My Fitness Journey: David Jacobs

My Fitness Journey: David Jacobs

Since I began writing my blog a few months ago, I have been fortunate to forge relationships with some race directors. Once such director, let me to this runner’s story. I am pleased and honored to share his story with you today!

IMG_1567(1) Space Coast Marathon 2015

I grew up in the 50s and 60s in Normal, Illinois (Bloomington/Normal) home of State Farm Insurance and Illinois State University.  As a child, we played outside year round including winter and summer, and we were always running and riding our bikes.  From my middle school days through high school, I mowed lawns and delivered newspapers. Also, I worked on a farm which included heavy lifting and long hours of plain old hard work.  I didn’t get into school sports until high school when I went out for cross country and track in my junior year in 1966 when I finally could drive to get to practice. I wasn’t great at any other sports and really didn’t like contact sports at all, so I found my niche in running.  When I see high school runners at the trail training, I’ll tell them that running doesn’t get much attention like other sports, but you can run your whole life whereas all the others are short term.  After high school, I didn’t run competitively again until 1998 when I was 48.


High School Cross Country picture from my year book, 1967

After high school, I spent three years in the US Army and started my career in radio communications.  In these early working years, I worked as a technician which required lots of hard lifting and outdoor work.  I actually climbed radio communications towers so I had lots of leg power doing that.  Around 1982, I determined that I was getting too lazy, and by then I was in a less active job and so I joined the local gym and found I liked working out with free weights, although I still found that short runs were something I was really best at.  Then, in 1998 my sister-in-law put my name in the lottery to run the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta, but I didn’t get my name drawn. Instead, I entered and ran the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot which was the beginning of my real running program.  I finally did run the Peachtree in 2011, but by then I had qualified so I didn’t have to go through the lottery.


Boston Marathon Finish Line 2015

In 2000 I ran my first marathon in Tampa and since then I have run 35 marathons and 15 of those are consecutive Boston Marathons starting in 2002.  My PR in the marathon is still the 2011 3:27 in NYC with most of my times in the 3:30s.  Along with marathons, I have run close to 100 other races including half marathons, 15K, 10K, 5K and a number of 5-milers.

Injuries…What Injuries???

Over the course of my running career, I have had only a few medical setbacks, other than overuse type of issues, but really nothing that caused me to stop for any length of time:

  • In 2012 I had an inguinal hernia repaired which caused me to stop running for about two weeks.
  • In March of 2014, I had 90% blockage in my right artery which required a stent.  I actually ran for three months including several races and a couple long 20 mile runs with this blockage until I decided to go to the ER.  It’s a man thing okay!  Since Boston was only 33 days away, some doctors were against me running this marathon, but with some whining and pleading I was able to convince them to let me jog/walk it. Wow!
  • In October 2014, I had a herniated L4-5 disc which limited my running for a few weeks.  Treatment so far is my inversion table and lots of core work.  I am still experiencing numbness and cramping pain in my right foot and especially in my big toe.  Running doesn’t seem to make it worse.
  • In May 2016, only three weeks after 2016 Boston, I experienced chest tightness which required a second stent in the same right artery.  Apparently the artery with the first stent over grew and narrowed the artery so a stent was inserted inside the first.  This is very rare with approximately 1% of people with stents having this happen!  Lucky me! But really, there was no actual down time.

My current training plan is running 4 days a week, anywhere from 20-60 miles per week.  In between running days, I like to cross train with weight training, spin classes, and swimming.  I think like many runners that it’s important to keep a running base so when getting into your marathon training plan you don’t have to work so hard.   I typically run a couple paved trails nearby and avoid running in the road.  Since I am such a runner junkie, I may run a 20 miler just because it feels good.  Here in Florida to get hill training most runners go to San Antonio, FL, Clearwater Bridges, or Brooksville.  I cannot emphasize enough to train hills if you want a great Boston Marathon.

I will leave you with this:

“In order for man to succeed in life, God provided him with two means, education and physical activity.  Not separately, one for the soul and the other for the body, but for the two together. With these two means, man can attain perfection.”  – Plato


Remember to train right, train often, and of course

Just Keep Going!

7th Annual FrankenFooter Race Weekend

7th Annual FrankenFooter Race Weekend

Saturday, October 22, 2016 – Sunday, October 23, 2016
Jay B. Starkey Wilderness Park 10500 Wilderness Park Boulevard New Port Richey, FL  34655

About This Activity

The 7th Annual Frankenfooter 5k, Half Marathon, and 1 Mile Trot and Treat returns to Starkey Park for 2016! Join in the fun on Saturday October 22nd at 8AM and Sunday October 23rd at 7:30AM for a family oriented, costume encouraged event!

