Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Deleon Springs Half Marathon

One of the highlights of this race occurred at packet pick up. Standing in line about 45 minutes before the start, the guy standing next to me looks over and says:

“Hey, are you Running Bird?”

How cool is that? It made me feel like a celebrity.

It was great meeting and talking with you Brian, thanks for introducing yourself. I hope you have a great race at Disney!

Now it’s time for a little confession.

I have written in this blog before that I race for the t-shirts. That’s not exactly accurate. It isn’t the shirts or the medals, nor is it a middle aged struggle to get fit or a pursuit of the mythical runner’s high.

I race . . . to satiate my pony tail fetish.

So why (oh why!) would I spend the first hour of this race, over 7 miles, pacing behind a shirtless, balding, hairy backed SOB in his 60’s. Yes, he set a good pace and for as long as I could keep up with him I averaged about 8:30 per mile (yes, he beat me). With the myriad beautiful women that I could have been chasing, I got stuck behind this guy. So dude, no offense, but when I look back to fondly remember this race, I will recall that you were female, 40 years younger, 75 lbs lighter, wearing compression shorts and a sports bra, with your hair tightly bound high on your head, locks seductively swaying back and forth . . . .

What was I saying? Oh, yeah. Sorry, I just got distracted for a moment.

. . . and of course, with not a single hair on your back.

I finished in 1:55:36, 94th overall and 12th in my age group. That’s about 3 minutes over my PR but well under my goal for the race. I tried to keep my expectations low because I’m running the Charleston Marathon in less than two weeks and didn’t want to overdo it. I figured I could shoot for two hours and be satisfied. That being said, you always hope to PR at any race and a PR was easily attainable on this course which is a very fast, flat out and back. Abstaining over the New Year’s weekend might have helped. Cooler, drier weather might have helped. Hydrating a little better might have helped. Taken as a whole though, I‘m very happy with how the weekend shook out.

It was a relatively small event but with a really competitive field of runners. The overall winner was a woman who finished in 1:23:26. WVR had over 30 people in attendance running the 5k and half-marathon, and many who showed up to cheer. That was a real boost in the final stretch.

I should also acknowledge Bill aka Swingbelly of the Lake Monroe Roadkillers who kept me entertained in the early miles of this race. He is always quick with a good story, even though the one he told me Sunday made me throw up a little in the back of my mouth. Congratulations on your age group award Bill, and for the record, you were not the shirtless SOB referenced above.


  1. A pony tail fetish, eh? Interesting! I've learned to stop looking at the people in front of me because I always get so grossed out if I have to see a saggy old woman and visible panty line! Now I seem to look anywhere but right in front of me. This may come back to haunt me some day when I crash into someone!

    Congrats on another race, and good luck on the next one!

  2. I totally back you up on this. It's worth slowing down to have the right person to follow.