As the runners were assembling for the Jacksonville Running Company group run at Tapestry Park this morning a squad car from the Jacksonville Sheriff's office drove slowly through the upscale shopping area. The car turned around at the end of the street headed back to the west where the runners were gathering. He came to a stop across from the running group and after a minute or so exited his car and walked slowly toward the runners.
The good news is the runners didn't disperse. I believe not even one headed for the bushes. In fact, most wondered what had caused this impromptu visit from one of Jacksonville's finest. It didn't take long to figure out that the visit from Sgt. Jones was social when he talked about running in formation. Something we are not very good at. Turns out he was responding to an alarm call from a jewelry store in the center and when he found things quiet at the jewelry store he stopped by to chat. He was even happy to be part of our group photo from the morning which I will insert below.
I have ended up with a couple marathon training partners from this group. On the left in a red tank top is a young lady named Jenn that will be running the New York City marathon on November 2nd as part of Fred's Team to raise money for cancer research at Sloan Kettering. The Fred is Fred LeBow long time president of the New York Road Runner's who passed away from cancer. The charity is important to Jenn because she lost her father to cancer.
Second from the right end in a black shirt is Paulo who will be running the Savannah Rock & Roll marathon on November 8th.
I was able to convince Jenn and Paulo that if we took Galloway walk breaks that 16 miles would be a breeze. Really. I think both were planning on 10 to 12 miles this morning. They both were game so off we went heading in the direction of the University of North Florida. Our intervals were 5 minute run segments and 45 second walk segments. Even though we started at 6:30 AM the sun was up before we got to UNF and it was HOT.
Since they were both planning on something shorter I tried to make sure we didn't get to crazy. I planned to get back to Tapestry Park well before the 16 mile target with the idea being that we could stop if we felt like it or add a mile or so to hit 16 if we felt up to the challenge.
Not long after 12 miles we took a break at the CVS for cold water and a few minutes of A/C. This was just enough of a break to perk us up for the last couple of miles. As we approached Tapestry Park and 14 miles of running we all decided that 14 miles was plenty for today. We sat by the cooler that had been left out for us and enjoyed some ice cold water in the shade before departing. We discussed our next run and concluded that we will probably shoot for that 16 miles again in a couple weeks.