Event details and schedule

Race day packet pick up and registration located at the Education Center in Starkey Park. The start line, finish line, and post race activities will be held at Pavilion A. Please look for the signs directing you to parking as you enter the park. Your parking fee is covered with your registration, so please do not pay twice! Please note, Starkey Park does not open until 6:30AM. There will be no race day registration or packet pick up for the Half Marathon, so please utilize early pick ups! The course for all races will follow the bike trail and will remain paved and relatively flat. Detailed course maps will be posted. Please be sure to bring bug repellent on race day as it is a nature park. Water will be available along the 5k course as well as at the finish line. Water and Gatorade will be available along the Half course as well as at the finish line. Most available information will be posted on the Facebook page:

*Ladies First* Half Marathon & 5k

*Ladies First* Half Marathon & 5k


About this Event

The Ladies First Half Marathon & 5K is returning to Ocala this fall with new features and course highlights every runner will be talking about, including pace teams, and great medals and awards. This year they will have a special edition Halloween Costume Contest. (Participation is optional.)

Event Info
  • Convenient packet pick up location with improved pick up stations located at the beautiful Hilton Ocala
  • Race weekend promotional rates on rooms at the Hilton of Ocala that will be well below the market price.
  • Beautiful start/finish location at the Hilton of Ocala. You get to run by the beautiful Clydesdale horses while they watch you race out of the paddock area through the beautiful country side.
  • Divisions include:  Open Ladies, Masters Ladies, Open Girls, Open Men
  • Chip-timed, USATF Certified Course (applied for). They use jaguar timing that provides fast results sent to your phone. Live tracking is also available.
  • Beautiful course through rolling hills of Central Florida’s Horse Country!
  • Official Ladies First tech shirt and finisher medal.
  • *Ladies First* dri fit shirt.(for all participants). This shirt is from Lesley Jordan’s fancy collection of dri-fit shirts that has the ladies first logo (not heat transferred) sublimated onto the shirt. You will run in style.
  • *Ladies First* medal (new design) for all participants. This medal will be a rectangular shape with a lavender marbled glass on the frame and a cut out in the middle that shows the *Ladies First* runner in the center.
  • *Ladies First* fancy glass awards for age groups (top three half marathon runners-must have 3 in each age group). 5k runners receive glass awards for the top three overall.This glass award is a classic mixture of superior engraving of our event that will merit the placement of distinction as one of your favorite trophies.
  • Men will receive awards for overall only. Ladies the men will be running to support the cause of promoting healthy life styles for women.
  • Free photos from our photographer that will show you coming across the finish line out in the beautiful grass paddock located behind the Hilton hotel.
  • Police escort throughout the course.
  • Course will have special patrol vehicles that continually ride the route for your safety.
Special Event Festivities

  • Grab your favorite Halloween costume and run like a Diva. You will receive a free picture of you in your special Halloween costume and will be eligible for 1st, second, and third, place prizes.
On Course and Post-Race Food

  • Each hydration station will have food, water, electrolyte drink along with snacks that keep you going.
  • After your run you will be able to enjoy a breakfast buffet presented by the Hilton Hotel located in the gala tent outside across from the pool. They changed it from the brunch to the breakfast buffet so the runners didn’t have to wait after the finish line.

  • There will be medical support on the course and at the finish line
  • Hydration stations will have volunteers that will assist you during your run (if necessary).
  • Two support trucks will be constantly patrolling the course and will have constant communication with the rest stops.
  • Four portal-lets at the Hilton and two on the course.


Ladies first

Thin Mint Sprint 5K and Tagalong Trot 1Mile


Mark your calendars for the 2016 Thin Mint Sprint & Tagalong Trot!

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016

Safety Harbor Marina

8 a.m. – Thin Mint Sprint 5K

9:15 a.m. – Tagalong Trot 1 mile

New This Year – Samoa Challenge (Run both races at a discounted price!)

Can’t make the race? Sign up for the virtual race and run elsewhere! All virtual runners will receive a t-shirt and bib.

FREE Patch for all registered Girl Scouts in grades K-12!

Top three 5K males and females in each standard age group will be awarded their favorite box of cookies. Additional awards for overall 5K and 1-mile male and female.


4th Annual Masquerade Madness

4th Annual Masquerade Madness


About This Activity

Show your fall spirit and join the Junior Service League of Brooksville for the 4th Annual Fun & Family-oriented —Masquerade Madness 5K, 10K, 1 mile costume run on the scenic and partially shaded Good Neighbor Trail near downtown Brooksville.

You can read an article about the Good Neighbor Trail at the following link:

Don’t miss this chance to dress up, exercise, and support the league as they plan to feed the homeless students of the Hernando County School system over the winter holidays, when free and reduced lunches are not available, among other charitable endeavors.

