At the dawn of July 25, final preparations were being made outside of King Fieldhouse before the 35th Annual 10-5-2 Prairie Run. The starting gate was positioned near the north side of the parking lot, and a DJ was playing music to fire up runners before the race. The sign-in table featured rubber blocks to denote the six feet of physical distancing attendees were required to maintain.
“Because all of the health concerns, we’re very glad we can present this,” said Directorate of Family Morale, Welfare and Recreation 10-5-2 Race Director, Reed Scott. “There are a lot of virtual races, and those are good. But right now, this is nice since we can physically distance, (use) hand sanitizer and masks and get together to run.”
Those safety measures were front and center as runners wore masks the duration of the event except while running. Hand sanitizer was available at many points in the staging area, and the customary awards ceremony was postponed until an upcoming Town Hall meeting. Runners and their supporters were told to leave the area after they completed their run.
Chocks of runners were spaced 30 seconds apart, with the fastest runners at the start.. The 10 and 5 mile runners were given a special chip which transmitted their bib number to the on-site timer during the race. This enabled the active-duty 10 milers to record their race times for qualification in the Army Ten-Miler. Private 1st Class Alonzo Towsend, from the 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry DIvision, said he was excited to get started on the Army Ten Miler qualifying run.
“I’ve always loved running, and I thought, ‘let’s go for the Army team,’” Towsend said.
Besides the 10 miler, runners also participated in the 5- and 2-mile portions. Participants in the 2-mile portion were not timed. Those runners could also run with strollers and the race was free for that distance.
The run hosted 31 10-mile runners, 23 5-mile runners, and four 2-mile runners. Awards will be given to the top three finishers in the men’s and women’s 10- and 5-mile races.