The Nebraska's Toughest Mile (NTM) competition will take place on Saturday, Nov. 2, in Peru. The race, conducted by Peru State's cross country coach Katy Billings and her Bobcat cross country team, will start at 8:00 a.m. in one of Nebraska's hilliest small towns, that being Peru!
The concept of the Nebraska's Toughest Mile race is simple:  one mile and three hills! The middle of the race will take competitors up the infamous "Gut-Buster Hill" which is located just north of the Campus of a Thousand Oaks on Seventh Street. "Gut-Buster Hill" was and is still a great place to go sledding in the winter, but does prove to be quite the challenge when it is the second hill, and toughest one, to climb during the race.
Billings is looking to make this year's race another great one. Last year's race had 60 participants, one of the largest, but did not quite meet the record number of 97 from the previous year. Billings is hoping to have at least 100 "brave" runners and/or walkers to tackle the challenge. The race will be done in waves so that the "serious" runners will not be impeded by walkers and joggers.
"This race is for everyone from young to old, and from the serious runner to the casual walker," noted Billings, the race coordinator. "We want to challenge all individuals, whether athletic or not, to do something which would stretch them out of their normal comfort zone."
The race will begin at 8:00 a.m.  Registration will commence at 7:30 a.m. on race day at the beginning of the race that is located in downtown Peru. Registration will close at 7:50 a.m. The starting line is near the Peru Fire Station and the finish line is near the front of the T.J. Majors building on the main campus.
The entry fee is only $20 and all participants will receive a t-shirt when picking up their race packet during registration for those who register early.  For Peru State students, the cost is only $10! The fee the day of the race will be $25. An awards ceremony will be conducted at the conclusion of the race.
Last year's male winner Noah Temme, a Peru State student, who completed the race in 6:22. Temme became a two-time winner as he cut 23 seconds off his winning time in 2017. The top female runner was Hannah Ray from Lincoln who finished the race in a time of 6:48.2.
Participants can register online at and click on the "Register" link or they can send their information including t-shirt size, along with a $20 check, made payable to Peru State Cross Country, to Coach Katy Billings, 1412 I Street, Auburn, NE 68305. Guarantee your t-shirt by registering by Friday, Oct. 25! Coach Billings cannot guarantee a shirt after that point.
Online payment available through the Peru State College Foundation by doing the following:
Go to:
Under Donation Information, toggle Other amount and input $20 (or multiple amount if paying for additional runners/walkers)
Under Designation, toggle Other and then in the box below, type "Toughest Mile"
The rest should be self-explanatory for payment
An overall award will be given to the top male and female.
Ivan Marsh of Ashland, Neb., initially set the course record of 5:45 in 2005.  In 2011, Marsh returned to compete in the race and broke his record by six seconds. The new standard is now 5:39.
Athletic Director Wayne Albury noted, "This is a fun event that the College and Coach Billings provide.  Hopefully, there will be a number of competitors as this a very interesting opportunity for all types of runners."