Formerly homeless, alcoholic Orlando man tries to qualify for Boston Marathon
I thought you would find this interesting so I will pass it onto you.
The original article can be found here: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/health/fitness/os-homeless-marathoner-20101119,0,3971493,full.story
By Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel on 9:45 p.m. EST, November 20, 2010
Steve White trains recently at Orlando's Howard Middle School for his first marathon. He was trying to get his life together at Orlando Union Rescue Mission last year and joined a program called "Stepping Onward," which helps people make changes through running". (RED HUBER/ORLANDO SENTINEL / November 9, 2010)
"The sun is not yet up when Steve White arrives at the Howard Middle School track near downtown Orlando. He has just put in 12 hours on the graveyard shift for a linen service, but before he sleeps he must train. Soon the 43-year-old is running half-mile repeats like clockwork, a chiseled, solitary figure in the dawn.
His first marathon is a week away, and White is determined to run fast enough to qualify for the most prestigious road race in the nation: the Boston Marathon.
For any runner, making it to Boston is an accomplishment worthy of lifelong bragging rights. For Steve White, it would be a Cinderella story.
Until two years ago, he was homeless, a longtime alcoholic and a 20-year smoker who hadn't run since his high-school-football days.
"I felt like I've been a loser all my life," he said recently. "This gives me a chance to prove to myself, my family, the people I've let down, people that knew me as the old person I was — this gives me a chance to let them know I've changed."
But White might have never made it to a starting line without a 39-year-old woman named Claire Grove, a doctor and marathoner herself, who is trying to change the way people feel about themselves by helping them to run.
In January 2009, she started a nonprofit called Stepping Onward, initially for men and women in homeless shelters and later for teens in foster homes.
"Negative self-talk is so common," Grove said. "I had such a passion for running, and I loved the lessons it had taught me, especially about being able to overcome that voice in your head that says you just can't do it, that it's too much and you should give up. I wanted to inspire others to overcome that same voice."
Steve White was one of her first recruits.
'I was just kind of lost'
White grew up in tiny Rustburg, Va., where he ran for two things: his football coach and his wrestling team. The latter had a 5-mile trek up a nearby mountain, and White can remember the feeling of his lungs straining, his legs churning and the sweat running down his body.
He loved it.
Despite his middle-class upbringing and loving parents, he had a haunting sense of not particularly belonging anywhere. It didn't help that he was an only child and that the neighborhood crowd bullied him for his shyness. By age 12, he had already started drinking to fit in.
It would only get worse as he left school and tried to make a living.
"I was just kind of lost out in the world," he said. "Everyplace I was looking, I couldn't get fulfillment."
At first, he went to trade school to become a welder. But he wound up working everything from fast-food gigs to shipyards to oil fields in New Mexico.
In his 20s, he also started smoking.
By his early 40s, he hadn't much to show for his life. He had never married, never stuck with any particular career path, never saved any money. He was drinking frequently and working at a Taco Bell when his hours were cut and he could no longer pay his rent. Again he moved on, this time to Orlando, and landed first at the Salvation Army.
One night, he heard some men talking about the Orlando Union Rescue Mission only a few blocks away.
"They was talking about the program and how it made them go to church and stuff like that, and they was downing it," White said. "But I thought: 'That's exactly what I need.' "
'He'd just run in circles'
From the day he joined the Rescue Mission's discipleship program in March 2009, White gave up drinking and smoking. To make sure he wasn't tempted, he started exercising, giving his body a high from endorphins rather than nicotine and alcohol. But disciples are not allowed to leave the premises for the first 60 days — a way of keeping them out of trouble.
Brad Sefter, then a resident himself, watched baffled as White did lap after lap around a tiny parking lot.
"He'd just run in circles, and then he'd go up and down these two flights of stairs for, like, an hour," Sefter said. "So I asked him if he wanted to come running with me, and he jumped at the chance."
