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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Thunder Road (Springsteen) Half Marathon Recap

What can I say...every time I hear or think of the Thunder Road Marathon, all I can think of is Bruce Springsteen's title cut from his 1975 classic...Born to Run!

It must be a Jersey thing...

The Kiawah half marathon use to be the half marathon of choice for Charlotte area runners looking for a race in mid December. That all changed when Tim Rhodes decided to stage his marathon festivities for the same time.

I decided to do this half marathon back in '97 and have done it every year since. The conflict for this year was that it was also going to be held on the same day as the Club Cross Country Championships.

My good friend and rival Bill Shires reached out to me last December inquiring about getting a Masters team together to compete. I thought that it was a great idea and I was on board. As it got closer to race day, the Thunder Road half marathon seemed to be a better fit for my schedule (the half started earlier, my son would run the 5k while I was running the half, etc.) What I am trying to say is that I backed out of the deal...I had stood Bill up!

3 days before the race I called Rich Falcone to wish him luck for his cross country race and he said that he felt reasonably well and that maybe he could have a decent performance (he would end up 8th overall in the masters race!) I told him that I was running the half and asked if he thought I could run a 1:17. He said..."you got that in the bag!"

On race morning, Max and I headed over to park at the Dowd (I love parking there for uptown races) Y and set out to walk the 1 mile to the race start. Since it was cold outside, we decided to hang out in one of the uptown buildings. When I thought the race would be starting soon, we went outside and they started playing the national anthem. Out of respect, we were stationary all the way until the end of the song.

Panic mode! The race is about to start and I'm a tenth of a mile from the start with packed side walks that I need to navigate through. There is no way I am going to make it...what was I thinking! So I do my best/worst impression of walking the streets of Manhatten and make my way up to the start and step over the barrier and behind the timing mat...in the nick of time!

The gun goes off and I take off with an adrenaline surge...first mile in 5:45! I was supposed to run with a cheerleader from Wake Forest (a one Billy Shue) yet that plan was scratched early as I started out behind him and then went past him early (I had a race to run and he had a marathon to conquer) He did that in 2:41! Jordan Kinley won in 2:24! Daniele Crockford won in 2:59! The CRC'ers rocked the city streets!

For me, after the first mile, I didn't pass anyone and no one passed me. The support along the way was top notch as people were cheering my 5:55 paced effort the whole way. They included parents whose kids I coach, Aaron, Jay, Ben & Megs, Mo Campbell and Tim Rhodes. A shout out to Tommy from Pasta & Provisions for the great "Eat pasta, run fasta" sign along Providence Road. To Tim Rhodes for his continued support and great race.

Result: 7th overall and a 1:17 and change!

Question: Where are the 2012 track trials being held?


  1. Duh, Oregon again! Track Town USA got it two in a row! Don't forget the olympic Trials are in Houston. Nice race at TR!!

  2. The only reason I asked that question is because Richard and I are going...it is going to be awesome! How could I forget your trials! Can't wait to work out with you again...