Coach Bobby

On April 29, 2001 I ran my first marathon. The day was hot, humid and sunny but for the twenty weeks prior, I had diligently challenged my body by running hundreds of miles in all sorts of weather conditions. Despite the warmer-than-ideal weather conditions, and my excitement and first-time jitters, I completed the 26.2 miles that day with a very respectable time of three hours, thirty-eight minutes (3:38), but of course, I was physically and mentally exhausted. Reflecting back on my accomplishment and the actual experience of the marathon itself, I wondered why anyone would want to do more than one marathon in their lifetime? Later that same year, I found myself training for another marathon, and I was surprised to shave off another 7 minutes from my first marathon time!

VLUU L110  / Samsung L110
Bobby Howe

I did not begin running in earnest until I was almost 30 years old. I was very surprised and delighted to discover this new activity and passion. I became more competitive and serious about this sport, and my new goal was to qualify for the granddaddy of them all – the Boston Marathon. I qualified for Boston on my 7th marathon, The Spirit of St. Louis, in 2003, on a hilly course and in weather conditions that were the exact opposite of that first marathon in OKC – my time was 3:01, and my hands were so cold from the sleet and sub-20 degree temps that my wife, Susan, had to untie my shoes!

I’ve now run 3 Boston Marathons and a total of 42 marathons in 15 different states. Since 2006 I have run 16 marathons as a Pace Team Leader for times ranging from 3:10 to 3:40. One of my Pace Team experiences was featured in The Daily Oklahoman April 28, 2008 article: “The runner’s lifeline: Pacesetters do much more than their name implies” the day after I ran the 2008 OKC Marathon. I’ve come full circle with that race, from hoping to finish it without throwing up all over my cotton t-shirt, to now being able to help other runners not only complete the race, but achieve a goal finish time, often qualifying for Boston, depending on their age and gender.

After moving to Texas in 2007, I took my interest in running to a new level and became a certified running coach through courses and a certification exam administered by the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA). I coached several advanced marathon classes for RunOn! during 2008 and 2009, and in 2010 became the first coach for the McKinney Running Club. If you are looking for an experienced coach and want personalized training, please email me at runnersprivilege@gmail.com

My personal records include:

  • 5K: 18:13 Route 66 CPA Run, Tulsa, OK, 2003
  • 10K: 39:04 Tulsa Zoo Run, Tulsa, OK, 2008
  • 15K: 58:48 Tulsa Run, Tulsa, OK, 2003
  • Marathon: 3:00:05 – LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon, 2004
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