East family runs home for Chill in the Hills
The weather is cold and the hills are tough.
But this did not discourage the East family from participating in the Chill in the Hills 10k race.
In fact, Larry and his wife Kim, as well as their sister-in-law Bonny East have competed in the annual event numerous times.
“We like Chill in the Hills because it’s a challenge and a tough race,” Larry said.
“And it’s usually rainy and cold,” Bonny added, which makes the course that much more challenging.
Rain and thunderstorms the day of the race plagued the event in both 2019 and 2020. But this past Saturday, while the temperature was on the chilly side, welcome sunshine soon warmed the air and the weather made for an enjoyable morning.
“We are glad it’s not raining,” Bonny said.
Larry and Kim East, who are originally from Vicksburg but for the past 35 years have lived in Baton Rouge, said they like coming back home for the race, and center a couple of visits home around Vicksburg’s running calendar.
The Chill in the Hills is the first of four big Mississippi Track Club events held each year in Vicksburg. The Run Thru History is up next in early March, the Star Spangled Night Run takes place in late June, and the year ends with the Over the River Run across the Old Highway 80 bridge in October.
“We also come back and run in the Run Thru History and Over the River Run,” Larry said.
Like the Chill in the Hills, the Run Thru History is a 10-kilometer race while Over the River Run is a 5-mile run. The Star Spangled Night Run is a 5-kilometer race.
In addition to the local races, all three compete together in other 10K and 5K races, and Bonny said she has even participated in some half marathons.
“She’s the go-getter,” Kim said.
To stay in shape for racing, the trio runs six days a week. In that time frame, Larry said he covers about 15 miles.
One of the family’s goals for each race, they said, is to beat last year’s time. Bonny’s goal is simpler — just “Finish the race.”
“I like to try and place in my age group,” Larry said. Kim said the same.
This year, nearly 100 runners and walkers crossed the finish line and all three Easts walked away winners.
Larry came in sixth place overall in the 10K, with a time of 48 minutes, 16 seconds, and won a chili bowl trophy for finishing first in his age group. Kim crossed the finish line in just over an hour and was third in her age group. Bonny, too, took home the third-place prize in her age group.