The torch was lit - no more time to think about it... just step up to the starting line and run! That's just what I did Friday night - taking part in my first 10k race, the Governor's Cup at the Sunflower State Games. We started off making 3/4 of a lap around the Hummer Park track. It was a nice, soft surface to get my stride and it was a lot of fun to hear all the family and friends of the runners up in the stands cheering us on. Out the parking lot and onto the streets we went. As I neared the turn approaching the 2-mile mark, I caught a glimpse of the 5k leader - none other than Tony Estes, who's been giving me advice and encouragement that I've shared with you throughout my training for the run. (He'd go on to win - congrats, Tony!) As I made my way through the neighborhoods, I appreciated the support the community was showing for the event. Several families were on their front lawns, cheering up on as we passed. Thanks to all of you for doing that. As I neared the five-mile mark, my lack of training on pavement was catching up with me - I was feeling beat! Just as I was debating whether I needed to shut down and conserve so I could keep moving to the end, I spotted Tony running back toward me. My first thought was, "Oh, no - now I can't loaf!" But then I thought, "All right! Now I can't loaf!" I was glad to have someone to push me on. Tony talked me through to the end - reminding me to pump my arms a little more, use the downhills, stretch out my stride, only three blocks left. I did it! I crossed the finish line in 53.38 - good enough for second in my age group, and plenty good enough for myself for a first effort! Will I do it again? I think I might! And I might even explore going further. Why not? After all, I met 77-year old Marvin after the run - he did the 10k, too, (won his age group in just over an hour!) and is planning for his next races! What an inspiration! In the more immediate future, though, the Sunflower State Games aren't over! This Saturday, I'll take part in the 5k cross country at Iliff Commons, just west of K4, off NE 31st Street. You can sign up that morning to join us. If you don't want to run, there's also a walking event. Check out www.sunflowergames.com for full details. Thanks again for all your good wishes!