The Florida Track Club hosted one of its annual events yesterday, the Tom Walker Memorial Half Marathon. This year the race was moved to the Gainesville Hawthorne trail. This is a very popular local running and biking path, with no traffic and less stress.
I can almost be seen in the photo above. I'm buried near the back, in a red shirt and black visor...making my stupid running face that I have been trying to overcome for the past two decades.
My running friends Meghan (in purple top) and Adrienne (aqua singlet) are to my left.
The turnout was excellent. I started with my running buddies Meghan and Adrienne. Meghan was off like a rabbit, so we shuffled into line behind her. The weather was overcast at times, gracious even in November for Florida, as the temps have been rising into the high 70's.
I was great to see so many familiar faces on the course. And near the finish I recognized Ed and James, two track club members I trained with in 2006...both talented master competitors who handed me my rear end on every run.
Soon we were onto the final mile and I pushed it to the finish for a 1:53. Nothing to be ashamed of, but a far cry from the 1:37 I ran in Sydney, Australia in May 2007.
I had a few bites to eat and left quickly, headed to the U of FL library for study on my qualifying exams. A while later I had a call from Jennifer, one of the race organizers. She was upset I had departed; I was not present to receive the award for winning my age group!
It's been 25 years since I started the endurance sport lifestyle and the enjoyment remains. What a great sport and I am thankful to be part of it.