Wildcat Boulevard moved to Newtonia on September 28 for the annual Newtonia Battlefields 5K walk/run. I was telling someone about it later, and they asked, "How do you get 5K in Newtonia?"
"Well, you do have to walk part of the way in the country north of town," I replied.
Walking in farm country is different than walking along Neosho Boulevard. I enjoyed walking beside a harvested cornfield. The stalks were down and broken and the golden kernels from the ears taken to a granary or storage bin some place.
The Newtonia walk takes the participants past the Sheehy horse pasture. The Belgian horses they have are beautiful.
One of the other walkers said that one of the big Belgian horses came up to the fence and reared up on its back feet. I was sad I missed that spectacle.
A mixed herd of four horses in another pasture north of Sheehy's were running as I walked by, their manes flowing up over their backs. There is something about a horse running. The animals seem so smooth and fast, as if gliding over the ground.
The Newtonia 5K walk/run has been in existence for three years. I have bettered my time a minute or two each year. I wonder if I can improve next year?
Once again, Chuck Nodler came back and walked to the finish line with me. He runs the distance and then walks back to meet me to "cool off." He said he gets fewer cramps if he walks a while after running.
The overall winner was unable to stay for the closing ceremonies. He ran at Newtonia and then drove to Monett to run again. He is good and really works at running. He is tall and thin and looks like a runner. I understand he is a minister.
These walk/runs serve several purposes. They help raise money for a good cause. They allow people with like interests to meet and associate with each other. For example, I was able to meet and shake hands with one of the ladies who has walked at Neosho High School for several years. I have spoken to her and waved as we passed, but we never really communicated before.
Take a walk, vary your walks occasionally, use those signal lights, and see what you notice while passing along Wildcat Boulevard.
Russell Hively writes a weekly column for the Daily News.