gets back into running. I told him afterward my goal is to push him until I’m no longer faster than him. He was once one of the best runners in the state, and I’m still a novice by most standards, so it will happen–probably soon. We got off to a solid start & ran the first mile in 7:12. We were probably 11th/12th at that point, and moved up pretty consistently from there. We finished in 7th & 8th overall. Our splits were 7:12, 7:50, 7:45. Not bad for the first race of the day, and first of three on the weekend. On a personal note, it was exciting for me to run a race on the campus of my alma mater: WSU.

Sept 7, 2013 — Udall, KS


Monster Dash Haunted Trail Run

Place: 4/87, no age groups

Time: 23:02

Ran with Jon again for first 1.2, when he insisted I run on. I didn’t actually end up gaining a lot of distance, as it was a more challenging trail run than I anticipated. Add in some spooky goblins, ghouls, and monsters, and it was a pretty fun and interesting event overall. I even won a prize — a painting from a local artist that I gifted to Kami.

Sept 8, 2013 — Goddard, KS


Meritrust Tiger Trot @ Tanganyika Wildlife Park

Place: 34/156, 10th in age group

Time: 1:17:02

By far my worst race ever, hands down. I have a laundry list of reasons why I probably failed terribly today, but instead, I will choose to move on and focus on my next race — my 1st Ultra Marathon this Wednesday. I actually did okay for the first 3 miles of this, then fell apart. Not good in a 15K — a “short” race, by most standards. I’d only run one other 15K, and my time there was 1:04:03, better than today’s by 12:59, and I wasn’t even super thrilled with that one. It’s not a common distance, so redemption may not come. May just have to let it go. That’ll be tough, but I live to run another day.

Side note: Brother took 5th overall in the 5K, won the 30-39 age group, and got a sweet medal. Not too shabby.

Good weekend overall. The WSU race was probably my favorite. Interesting experiences all-around.