For Amber Eichkorn, Saturday’s River Run might be considered a bit of field work in her chosen career.
Eichkorn, a Wichita North alum who just graduated from the University of South Dakota – the school name emblazoned on her running shirt – with a major in kinesiology and sport science. She finished as the top female runner in the race, recording a time of 36 minutes, 46 seconds.
That time gave her a successful defense of the women’s crown she won a year ago. She said she has been in about four or five races, so that’s a pretty efficient winning percentage.
“Last year was the first year I’ve won it,” she said.
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She said Saturday’s race felt very comfortable.
“It was really good,” Eichkorn said. “I didn’t expect to be quite out in the lead that early, but it was a great race. I just kind of kept trucking along, and it was really good.”
She said she likes running as a means to enjoy the outdoors.
“Just the feeling of … just kind of getting in the zone, and just like appreciating nature for what it is,” she said. “Just being able to be free, in a sense.”
And it even gets more enjoyable when running in the bare, blocked-off streets of downtown Wichita, she said.
“Oh yeah,” Eichkorn said with a chuckle.
Now that she has completed her degree, Eichkorn said she’d probably be staying in Wichita for the foreseeable future.
“Yes, for now,” she said. “We’ll see how it goes.”
Nevertheless, Eichkorn said she plans to return for a possible three-peat next year. And, she said running will continue to be a key part of her life wherever she is.
“That’s the plan, at least,” she said.