By Carolyn Lee
The Imperial Republican
Imperial resident Jonathan Beverly finished the TampaRaces in third place Nov. 22, with a time of 3.43.37. He said it was gratifying to place third in the men’s overall marathon, but the temperature made a difference.
“I had hoped to run a lot faster,” the 45-year old said, but the “79 degree temperature was the most significant (challenge) for me. It was really hot and I slowed down, and tried to run as hard as I could.”
He said he tried not to let anyone overtake him. “Everyone else died, too,” Beverly laughed.
Taking first in the 26-mile race was 21-year old Tampa resident Javier Beuzeville with a time of 3:03:36, followed by 50-year old Steve Wheeler of Altamonte, Fla., with a time of 3:41:18.
There were 81 in the men’s marathon, Beverly said.
Beverly had never run in the race before, which was held in a state park in Lithia, Fla.
“It was more cross country than I had anticipated,” he said, noting the grass, deep sand and rolling hills. “It was like taking a four-inch mower from here to Grant.”
He began training in June for the event, because it takes that much time to train for a marathon. In addition, Beverly hasn’t run a marathon for five years.
He trained with the Chase County Schools cross country team this summer, and was also accompanied on his runs by wife Tracy, who rode her bike.
Being injury-free during the six months of training prior to the marathon, and “all those miles leading up” to it, were gratifying to Beverly.
He has run 27 full marathons, beginning at age 16. As an adult, his best finishes prior to the Tampa marathon were a second place in a trail marathon like the one Nov. 22, and fourth place in a road marathon with a time of 2:49.
No age group awards were handed out at the TampaRaces, but if they had, Beverly would have been first in the male age 45-49 division.