Sefter was a runner himself, and because he was one of the senior residents, he was able to get permission to take White off the property for runs.
"I had been running six to eight months already," Sefter said, "and from Day One couldn't keep up with him. His endurance is phenomenal."
At the same time, Grove, medical director for a string of weight-loss clinics, had launched Stepping Onward, a name she took from the proverb she had first heard on a medical mission to Africa: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
She recruited Sefter, who recruited White. From the beginning, Grove knew that White was special. While everyone else labored, he seemed to be comfortable. When he wasn't running, White was quiet. But when they trained, he and Grove would have long conversations about faith. Too, he was remarkably disciplined and eager to push himself.
For their first 5-kilometer road race — the Track Shack Celebration of Running — the group arrived about a minute after the starting gun fired. White was unfazed. He simply shot ahead through the crowd, passing hundreds of runners to finish in a respectable 22 minutes and 33 seconds.
His next 5K race, he ran 19:32. Then, recruited by Grove to join a 191-mile relay run across the state in November 2009, White faced his biggest challenge ever: running 22 miles, broken up into three segments.
He ran the final stretch looking as effortless as he had the first. The whole team joined him for the sprint to the finish line, cheering.
"At the end, it was a whole different Steve," Grove said. "He was the man. I knew we had to set a bigger goal for him."
'You have to want it'
Late last year, they settled on the Space Coast Marathon, a fast course in Brevard County. This year, the race is Nov. 28.
Soon after, White got a job at the linen service — and quickly got promoted. Twice.
His work ethic was becoming legendary. After his all-night shifts on Fridays, he would ride the bus back downtown, then ride his bike to meet the group for a Saturday morning workout.
Grove decided to hire a coach for him, and Stepping Onward paid his entry fees and travel costs. White kept working harder. He saved money, bought a car and, in September, moved out of the mission and rented a studio apartment. And, still, he kept training, often on his own because of his work schedule.
"He is an ideal student," said his coach, Bill Wenner, who has worked with hundreds of marathoners. "He'll do what you tell him to do and will give 100 percent of his ability to it. … I thought it would be a cool story if we could get him to qualify for Boston — but I would never have taken him on if we didn't think he was capable. I would have just told Claire we were barking up the wrong tree."
About 20,000 runners from around the world qualify each year for the Boston Marathon — held the third Monday in April — the only U.S. marathon that requires entrants to run a qualifying time. For men in White's age group, it is no slower than three hours, 20 minutes, a target White can reasonably expect to hit. But as Wenner points out, a lot of things can go wrong in 26.2 miles, many of them beyond a runner's control.
"It's not by any means a gimme," he said.
If White is nervous, he doesn't show it. He talks about the race with the same calm demeanor his friends say he always has. And when he runs, he prays, thanking God for his blessings and reciting biblical verses that bring him comfort.
Next weekend in Brevard will be no different.
"You have to work. You have to want it," he said. "But I'll let God guide my footsteps."
-By Kate Santich, Orlando Sentinel on 9:45 p.m. EST, November 20, 2010
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
Monday, November 29, 2010
Cyber Monday Deals for Triathletes
Slowtwitch has a nice list of triathletes related CYBER MONDAY deals going. Here is the LIST
Another list is here
25% all items at TriSports
Did you know of any good Cyber Monday Deals for Triathletes? If so, make a comment with them.
Posted by Kevin at 11/29/2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Space Coast Marathon and Half Marathon 2010 Review
UPDATE: See my race photos HERE.
