Monday, December 30, 2013
Sunday, December 29, 2013
Jacksonville Half Marathon Jacksonville, Florida Sunday, December 29, 2013 On Sunday, December 29, 2013 I race walked the Jacksonville Half Marathon in Jacksonville, Florida. The temperature at the start of the event was 65 degrees, the breeze was about 9 mph, and the skies were partly cloudy. This was a pleasant surprise because rain was predicted for the entire event. I did not luck out completely as by mile 4 it began to drizzle and it continued to rain and drizzle for the rest of my half marathon. I even experienced a flash of lightning and the boom of thunder as I was approaching the finish line on the track of the stadium at Bolles High School. The course was almost completely flat on the roadways which had a closed dedicated lane for the participants. There were a large number of police to control the intersections and other key points along the route. The last half mile of the course was a quarter of a mile across a soccer field, an eighth of a mile path, and a half lap around a track. The soccer field and path were muddy and had many puddles as a result of the rain. Water/Gatorade stations were located approximately every two miles and were manned by plenty of volunteers who did their duties despite the rain. As always I really appreciate the volunteers without which these events could not occur. There were a few spectators braving the bad weather to cheer the participants. It was pouring when I finished and I did not stay around for the post-race activities. The event as usual was very well organized.
Tuesday, December 24, 2013
Monday, December 09, 2013
Half Marathon of the Palm Beaches West Palm Beach, Florida Sunday, December 8, 2013 I race walked the Half Marathon of the Palm Beaches in West Palm Beach, Florida on Sunday, December 9, 2013. I have done this event all ten years of its existence and was awarded a special long sleeve shirt as a result. I was surprised when the lady handing out the special shirts told me there was only 30 people to be awarded shirts. I would have expected a much larger number. The weather was somewhat hot as the temperature started at 75 degrees and climbed to 82 degrees with mostly sunny skies and about 10 mph winds in exposed areas. There have been new race directors for the past two years and they made sure there were no problems with water/Gatorade stations as had been the case in 2011. The stations were located approximately every mile with plenty of enthusiastic volunteers and plenty of supplies so that I could drink 2 or 3 cups of liquid at each station which I did as I tend to get dehydrated during hot races. The course was flat closed to traffic roadways with first an out and back section to the north along the Inter-coastal Waterway followed by another out and back section to the south. There were only a few places where police were needed to control traffic. Numerous friendly volunteers were everywhere along the course as well as many spectators. Bill Rogers who won the Boston Marathon 4 times as well as the New York City Marathon 4 times was at the exposition for part of Saturday. I was able to spend some time outside the exposition talking with him and having a photo taken. I have previously met him at 2 or 3 other events at which I have attended. He remembered my wife, Gerda, and I from a previous time in West Palm Beach. I am very happy to announce that the new race directors have corrected the negative aspects that plagued this event between 2008 and 2011 and have once again made this event well organized and enjoyable.