I’m a sucker for a Fayetteville race. And I’m an even bigger sucker for the Fayetteville fall weather. So registering for the Chile Pepper 10K was an easy decision.

I’ve known for months I wanted to run a race that weekend — and I originally had a half marathon in mind. But… the summer turned all crazy hot and I began to consider any distance longer than 5 miles cruel and unusual punishment, so I came to terms with a more local, reasonable race. And the Chile Pepper was perfect.

Jennifer was so sweet (and supportive!) to run this race — NOT her favorite — with me this year. This picture cracks me up with the headphones and cords all over the place…

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This is a pretty big race – for Fayetteville. We are somewhere in that starting line mob.

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The entire race is held on the University of Arkansas cross country track in Fayetteville. Cross country is really not my preference — it makes me feel slow and like I might put my foot down funny and twist an ankle — but this race is fun.

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Touches like that make it feel so — Fayetteville.

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This shot of Jennifer is also a good shot of some of the course, set-up, and spectators. There are tents everywhere for various high school and college track teams — the Chile Pepper is one of the largest cross country festivals in the nation.

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Finish line! Not a 10K PR, but a fun race and a great way to start the weekend!

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Jennifer was feeling a lot more springy than I was that morning, so we split up around mile 2. She beat her 2011 time and had a great race!

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Jeff is so good to snap all the pics at my races, and we are always forgetting to take a pic of the two of us! But here we are Keeping TIME at the finish line.

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That picture is of Jennifer, me, and my new friend Amanda. And it serves as a reminder of why I love running — in Northwest Arkansas. From packet pick-up the night before, to making our way to the start line, to volunteers at the aid stations, to friendly motivation from other runners during the race, to familiar faces at the finish line, to sharing post-race snacks and stories. All of it. It’s why being part of “the running community” has been so fun.

As I took time “off” this summer and didn’t run much distance, I didn’t see my running buddies and familiar faces on the trails as much. My friend Greg shot me a note a few weeks ago asking about me — everything ok? Haven’t seen you out there. And THAT is what it’s all about. Running can be such a solitary sport — but around here, I’m never running alone.

2 thoughts on “I run this town.

  1. Seeing those pictures brings back so many memories of high school cross country! We ran Chile Pepper every year…it was always one of my favorite courses!

  2. I imagine you ran it a bit quicker than I did! ;)

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