The Space Coast Marathon & Half Marathon is located only a few miles from the Kennedy Space Center. The Kennedy Space Center manages and operates America's astronaut launch facilities. This is were all the famous US space missions flew out of (Apolo, Mercury, Gemini, Challenger and all the space shuttle missions).
|Astronaut and Me|
|I Dream of Jeannie|
|I Dream of Jeannie|
|Parrothead Club (Jimmy Buffett)|
|Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker|
|Kennedy Space Coast Visitor Complex|
• Start the race to the roar of a Space Shuttle countdown and Liftoff on a Jumbo-tron
• Awesome “Astronaut” Medals
• Electronic “Space” Certificate to all finishers
• Expo and Pre-Race Dinner at Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex! With Guest speakers
• Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex Discount Coupon
• “Space” Props along course and at finish line area
• “Space” Themed Water/Aid Stations all along course
• Volunteers in NASA-like uniforms and hats
• “Space” Photo opportunity with astronauts
• Opportunity to win tickets to "Astronaut Training Experience (ATX)" plus Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex admission for two people
• Official long sleeve technical T-shirt (moisture wicking non-cotton)
• Large Beach towels with race logo (instead of Mylar blankets)
• Set a PR with this year’s Pace Teams!
• A full Pancake, Egg & Sausage Breakfast and Pizza
• Race Pacer Teams
• Awards for the best space costume
The race started at 6:15 am on Sunday morning. We stayed at a local hotel that the race directors suggested. Two busses were set to the local sponsored hotels to transport the race participants to the race location. Later after the race those same busses ran till about 1:30 pm to transport the race participants back to their hotels. This was a very nice perk because it would have been hard to park in the small race area.
Prior to the race many of the Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics agreed to get together and do a group photo. There were about 2 dozen of us who showed up and everyone was really cool and humble. They are a great group of people. Thank you Dave Mari for all the great photos. It was really cool meeting you and I hope to see you again soon.
|Marathon Maniacs and Half Fanatics|
|Mr Half TRIing|
|Typical Race View|
I have no complaints about this race. I would grade the race a B+. It does not get an A for the following reasons:
• Many of the aid stations were ran buy teenage kids who started to not care about cheering or handing out water efficiently for many of the mid to late in the pack marathoners
• The aid stations had only the basics: Water, Gateraid and GUs I have been to may much smaller races where the aid stations were better supplied
• No race day pickup. This caused many people to have to arrive the day before to pickup the packets. It was a minor inconvenience for some people.
• The expo for such a highly attended race was very small.
Overall I would highly recommend this race. It was fun and well run
I did not race this race. I ran it as a training run. My overall time was 2:07:47. My hips were really stiff from riding the Horrible Hundred century the prior week. I just wanted to run the race and have fun. I did not really care what my time was.
I also got to meet up with fellow Central Florida blogger Kitzzy Life Style Change. She is a friend of Bonnie and a great runner.
|Kitzzy Life Style Change and Mr Half TRIing|
|Bonnie and I|
|Look Mom I'm on the moon|
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Below are some SWEET DEALS I found on the internet.
Has anyone found any other Black Friday swim/bike/run deals on the internet? If so, please leave me a comment with the sale and the link.
Internet or Store Sales
- Zombie Runner (Nov 24 - 29)
- FREE SHIPPING on all orders over $25!
- 20% off all shoes!
- 20% off all clothing!
- 20% off all socks!
- $88 - Garmin Forerunner 205 GPS Watch
- $129.99 - Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Watch
- This watch is awesome especially at that price.
- Miami Man Registration Sale
- Register by November 30th for the 2011 Miami Man Triathlon
- $50 Discount on the 1/2 Iron
$25 Discount on the International Distance race
- Just enter one of the following codes on the payment page and click the Apply button
- MM2011Renew for the 1/2 Iron Triathlon
- MM2011RenewI for the International Triathlon
- MM2011RenewD for the 1/2 Iron Duathlon
- Voler Cycling Apparel
- 20% all items
- Real Cyclist
- Up to 50% off
- Jenson USA
- Various deals
- Skirt Sports
- 50% many items
- Bass Pro Shops (Nov 25 - 28)
- $24.99 - Under Armour Long Sleave Tech T-Shirt (Heat Gear)
- Sports Authority
- Buy 1 get 1 50% Off on entire stock of sock.
