- 3 miles/5K, 6 miles/10K, 9 miles/15K
- Trail Race
Although I’m a new runner, I’ve gotten the opportunity to run longer and shorter races and bigger and smaller races, but I’ve not loved another race as much as I loved the Freeman Lake Distance Challenge.
A large part of what makes the race special is its location. Set at Freeman Lake Park in Elizabethtown, KY, the courses take runners along the shore, on a causeway between reservoirs, through shady woods, and in a garden. I think I might be a convert to trail running!
In addition to being beautiful, the course is easy running, especially when compared to other trail races. There are a few short but steep hills; other than that, the paths around Lake Freeman are nearly flat. They’re built of packed gravel and are wide enough to accommodate two runners abreast.
The Distance Challenge is comprised of two races—a 10K and a 5K. Runners have 90 minutes to finish the 10K before the 5K begins. The courses were partially unique to each of the two races.
As far as swag goes, this year’s race had distinctive, medium-teal tech shirts with multi-color logos. Ding: They only had unisex sizes. Finishers of either distance received a wooden medal, and Distance Challenge finishers got a mason jar with the race logo on it. Overall winners received additional medals, and age group awards were plaques to stick on the back of our medals.
The race announcer was fun and lively. Runners could see the finish line and hear the announcer for the final quarter-mile of each race.
After the races, water, Nuun, bananas, and chips were available for runners. There was plenty of lakeside shade to enjoy while watching the other runners come in. Parking and restrooms were adequate and nearby.
At the end of the 5K, a huge group of participants went back on the course to welcome in the final walkers. It was a special moment that really exemplified the community feel of this event.