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.
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.