5K #5 January 21, 2013: Georgia, Atlanta

5K #5 January 21, 2013: Georgia, Atlanta

It is Martin Luther King's birthday and an Atlanta 5K.
We were here in 2010 and are happy to be back.

Our hotel was near the 5K run site, Atlanta's Piedmont Park, and we walked over there about sunrise. 38 degrees but fortunately, little wind.

This is a wonderful mom and her kids at the packet pickup. The mom is running.

A little line dancing to warm up.

1476 runners competing.

At the start, runners dashed about 400 yards across an open field and then up a steep hill.

The rest of the route was primarily a run on the sidewalks in Piedmont Park.

After the finish.
All runners were given an MLK5K Drum Run shirt after the finish. I finished 210th out of 1476. Lots of drummers performed throughout the route.

I was slower than 5 nine year old boys and slower than about 30 teenage boys, but I was faster than all of the other men in my 60-64 age group, and I received the first place medal for that age group.

Atlanta and the MLK5K were both terrific.

Runs scheduled for February.

February 2: Arizona, Surprise (Spring Training home of the mighty Texas Rangers). The Desert Classic Marathon, Half Marathon, and 5K
February 3: New Mexico, Albuquerque. The Superbowl Run
February 23: North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 20th Annual Shamrock "N" Run 5K
February 24: Virginia, Williamsburg. 34th Annual Sentara Colonial Half Marathon & 5K


5K #4 January 19, 2013: South Carolina, Charleston

Charleston, South Carolina: 5K #4

The Shrimp and Grits 5K -- an event that is part of the 3rd ANNUAL Charleston Marathon, Going the Distance for the Arts

I got some new shoes last week--from Run On in Coppell, Texas

Mine are the red ones.
With my fellow runner.

Right before the start. 39 degrees in Charleston.

The marathoners started in downtown Charleston, but we 5Kers ran a loop in the neighborhood near North Charleston High School

I finished 67th out of 704 who ran the Shrimp and Grits 5k and second in my age group.

And the best part: the Shrimp and Grits. Those are the 3Dudes, a young teen band, playing behind me. They were great too. Seriously, they were.

I received a commemorative glass for my 2nd place In the 60-64 age group.

One more run is scheduled for January, the MLK5K in Atlanta in two days on Martin Luther King day.


5K+ #3, a Half Marathon, January 13, 2013: Alabama, Gulf Shores

The Gulf Coast Half Marathon, 13.16 miles, in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Never thought that this could happen--running a half marathon.

Until I was 60, I had never run more than 2 miles.

My longest run was in 2012 -- 7 miles, and here I am entering a half marathon.  Why?

It is difficult to schedule enough 5Ks to get to all 50 states in a calendar year because most 5Ks are run on Saturdays with a few on Sundays and holidays.  So for a weekend, I try to find two adjoining states with one having a 5K on Saturday, and the other on Sunday.

I saw that I could run a Saturday 5K in Mississippi and a Sunday race in Alabama, but that Bama race was a half marathon.

I love Biloxi, Mary Mahoney's, and the Gulf coast, so to make it work this weekend, I chose apprehensively to enter my first half marathon, the Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Gulf Shores, Alabama.

And-- I have some goals:
1) finish
2) finish under 2:10:00
3) finish under 2:02:27. This is the family record posted by older son Stewart (Walter Stewart Dewar IV).
4) Finish under 2:00. Call 911.

1-13-13: the day of my first half marathon has arrived.

And we are off. 216 running today.

One of the ballerinas walked the 13.16 miles. It turned out that I ran beside the other ballerina from about mile 2 to mile 4, but ultimately, she was Secretariat and I was Sham.

I was averaging 9:15 miles for the first 9 miles and had my eye on besting my son's time, but at that point, my legs started to cramp, and I struggled as if I were Chester in Gunsmoke (you under 60s should google that). I averaged 10:45 miles for the last 4+. Although that included the 800+ yard incline going up my Tallahatchie Bridge in mile 12.

So I limped in at a pretty good time 2:08:19 that accomplished two of my goals -- finishing and running under 2:10.

This was 72nd out of 216 runners, but 5th in my age group, evidently due to some speedy old geezers who ran at a pace under 2 hours.

No medal for me since I was not in the top 3, but as in youth sports, all the finishers in the Gulf Coast Half Marathon get a medal, and it opens bottles too.

After the run, all the runners enjoyed Jumbalaya, red beans and rice, and ice cold beer at Lulu's, a great open air restaurant where the race began and ended.

This was a really fun event. Next weekend, we go to 5Ks in Charleston, SC, and Atlanta, GA. The Atlanta run is on Martin Luther King Day.


5K #2, January 12, 2013: Mississippi, Biloxi

The 2013 Frosty Kroc 5K Run, January 12

It is a gulf coast running weekend with a Friday flight from Dallas to Mobile in time to drive to Biloxi for pre-run dinner at a great iconic southern restaurant, Mary Mahoney's Old French House.

We were here in 2000 and 2010.

Pre-5K Dinner

In the morning, the Mascot Race kicks off the day. Out of the fog came three mascots.

Warming up before the 5k on the track behind the beautiful Kroc Center in Biloxi.

The run though is on the streets in the neighborhood.
See if you can find Waldo at the start.

3.1 miles later at the finish

First in my age group (just three other gentlemen over 60 running) and 13th overall out of about 70 runners.

Two states completed, and three more scheduled in January.

