EUGENE, Ore. — About 4,500 participants made it out to the 41st Annual Butte to Butte. While some records were broken, making that kind of history wasn’t everyone’s goal Friday morning.
It was a tight race in the 10K Men’s Division with Chris Kwiatkowski taking first by mere seconds with a time of 30 minutes and 14 seconds. But, a record was broken by Alexi Pappas, who set a new goal for future runners in the 10K Women’s Division, beating the previous time by just under a minute at 33 minutes and 12 seconds. While they are obvious winners in this race, many runners were calling their participation a personal victory too.
And with the bang of a gun, they were off. While this race may have begun at 8 a.m., some journeys started well before then.
First-time 10K runner Trena Hilton says, “Since the past year, we’ve lost each over a hundred pounds and so we wanted to challenge ourselves this year and participate in our first 10K.”
Veteran runner Cress Bates says, “My family is still in Sedona. They’re not coming back until Sunday. I cut my trip short to keep my streak alive on this, which is crazy giving up a vacation in Sedona to do this.”
But whether it was your first time or your 34th consecutive time, the Butte to Butte is a community tradition worth taking part in and pushing through.
“Once you get to the top of the hill, you’re like, you’re in it. You’re knee deep. You’ve already endured so much of the pain of the race that it’s like almost a slap in the face, but in a good way,” says Pappas.
So, whatever their reason, by crawl, walk or run, folks made their way to the finish line. And while they may not have been number one in the race, achieving their own personal goals was more than enough reason to celebrate, because what better way to honor Independence Day than to challenge yourself and succeed.
First-time 10K runner Blaine Hilton says, “The goal is for us is to get across that finish line and you know make it through. So, we aren’t really looking to be first place, but just trying to improve our lifestyle overall.”
And while tradition is important, organizers say they try to change things up here and there. This year, that meant pizza at the finish line and free rides for anyone and everyone on LTD, anywhere they needed to go during this Fourth of July holiday.