- Orange Cycle (Nov 26, 27, 28)
- 15% off on all non-sale accessories and clothing
- Retro City Cycle
- $10 Bike Detail
- $40 Drivetrain clean and bike detail (regular price $60)
- Fleet Feet Orlando
- Spend $200 and get a $25 gift card
- All Regular Priced apparel is 20% off 1 piece or 25% off 2 or more
- Buy 3 get 1 FREE Feetures socks
- All sports bras 20% OFF
- 15% off all Amphipod Hand Held bottles
- Take $10 off any regular priced shoe purchase
- Buy 1 Superfeet insole, get second for $35 or dress fit for $20 (DMP $40)
- 50% off all exercise balls, stretch bands and yoga accessories
- Huge Sale Rack! Take additional $5 off all sale rack items with prices as low as $10
- Shoe style changes for the Defyance, Rider, Inspire, Triax, 1064 and more will be discounted as much as 25% to 40%
|Half TRI-ING MAN!!!|
This weekend I will be running Space Coast Half Marathon so I thought the Space Ghost Coast to Coast picture was fitting. Anyone else doing this race? What races are you doing this weekend?
HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all my peeps!! Thank you for taking the time to read my blog and make comments. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever have anyone read this blog. I still can not believe I have 58 followers. I am thankful for everyone of you!! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving. Leave me a comment!!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Monday, November 22, 2010
Annual Horrible Hundred Cycling Ride Review 2010
Photos Take of Me at the Event
Yesterday was the Annual Horrible Hundred Cycling Ride in Clermont FL. Clermont is “THE” cycling area in FL. There are ton of challenging hills and safe places to ride. This is location where the hills have names (see this post).
The weather for the ride was wonderful. The air temperature was in the 70s and there was a slight overcast so the Florida sun was not beating down on you. At some points during the ride there was slight misting rain but not anything that would get you wet. On some parts of the ride the wind did start to kick up to about 12 to 15 mph but luckily this was mostly on the flats.
So I started off the ride planning to do the 70 miler with my buddy Angel but at around mile 15 he started talking to a friend and got lost in the crowd. I stopped and waited for him at the first swag station and he did not show up. At that point I was by myself and feeling good so I decided to chance and see how I felt at the 100 mile turn off.
To quote my friend Angel “whoever designed this course was evil.” It included every major hill in the area and the hardest part is they all occur in the last 30 miles. It was definitely a tough course but I surprised myself. I even had to do the Buckhill 1.5 times because I missed my turn.
There were approximately 5 swag stops placed about every 25 miles. They were well stocked with goodies (peanut butter & jelly sandwiches, peanut butter & honey sandwiches, various chips, M&Ms, chocolates, water, Gator-aid, shot blocks, nuts, oranges, dried fruit, etc). The SWAG stops where well organized and the volunteers were friendly and fast. The only complaint is they ran out of water on the 2nd SWAG stop but they soon fixed the issue as the truck came carrying more water.
The cycling route was very safe. The traffic on the roads was very light and the route keeps you off most major roads. Every major intersection for the first 40 miles was controlled by police officers. It may have been this way for the entire ride if you were doing the 35 or 70 but for the century the number officers soon dropped to zero. But I kind of expected this because a century takes most of the day to complete and I do not expect police to stay out the long.
The SWAG vehicles were GREAT and they were EVERYWHERE. About every 10 minutes for the entire ride I would see a SWAG vehicle drive by and check on the riders. There was also someone at every SWAG stop to work on your bike if you need it. Awesome job here.
There was a small expo at the event with about 10 to 15 vendors selling items. David’s World came out and was doing free bike tune-ups before the race.
The race was packed with riders. I believe they announced they had over 2000 cyclists attending the event.
I felt strong the whole ride and I never got off my bike on any of the hills. Even more surprising I feel fine today. My legs are a little stiff and my neck is a little sore but overall I feel good.