Sunday -- a half marathon (my first) in Gulf Shores Alabama.


5K #1, January 1, 2013: California, Simi Valley

The 2013 7th Annual Run for the Books 5K: Simi Valley, California

The quest to run a 5K in all 50 states in 2013 begins in beautiful Simi Valley, California at the Run for the Books 5K.

Pre-run meal.

This is a trail run with a couple of steep hills. The temp Is about 45 degrees and fortunately not too windy. The organizers describe the path as follows:
Trail: Long wide fire road. Hawks, bunnies, ducks, wonderful scents of morning, a creek (3 crossings). Slight elevation change UP on the way out and DOWN on the way back. This is a great trail for running carriages, dogs, kids and walkers too!

The run begins with the very steep decline behind us.

The run ends with about a 200 yard trek back up this steep hill. Very tough on the oldest person running.

About 50 people ran the 5K, although about 1/3 of those walked, and I finished 9th.

These are my Garmin times for each of the first 3 miles (L1, L2, L3) and what turned out to be an additional .22 miles L4) making the run about a 5.2K.

These are the excellent race organizers Sarita and Randy Shoemaker. They also run boot camps. This is their website: http://www.805bootcamp.com/HomePage.html

The night before the run was our 30th wedding anniversary. We celebrated with SMU college friend Gail Casey, my big sister in my fraternity. Gail lives near Simi Valley and took us to a great restaurant, Olivio's Trattoria. We had a great celebration.

After the 5K, we went to the Rose Bowl.

One state completed. D.C. and 49 more states to go.


INTRODUCTION: Run 5Ks in 50 States in 2013

Time of this Post:  The Beginning of 2013

Goal: To run a 5k in all 50 states during 2013

Why: See the USA and stay in shape

Background: I am Walter Dewar, a 63 year old former math teacher, co-creator of a PSAT/SAT prep company, former Executive Vice President of Advanced Placement Strategies, Inc., married to Jeannie Dewar for 30 years, father of three, and now retired.

1993 picture

2007 picture

From my 1971 SMU graduation until about April, 2009, I was 10 then 15 then 20 then 25 pounds overweight and had high cholesterol (Tex-Mex, bacon and eggs, Big-Macs, Bar-B-Q, pasta, etc.). For example, here is my older son Stewart and heavy me at the 6th game of the 2001 World Series in Phoenix.

and Stewart in the 2010 Dallas White Rock Marathon. He is a source of inspiration.

Now this guy below, my good friend Gregg Fleisher (Mr. Chicago), is responsible for my getting into shape beginning in April, 2009.

At that time, I shared my recently received cholesterol numbers, and he suggested that I might live for just 5 or 10 more years. Probably hyperbole, but...

He said that he could give me a running plan that would help.

More about his boot in a bit. Gregg gave me a 5-month plan that began with 10-second runs and worked up to a 5K. It took me 7 months instead of 5, but in December 2009, I ran a treadmill 5K.

In May 2011, I ran my first road 5K and finished 2nd in my 60-64 age group.

Of course, I was running against some really old guys and not too many of them. The story regarding Gregg's boot begins in January, 2012. For over 20 years Gregg, then 50, and I have competed and sometimes gambled on just about everything. He has run marathons, the Chicago Marathon as recently as a few years ago with a time of 3 hours 59 minutes. In about 1992, he bet me a considerable amount that he could run 1.5 miles (6 laps around a track) before I could run 1 mile (4 laps around a track), something I had not done since about 1973. Gregg underestimated my stamina.

Well, last January (2012), Gregg, his three children, and I met for lunch. I had been working out and running about 5 times a week (retirement provides lots of free time), and I was bragging about my 5K treadmill times. I said something to him like, "What are the chances that I could beat you in a 5K in a few months?" A little heavy at 220 pounds at the time, Gregg still said something like "no chance" or "zero chance." Gregg backed up these bold words by offering a sizeable wager for a 5K race in May in which he would lay 10 to 1. We had a postponement agreement too in case one of us had an injury before race day. Separately, we trained extensively, and Gregg lost about 15 pounds. However, he suffered a severe strain to his leg playing softball (he is 50) shortly before the race date, and we rescheduled for November. I did go ahead and run a 5K on May 12, 2012 without Gregg and finished first in my elderly 60-64 age group with a time of 24:54.

Gregg said he would have easily beaten that, and since he only tells the truth, I was lucky about the postponement.

As November approached, we were both training hard. We had an agreement this time though that if one of us were injured or could not run for any reason, then that person would lose the bet. On October 7, I got a call from Gregg. He said, "You have won the bet." He had broken his ankle playing softball. Jeter broke his ankle shortly afterward and wears the same boot.

I did not make Gregg pay. It did not seem quite right. He was still the favorite to win. However, he did give me an airline voucher. More than fair.

Then Gregg challenged me to a blood race (no money wager--only pride) to be run in December 2013 -- as the Beatles say, "When I'm 64. "So, to prepare, I may try to run a 5K (or longer) in every state during 2013 with the last one in Dallas against Gregg. Jeannie and I have gone on a 15 to 20 city summer baseball trip the past few summers. Jeannie is a great elementary art school teacher and has summers off. Our baseball blog is at www.grandslamtrip.blogspot.com.

This summer I can incorporate 5Ks into the trip. However, it will take many weekends all year to hit all 50 states. We shall see. The first 5K is in California on January 1. Check this out.