THE CONDUCTOR

Two meanings.  Same result.

I’ve nicknamed Richard Fannin “The Conductor”.  He with the baton in his hand, orchestrating a community to rally behind a dream.  But not his own.  The dream that 41 athletes achieved at yesterday morning’s Jax Bank Half Marathon.  I hope you read my interview with Richard on December 10th.  Twenty seven men.  Fourteen women.  A symphony of excellence, directed by a man in athletic wear not a tux.

“The Conductor”.  Richard was sporting an official race clock instead of a pocket watch on a chain.  A Jax Bank ball cap instead of the round short bill.  A keen eye for talent instead of the grandfatherly reading glasses.  But punching tickets all morning long .  Forty one clicks on his counter.   Forty one dreams realized.

My notes:

For the men there were 5 men from the 20-24 age group, my favorite runner 21 year old Arya Bahreini of Edmond, OK 8th in 1:04:26,  There were 18 qualifiers from the 25-29 age group.  Including Nebraska native Tanner Fruit  finishing 13th in 1:04:30.  Only 3 qualifiers in the 30-34s with my old buddy,  Mr. Fabulous, 33 y/o Fernando Cabada finishing 2nd overall in 1:03:25.  One of the highlights of the morning had to be 43 year old Kevin Castille qualifying with an otherworldly 1:04:33.  Finally for the men, legend Gary Romesser, 65, won his age group in 1:27:38.

For the ladies there were 4 athletes from the 20-24 age group.  Led by 22 year old Dylan Hassett in 1:14:07.  There were 6 runners from the 25-29 age group including race winner 26 y/o Stephanie Dinius of Brookline, MA in a speedy 1:13:41.  Interestingly there were no qualifiers from 30-34.  The 30-35 ladies picked up the remaining 4 qualifiers.  Of special note one of my oldest buddies, Kim Pawalek, married to Keith Brantly, she a national marathon champ and  he a 1996 Olympic Marathoner- by now Kim is 44 and won her age group in a fast 1:26:38. And from my age group 57 year old Sandy Dailey from Eureka, MO cruised to the top in 1:27:12.

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