I love running: Post-Valentine’s update

Our first events of 2024 are in the books — the Bury the Hatchet fun run from Tomahawk Chop in Batesville on New Year’s morning and Saturday’s (Feb. 17) Run Fore the Bearkatz at Cooper’s Hawk golf course in Melbourne. Meanwhile, track season has begun at schools throughout the region, and I’m helping with the Batesville Pioneers (jr/sr boys/girls). My own runs have been fewer and lesser of late after a couple of bouts of cold or flu and some general aging of my inner teen. I hope to post some weekend fun runs looking for company, arranged around nearly 20 races on my timing calendar.

The posted timing calendar has just been updated to adjust the Beebe Athletic Club Cinco de Mayo Glow Run to Sunday evening May 5 and to add the Well Done Run at Fellowship Searcy on April 20. Some dates are still pending confirmation, but listed in the same calendar week as the 2023 event. I will be updating the calendar as registration links become available and reformatting it accordingly. Most of the listed races are at runsignup.com.

Saturday’s race on the cart paths at Cooper’s Hawk raised funds for the Melbourne Bearkatz athletics booster club, with significant support of Cooper’s hawk, White River Health, and local enterprises. Coaches, athletes, health professionals and friends turned out in force for course logistics, and a determined group of runners finished the nearly 4-mile course in sub-freezing temperatures and high winds. I will be posting results here as the season progresses, but results typically go live to each race’s entry (often at RunSignup) page. Click for Run Fore the Bearkatz results.

As I said, Batesville Pioneer track season is geared up, with senior high athletes having a few weeks under their belts and the junior high teams getting in their first practices this past week. Winter sports are just wrapping up, however, so basketball players, swimmers, and wrestlers have yet to hit the track. I help where I can, but my focus is with the distance group (800, 1600, 3200 and 4 x 800 relay). We have a veteran senior boys distance group with a bit more depth than the girls, though we had some late-season ninth-grade depth added in fall girls cross country. The early interest in junior high distance is encouraging as we have more recruits out so far than in recent years. Junior high does not run the 3200 (metric two-mile) but even the 800 tends to daunt the young ones, who are more eager to run as fast as they can for as short as allowed. Last week, I enjoyed working with a few who chattered and laughed throughout 30-45 minutes of first-time practice! First meet is mid-March.

That’s the good news of the first weeks of 2024 and a hopeful look ahead to more good things to come. I’m available for private coaching, race planning and timing as calendar permits, and for general information on running throughout the region. Keep up with me here or on Facebook for open runs, course previews, and connections to the broader running community.

Run for fun!


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