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Justus David Places First in Middle Half; Pick up Those Knees

Justus David finished the Middle Half in 1:06:38

It’s been a while, runners of the ‘Boro, but don’t worry, I’ve not ditched running. I’ve been out there, trying to do approximately 15 miles a week.

I’ve had a little inspiration; I’ve been utilizing the Nike Running app to track distance and pace, and it’s a handy way to record data and to have a tangible number to look at to represent all of the hard running work.

It seems to be fairly accurate most of the time, but is definitely not 100 percent reliable; sometimes it reports a different distance for the exact same route I ran previously. Still, it isn’t too far off calibration, and seeing those miles add up on the smartphone screen is yet another reason to get out and pound the pavement.

Another inspiring number: 66. The winner of the latest local half marathon completed the course winding through beautiful Murfreesboro, Tenn., in just 66 minutes. That’s 13 miles, people!

MTSU Blue Raider Justus David, who hails from Kenya and usually competes in 5 and 10ks, placed first in the 2012 Murfreesboro Half Marathon, the Middle Half, posting a 1:06:38 time, just one second ahead of his Kenyan countryman Daniel Kirwa.

Amanda Dunne led the ladies in the Oct. 13 race, with a time of 1:18:15.

November offers a unique opportunity to post a negative time in a 5k, as the Anything is Possible race will be held in Nashville at 1:50 a.m., Sunday, Nov. 4, to coincide with the end of Daylight Savings Time.

The 5k will be at Opry Mills, and proceeds will benefit Team Red, White and Blue, an organization that enriches the lives of wounded veterans and their families by supporting their reintegration into society through a social leadership-based community.

For more information, call (615) 514-1100 or visit anythingispossible5k.com.

On Saturday, Nov. 3, at 8:30 a.m., the Snyder Foundation 5K Run/Walk For The Kids kicks off at the Smyrna Walmart, 570 Enon Springs Rd., Smyrna. This event benefits the Smyrna Fraternal Order of Police’s Cops and Kids for Christmas Program.

For those who missed the Middle Half, or are otherwise wanting to take on the 13 miles of a half marathon, the Hard Rock Cafe Nashville 1/2 Marathon will be Saturday, Nov. 10, at 7 a.m. at 1st Aveune and Broadway.

The route takes runners through some of Nashville’s most beautiful and historic scenery, including The Gulch and East Nashville and the last quarter mile finishes “on a triumphant downhill stretch through the honky tonks of Broadway.” The ensuing block party in front of the Hard Rock Cafe will fully reward participants with music, food and Michelob Ultra. The race will also award prizes for the best costumes.

On Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 22, in Murfreesboro, Borodash once again will invite runners to participate in its 4-mile event. This course originates at MTSU’s Dean Hayes Track and Soccer Stadium and travels to the Public Square and back.

Last year's Boulevard Bolt

The charities supported by Borodash include Neema House, an outreach to orphaned children and broken families in Tanzania, Greenhouse Ministries and the Interfaith Dental Clinic. There’s some more motivation for you to venture out to run on Thanksgiving morning; your registration fee goes to help those who need some assistance.

To register or for more information, visit borodash.org.

If you must be in Nashville on Thanksgiving morning, the 2012 Boulevard Bolt, a 5-mile run/walk, also aims to help out those right here in Middle Tennessee. This race begins at St. George’s Episcopal Church (4715 Harding Rd., Nashville) at 8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 22.

This event, a joint effort between St. George’s, The Temple and Immanuel Baptist Church, distributes money to dozens of different mid-state charities that work with the homeless, and invites other agencies to partner with them.

You may have some company if you run this one; last year approximately 8,500 runners and walkers registered for the annual fundraiser. Since the Boulevard Bolt began in 1994, more than $2 million has been distributed among dozens of local agencies that serve the homeless.

Get 'em up!

To register or for more information, visit boulevardbolt.org.

So get out there and register for a competitive road race. Don’t worry about everyone crossing the finish line before you do. Just push yourself to cross it, and train to cut that time down next time.

This issues’ brief tip is to really pick up those legs as you move along; don’t just shuffle along and kick your feet behind you. Bring the knees up high with each step; incorporate the “high knees” along with the “butt kicks” and make every stride count. If you’re having soreness in the hamstrings, on the back of the leg, post-running, this can help split the load between those muscles and the quads in front and the glute muscles, so it’s not just the hamstrings’ pulling motion doing all of the work.

Alright, I have to run. Run strong.

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About the Author

Bracken, a 2003 graduate of MTSU’s journalism program, is the founder and publisher of The Murfreesboro Pulse. He lives in Murfreesboro with his wife, graphic artist and business partner, Sarah, and son, Bracken Jr. Bracken enjoys playing the piano, sushi, Tool, football, chess, jogging, spending time in his backyard with his chickens, hippie music, climbing at The Ascent, bowling, swimming, soup, tennis, sunshine, revolution, defiance and anarchy. He can cook a mean grilled cheese, and can fry just about anything.

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