Columbus is about 50 mins southwest of Asheville, at the foothill of the mountains. Veteran 5K-er Richard Hefner said it was a tough course, which made me feel better consider how much I "suffered." The first mile was mostly downhill, leading to a mostly uphill mile two where I sworn to myself I'd never do this again, then rolling hills at mile three with an uphill finish. Going out, I didn't know what to expect. I know how it feels to run 3.2 miles, but I've never ran 3.2 miles hard. It's too short of a course to take it easy in the beginning but it's too long to go full out right off the bat. I ended up finishing 23:35.6, bringing home a pottery mug and a $50 check as second overall female. The joy of running a small town race.
Shout out to Richard and Linda for their encouragement.