Here I am at the Village Chapel 5K fun run in Sept. 09. This was the last block of the race....just before I thundered to a 32:37 finish. Call the Olympic Committee ;^) [Thanks to MaryJane & Don Smallwood for snapping this pic of me.]

Deja vu all over again. Here I am at the same point in the race in 2010, looking, um, a bit rough around the edges. It was almost 80 degrees and full sun that day. Still, I somehow managed to complete the race without embarrassing myself in public. (Well, I did stab myself with a safety pin while putting my race number on, but we won't go into that.) Did I mention it was really hot that day? My finish time was 32:06. Once again, thanks to MaryJane & Don Smallwood for snapping this pic of me.

Next up in 2010, I tackled the Roundtown Classic 5K. Had a blast! The Classic makes 2 loops around Mary Virginia Crites Park in Circleville--a pleasant course that alternates between a paved path and gravel trails that run through woods. And there was quite a crowd. On paper, my finish time of 33:47 would seem to be a poorer performance, but the Classic has some serious (for me, anyway) hills in it. The weather was as good as you can hope for in July--it was in the low 70s, and, thank God, cloudy and windless. Considering the hills, I would classify this run as my strongest performance so far this season. Thanks to Ralph & Debbie Large for snapping this picture of me post-race.

Here we all are at the beginning of the Village Chapel Freedom Run in 2011. Yep, it's raining. And the longer we ran, the harder it rained. No matter. We all had fun. And what a difference from last year! I handled the distance much more comfortably this year! Thanks to Bob Stickel for forwarding this picture of me.

A few weeks later, here we all are again at the Roundtown Classic 5k. The weather was perfect and almost a carbon copy of last year: cloudy, about 70 degrees, and very light wind. I'd been training on this course and so it was no surprise that I felt much more comfortable when the starting gun went off. The hills didn't seem nearly as bad as they did last year. And my finishing time reflected that--I knocked almost 2 minutes off last year's time! Thanks to Janet Morris for snapping this picture of me.

OK, now I'm getting brave! I decided to try the Circleville Classic 5-Miler. Once again, the weather gods smiled on us: it was 30 degrees (OK, that is a bit nippy!) and sunny, with very light winds. I didn't know what the course would be beforehand, but a few of the folks I met that morning before the race assured me that it was a flat run. And for the most part it was. I did have one advantage: the course wound through Northwood Park, where I typically do most of my training, so at least all the streets were familiar territory. Before I knew it, we were at 3 miles, and then 4 miles, and then it was just that long last mile to the finish. Wow! I actually finished this! And my 51:47 finishing time was way better than I could have hoped for! Thanks to Don & MaryJane Smallwood for snapping this picture of me after the run.

First race of 2012: the YMCA's Splash & Dash has moved back to town, and I thought I would give it a try; the last time I ran this race was in 2007. Sunny, mid 70s, and windy. The course circles around the Circleville Bible College campus, and it is mostly flat with just a few little hills. I hit the 1st mile in 10:00 on the nose. Second mile in 20:30. OK, now I've got a shot at a good finishing I try to pick up the pace. After a last stubborn little hill, with some headwinds thrown in, I round a bend and then it is downhill and I can see the finish line and the clock. Does that clock still say 29? Yes it does. OK, Scotty, hit me with all she's got--the warp drive, the impulse engines, even throw in the engines from the shuttlecraft!

And I cross the line at 30:01.

Then they tell me the clock is wrong.

OK, so as best as I can guess, my real time was 31:00, which is still a very good time (for me) and is in fact my best performance since, say, Reagan was President. Thanks to Ralph Large for snapping this picture of me at about 2.5 miles.

This point in the race is looking familiar, isn't it?

Here I am once again on that last block of the Village Chapel 5k, which they are calling the Freedom Run now.

As you can see, it did not rain this fact the weather wasn't bad at all.

And on this flat course, I posted my best 5k time yet: 30:32

Thanks to Don & MaryJane Smallwood for snapping this picture of me.


That last big hill at the Roundtown Classic. This year, I was brave and tackled the 5-mile course instead of the 5k course.

I had been training on this course for most of the year, so I knew what to expect. And, amazingly, the run went almost exactly the way I had planned, and I ended up averaging exactly 10:30 per mile. For a hilly course, that's not bad!

Once again, for the 3rd year in a row, the weather was very co-operative: mid 60s, cloudy for almost the entire run (in fact, it almost looked like it might rain when we started), and hardly any wind.

Thanks to Jim Mills for snapping this picture of me.

My proverbial 15 minutes of fame!

As you can see, I got my picture in the paper!

Here we all are steaming up the hill just before Brooks-Yates at the Dog Days 5k.

The weather....well, it could have been worse. It was cloudy, and in the low 70s, and there was hardly any wind.

This hilly course starts at Circleville High School, meanders through town (hitting some of the worst hills we have in town), and then circles back. Cruelly, the last mile is all uphill, and gets steeper as we progress.

I consider my 10:10 average over such a hilly course to be a major accomplishment!

The Circleville Classic 5-Miler; last run of the season.

Drizzling, about 30 degrees, and a wind nasty enough to add to everyone's fun factor.

Here I am about 10 feet from the finish line....looking more than a little rough around the edges. In fact, as you can see, I am listing to starboard and feeling almost about ready to capsize. But I finished, which I considered a major accomplishment given the weather.

Thanks to Jim Mills for taking this picture of me.

First run of the season: The YMCA Dash & Splash.

A small crowd this year (even counting the dogs)....and the same course as last year: more or less 2 figure-8s around the Circleville Bible College.

I didn't post a great time this year....not sure what happened but I just ran out of steam on the last mile and posted an 11:00 mile at the end. Sigh.

Thanks to Jim Mills for taking this picture of me.

I did it!

Finally, after years of training, I broke 30 minutes in a 5k!

Here I am lunging for the finish line at the Freedom Run 5k in Ashville. The weather was co-operative--cloudy, light wind, and temps in the high 60s. Perfect for nailing a PR.

If I haven't mentioned it before, the Freedom Run is a flat and fast course, so this was my best opportunity for a PR this year.

According to my watch, I finished in 29:52.

Thanks to Sabrina Alphin from Citizen's Bank for snapping this picture of me.

The Roundtown Classic 5k/5-miler. Once again, I elected to do the 5-mile course.

It was stupid hot that day.

Still, I was determined to finish, so I soldiered on, and even passed up all the water stations--didn't want to lose any time.

Did I mention how hot it was?

OK, I finished....looking none too spiffy afterwards.

Thanks to Kathy Burris from the YMCA for snapping this picture of me.