100 Triathlons
Go to the early blogs to read how I got into triathlons. Click on any picture to enlarge it. I'm now in USA Triathlon's Century Club; go to
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood...who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly." Theodore Roosevelt 1910

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Swamphouse Half-Marathon in Debary

I hadn't really planned on doing this race today.  After my PR (Personal Record) at the Celebration Marathon in January and another PR at the Real Florida 10K trail race last weekend, I felt my running races for 2014 were done.  However, my co-worker Rhonda Curran's daughter Ashlee had a medical condition cause her to DNF at the Orlando Extreme Half-Marathon 3 weeks earlier and she had already signed up for this race.  I asked Rhonda and Ashlee if I could run the race for Ashlee and they agreed.  My friend Jennifer Florida at FinalMile graciously transferred the entry at no charge so I was entered.

As my last PR (1:54:52) for a half marathon occured at the OUC in downtown Orlando in 2005, I wasn't sure if I was up to the task of another PR.  I have done 7 half-marathons since 2004, not counting half Ironman triathlons.  While my mile splits for last weekend's trail 10K were 8:36, that would have to be my mile time for 13.1 miles today to achieve my goal .  My Celebration Marathons splits were 10:17, fine over 26.2 miles.  Needless to say, I was wondering if this was doable, especially since I was now 60 years old.  I also felt I'd let Ashlee down if I didn't try as hard as I could.

Pacer Eve Barrett and me
Race morning was cool and clear and FinalMile's organization was great.  We started a few minutes after 7:15 while waiting for the last shuttle bus then off we went into the sunrise.  I saw a run pacer with pink hair carring a 1:55 sign and figured if I stuck to her I'd be fine.  The miles ticked away as we traveled through Debary and I managed to hang onto the 1:55 group.  As runners fell away, I caught the pacer, Eve Barrett, a 3-time Ironman finisher from Dunedin, at mile 10.  We chatted a bit as we zipped along and a few more people dropped back.  At mile 11.5, there were only 5 in the group and I pulled away, confident that I could press hard to the finish.  I started running down people ahead of me and at mile 12 I still felt strong.  Running with Ashlee on my mind, I ran as hard as I could and hit the finish line at 1:53:31, a new PR by 1:21!  I waited to thank Eve for her efforts and after a quick picture, I went to check out the results.  I was very pleased to see I finished Third out of 18 in my age group, good for an plaque.  At the awards ceremony, I ran into an old friend, Ken Allen, who had won his age group along with Charlie St.Cyr-Paul, who won his.  A great day all the way around.  I look forward to running with Ashlee again soon after her recovery

Along the St. Johns's River

Jack with Ken Allen