I would grade the ride an A. It was well ran and supported. The SWAG stops and vehicles were great.
This was my very first century and I had to pick Florida’s hardest century. I rode strong and felt great on the ride. It was one of the best sporting events of my life. I am definitely proud of my accomplishment and hard work.
|Ride Elevation Chart (Click to Enlarge)|
NOTE 1: I saw the Humble Triathlete at David’s World at the Friday registration. Unfortunately, I was not able to talk to her because I was driving past her. I honked my horn and yelled hello. I saw where on the day of the ride but she was getting out of her car and parking the car after the race started on about mile 3. I yelled hello at her and she saw me. Shirley if your read this what happened. Did you do the race?
NOTE 2: I saw my cycling computer hit 43 mph on one of the down hills. It was AWESOME!!
Thursday, November 18, 2010
|From Left to Right: Mr Half TRIing my wimpy sister, my godmother|
Throwback Thursday - Hill Training in the 80's
Okay, after 53 followers and several thousand hits my mother finally found my blog. Wow, I didn't think the blog was that bad!! It's bad when your own mother does not follow your blog. She loved the old photos so much that she dug this old gem up to embarrass me. She loves to do that. :-) She also said and I quote "That Quinton guy is really cute." I almost ran off the road because I was laughing so hard! Where the heck did that come from?!? It was the most random and unexpected comment from my mother.
So back to the really bad early 80's photo. This was taken in the Rocky Mountains in Colorado. My godmother is on the right looking like she can not believe she knows these people. My sister is sporting the 80's LA, Motley Crue, groupie girl look. (If only I had invested in Aquanet in the 80's. I would have been a billionaire). And I am on the left. I am sporing the the most atypical 80's running look. I got the blue and red striped socks, the way to short running shorts (with side white strip), a shirt two sizes to large and the Bruce Springsteen red bandanna. I was looking TOTALLY RAD after my 26.2 hill training.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Annual Horrible Hundred Cycling RideRace Link
Here is where I need your help. Should I do the 35, 70 or 100 mile ride? What do you think? Leave me a comment and tell me what you think. Comical and ridiculous comments are always welcome. Do you want to torture me with the 100 or make me look like a wuss on the 35? ;-)
Posted by Kevin at 11/16/2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Miami Man Triathlon Review 2010Race Website
This could be the fastest race review I have ever written. I can sum this up in one word ABSOLUTLY FASTASTIC!! Shut up I know that is two words!! If you want to know how to run a race absolutely perfect go to Miami Man. They did NOTHING wrong. That is an amazing statement coming from someone who loves to critique races.
It was the race of “what could go wrong did”. Cuban food for dinner (see below) is not a good pre-race meal. I walked up to a flat tire before the race (bad valve stem). Then since I was rushing out of the hotel I put all my water bottles in the wrong bag. Luckily someone tossed me a free water bottle for the ride but it only contained water.
|Caught stuffing my face|
The swim was great for me. I got trapped in the crowd in the beginning and got kicked in the face most of the race. I completed the swim in 19:54. I was 28th of 41 in my age group. Not bad for doing the breast stroke.
About 2 miles into the bike ride I heard a loud pop and hiss noise. I pulled over and the tire was still holding air so I continued on. When I was done with the ride my tire was still inflated but had only about 80 psi. I have no clue what went wrong with it. The bike portion was done in 1:08:39 with a 19:54 pace. I would have been much faster if I did not have to stop to check the tire and also was not riding on 80 psi.
Since my nutrition and water was all screwed up my stomach was upside down for the first 2 miles of the run. Eventually it corrected itself and I was no longer in pain. The run was not my fastest at all. I got done in 1:04:52 with a 9:49 pace. That is a far cry from my 1:56 half marathon PR.
|Click to enlarge|
Packet pickup and bike setup was on Saturday. Both ran extremely fast and ran like clockwork. Bike rack lanes where marked with race number ranges. On the rack was a predetermined spot for your bike that had your race number on it.
|I also got a sick My Little Pony tattoo on my right arm|
|Cool Bike Tag|
HOLY COW THEY GAVE YOU A TON OF FREE STUFF.