Sign up at–>

Pricing for the Run
Running-10K – Individual Age group/open     $25.00
Running-10K – Group-registration team Age group/open     $20.00
Running-5K – Individual Age group/open     $25.00
Running-5K – Group-registration team Age group/open     $20.00
Running-1 Mile – Individual Age group/open     $15.00

Event details and schedule


There will be medals, awards, and tons of fun! Bring the kids, family and friends. Join them for the after party and enjoy delicious drinks and food after running your socks off!

To check out more about the Junior Service League of Brooksville visit and see what the organization is all about and some of the places their fundraising efforts go.

Parking will be across the street at the Hernando County Health Department.  Runner drop-off is available at Russell St. Park.

Registration will begin on 10/22/16 at 7 AM for the 5K and 10K and costume contest with the 10K beginning at 8 AM and the 5K at 8:15 AM.

Registration for the 1 mile fun run/walk will open at 8:15 AM with the race beginning at 9:15 AM.

The Awards Ceremony will begin around 10:30 AM.  Please join them to cheer the winners! Awards will be given for runners as well as best COSTUMES!

Faith and fitness: Hoops Camp


Faith and fitness: Hoops Camp

ball (15) Sportsmanship

Christian Church in the Wildwood or CCW as it is fondly known opened its gym doors this past week to local area boys and girls to attend a four day basketball camp. The camp ended today with instructional, yet still competitive basketball games. In its 4th Year running, the camp hosted 39 athletes and 14 coaches.

Boys and girls were put through various drills Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM, ultimately forming teams and playing in games that provided a time to learn and show off their skills for spectators.  During each day of camp, there was a challenge game or contest that the athletes participated in with winners going home with some really nice prizes. At each day of camp pick up, parents were given “Camp News,” so they knew what had transpired during the course of camp. Volunteers were organized and friendly.

This summer basketball camp was designed for ages 8 to 12, although younger athletes were allowed to join in on the fun. Each day of camp included basketball instructional time to work on skills, such as dribbling, passing, rebounding, and shooting, a small group time to focus on sharing Jesus message, a snack time, daily challenge, team practice, and daily scrimmage. Building camaraderie among the kids and volunteers where they learned more about basketball, faith, sportsmanship, and the importance of being part of a team or small group were essential to this camp.  Fun was had by all!

ball (16) Pastor Jeff the Ref

The cost of the camp was a nominal fee of $25 and each camper took home a camp T-shirt and an award. Camp administer, Pastor Jeff Jacobs, did a phenomenal job of mixing faith and fitness. Sports ministry is a great way to get students to learn about Jesus in a social atmosphere where kids have the chance to move their bodies in the air conditioned gym during the hot summer months.

ball (18)  Going into Overtime

Parents, friends, and siblings watched their campers participate in structured basketball games this morning. The four teams both were able to play twice. Each game consisted of four 8-minute running clock quarters. At points when the whistle was blown, it was not to call a foul, but rather to provide instruction so that the athletes could learn and grow. After the first round of games, the winning teams face offed and the teams that did not win faced off. The game between the two winning teams was quite exciting, even going into overtime.

ball (22) The Winning Team

Great work CCW!

To find more out about the church visit them at:

Just Keep Going!

My Fitness Journey: Chris Coffin

My Fitness Journey: Chris Coffin


Our athlete this week is another local race fan favorite and the administrator of the Red Mule Runners Facebook Page. I recently saw him clean house at the Rap River Run going home with several trophies.

Chris Coffin in his own words…

Growing up, I was very active.  I’ve lived in Spring Hill my whole life; I grew up two blocks away from a local park so many mornings I’d wake up early and head to the park to shoot hoops. I played both baseball and football, and then basketball for fun.

With kids these days, I find it funny that they don’t like to go outside and play. They like to stay inside and play video games.  As a kid, I played video games a lot myself but not until after dark.  My friends and I would play numerous sports outside until dark and then come inside and play a sports video game. Baseball was my love; I played Little League ball until high school.  I made the JV team at Springstead my freshman year. I didn’t play much, but it was still a blast. After my freshman year, my grades kept me from playing sports until my senior year.  Then, on a whim, I joined the cross country team, which is what began my love of running. I wasn’t the best on the team by any means, but I did win the “Most Improved Player” award at the end of the season. I was able to bring my 3-Mile time down from 26+ minutes to a 19:56.

