CU on the Trails 5K Fun Run/Walk

CU on the Trails 2011 (I highlighted the wrong path I took in blue)

This morning my wife and I ran a 5K as part of the annual Champaign Park District’s CU on the Trails event. The idea behind the race is for people in the community to become familiar with the parks in Champaign and the running/walking trails that are associated with each one.

This was our third year participating in the race. The running conditions were not ideal, but they weren’t terrible either (40 degrees with rain).

Two years ago I ran in this event while pushing a double running stroller. I don’t recall my exact time, but I remember that it took me a while to run 3.1 miles. Today, only 15 or so runners showed up for the 5K. Everyone blamed the rain and wind for the low turnout.

Before the race, I thought I would do something different and try to  keep up with the lead runners.  For nearly two miles I was in third place, right behind the first and second runner. But then I ran out of steam and quickly realized that I needed to slow down.

At about this time, I approached a race volunteer and asked “how much longer?” He replied, “About two more miles, you’re almost halfway.” I had a hard time believing that I was “almost halfway,” but I kept going at my new (slower) pace.

When I crossed the finish line (a tree branch), nobody was there taking people’s times, and so I called out to the race organizers “Time?!” and one lady said, “9:37.” I smiled, but was too tired to laugh.

As I drank water and munched on a granola bar, my wife told me that some of us (she and I included) took the wrong “trail,” which put an additional 3/4 mile on the run. I think that information made us feel somewhat better about our times.

Our next 5K will be for the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon in two weeks. However, I guarantee I won’t be able to keep up with the lead group in that event!

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert

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© Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert and BEYOND THE MESAS with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

About the author

Matthew Sakiestewa Gilbert is enrolled with the Hopi Tribe from the village of Upper Moencopi in northeastern Arizona. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of History and a Dean's Fellow and Conrad Humanities Scholar in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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“‘The Hopi Followers’: Chief Tawaquaptewa and Hopi Student Advancement at Sherman Institute, 1906-1909”, Journal of American Indian Education, (Click image to download article)

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