In the race packet you got:
- Triathlon FL magazine
- Triathlon Magazine (Center Stage at Kona)
- Miami Man mouse pad
- Miami Man Shirt
- Miami Man Hat
- 1 cereal box
- Chocolate shorts bar
- Shot blocks
- Miami Man small towel
- Mimi Lava Bar
- Mini Clif Bar
- Miami Man Race number belt
- Marathon protein bar
- Hammer Gel
- Cool race number bib with the cool alligator on it
- Really cool shark race cap
|Way Silly Cool|
|My large nose makes the shark look like a sword fish.|
The expo was fairly large. There were probably about 20 quality vendors. There was ome neat stuff to see and buy if you had the coin.
Pre-Race Meal - Versailles Restaurant
Every time you go to Miami you have got to go to the Versailles Restaurant. It has THE BEST Cuban food in the US. I had the Galician White Bean Soup and the Baby Churrasco steak grilled with a Chimichurri sauce. I also had a Cuban coffee and a custard desert. Super yummy, but not great pre-race food. But I did not care because I left fat, dumb and happy.
|Inside Versailles - Cuban Heaven|
|Versailles Cakes (there were four more displays!!)|
The race organizer had to fit at least 2000 cars in one small park. But that was not an issue for them. They organized each wave to arrive at prescheduled times. They also broke that down so each wave would come into one of the four predetermined entrances. These entrances were marked with huge color coded signs. Then volunteers showed you to a spot. It was like parking at Disney World. Very smooth job.
There were more than enough porto-lets and the lines were surprisingly small.
|Pretty day and great weather|
The swim went off in very organized waves. There was an announcer to keep everyone entertained and to call the next wave. The water was CRYSTAL CLEAR. Because of my degree, I have been on almost every lake in central Florida and this was nicer than any like I have ever been on. It was as clear as the water in the Bahamas. The water temperature was just barely wet suit legal but I did not use a wet suit and thought it was refreshing.
|Look at the clear lake water|
The ride was flat as a pancake. Not the most beautiful route but EVERY intersection had cops and volunteers directing traffic. Swag vehicles and race officials went past me several times. It was very well run.
The run was also flat as a pancake with some hard packed trails. You got to run through the Miami Zoo. You got to see elephants, monkeys, gorillas, zebras, hippos, cranes, etc. It was really cool to see all the animals on the run.
For the international distance there were about 5 water break areas. Each was themed and competing for the best rest stop. They had water, sports drink, gels, bananas and oranges. They were well organized, fully staffed and fully stocked.
As soon as you got out of the race you stopped at a booth where they printed you a receipt that had your personalized race results on it. I was flabbergasted. Instant results! Very Cool.
|Instant Race Printout|
The race food was the usual. Nothing special but very good. Free sports drinks, Muscle Milk, pizza and chicken and yellow rice.
|My Biggest Fan|
The race results for the Du, Intermediate and Half-Ironman were posted by 6:00 pm on the SAME day. Very fast! Check out the level of details they give you. Click on the swim time and see the details
This race was a blast and was an A++ race. Well ran and well organized. I HIGHLY recommend it.
|The cool bling bling|
|Mr studlyness worked on the girls. Eat your heart out Q on the Move|
|A huge Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robot and two studs|
Friday, November 12, 2010
Watch out because Mr Half TRI-ing will be at the Miami Man race this weekend doing the international distance. Wish me luck!! I will have a race report early next week. Time to break out the old Miami Vice threads and hit the beach.
Leave me a comment with the races you plan to do this weekend.
Posted by Kevin at 11/12/2010