After Graduating High School in 1999, I went to work for my father’s land surveying company.  Business back then was booming, so the hustle and bustle of the work day kept me skinny. When the market crashed in 2007 and work slowed down, I found myself starting to gain weight. I never really left running completely. I would pick it up from time to time, but not religiously.  Then in November of 2008 (age 28), I wanted to run a 5k or something longer.  I started looking for races. I heard about the Gasparilla Distance Classic, so I looked into it. Back then, the coordinators held a 5k, 15k, half marathon, and full marathon. Both the half and full marathons were out of the question, and the 5k seemed too short, so I looked up the distance conversion of a 15k.  9.3 miles seemed like a stretch, but I knew I had three months to train, so I registered right then to keep me honest.

I started running the next day.  I had no idea how to train besides what I had learned in high school almost 10 years earlier. I paid for a training program, and then just followed it the best I could. I trained hard in those three months.  I didn’t set a time goal; I decided I just wanted to finish without stopping. Things went great over the next couple months.  Training was right on track.  Then a week before the race, I caught a cold. I ended up running the race only stopping one time to blow my nose so I could breathe. After that, I was hooked and the rest is history.


To be honest, I don’t really work out much. One bad thing about avid runners is we don’t really do anything else but run! I’m not much for speed work; sprinting quarter or half miles isn’t my thing. I love hill training and trail running. I’ve found that both make me a stronger road runner. Usually if I do try speed work, it will consist of holding a “red line” pace for as long as I can, usually 1.5-2 miles worth.

As far as my running schedule, I try to get in as many runs as I can, usually about three runs a week. I try to do two weekday runs ranging from 5-8 miles and then a longer run on the weekend.  My training plan depends on what I’m training for. A 21 mile trail race is my longest right now.  I usually try to build my miles up starting about 4-5 months before the race date.  During the shorter race months, I concentrate more on speed work.  I like to surround myself with runners that will push me and keep me honest.  There are a couple runners in the area I’ll train with mainly because we really push each other.  If I get a chance to train with the high school cross country team, I jump at it.  Although I can’t compete with them, it’s a great challenge and keeps me young and honest.


My biggest successes in running were reaching my goals of breaking 1 hour and 40 minutes in a half marathon and breaking a 5 mile in under 35 mins.  My persona record for a half is 1:37.16, and my personal record for 5 miles is 33:55.



With runners, injuries happen for many reasons. Knee pain is a major issue with all runners at some point in time.  I had to back down from training from a marathon due to knee pain. I was in good shape and on track, then about 5-6 weeks before the Gasparilla Marathon, I developed a knee issue and decided to run the half marathon instead.  I also have had to give up running for a month due to back issues. I tend to shy away from seeking medical advice and go with rest and Motrin.

 Final Thoughts

I’m very competitive by nature, always wanting to be the best within my means. During training runs, if there are other runners on the trail I’ll push myself to catch them or stay ahead of someone. Staying ahead of someone is one of the hardest things to do.  Holding off someone in the closing sprint is a real challenge, especially if you know they have a better kick than you. I usually try to make sure I have a good lead going into the finish so they don’t out-kick me.


You can catch the very competitive Chris Coffin at weekly “social” runs put on by Red Mule Runners or at local organized runs. The next Red Mule Runner sponsored event is the 35th Annual Red Mule Runners Labor Day 5K being held on August 27, 2016. Check it out at

Get in the Race!

Just Keep Going!


Spring Hill Marathon Mania

Spring HIll Marathon Mania

About this Event

Join in for a great race at  Anderson Snow Park. The course is flat and very safe because it runs on the Suncoast Trail.


Spring Hill Marathon Mania will be the second annual Marathon, Half Marathon, 10K held at Anderson Snow Park in Spring Hill, Florida. This course runs along the Suncoast Trail.

“Don’t miss out on the First Central Florida Marathon Course of the Year. Don’t worry about the hills-because it’s on the Suncoast Trails going South-Flat and Fast. No traffic, great scenery and great food. You can make this your best training race for the beginning of the year. Get off to a great start and enjoy the scenery, and run with your friends and family. This race is centered around your running goals for the year. We concentrate on making this event a fully supported running activity.”

  • A high quality dry-fit shirt with logo.
  • Awards for the top three in each age group. Age group to be 5 deep
  • All participants receive a commemorative 3″ medal.
  • A great continental breakfast and after race lunch with free goodies from the sponsors.
  • A free video of the race start, along with the opportunity to receive free pictures of you running in the race.
  • The course will start at  Anderson Snow Park and continue on the Suncoast trail and loop back to the finish line. Safe, fast and convenient.
  • Boston Qualifier

Fund Raising

They are raising funds for the Ainsley’s Angels and


Overall male and female. Age category will be determined by the number of runners in each field


Shirts will not be guaranteed after 12/15/2016

No refunds for this race. You will be able to transfer to another race.
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