Josh Whitehead and Dink Taylor at the Mercedes Half Marathon

Josh Whitehead and Dink Taylor Take on the Mercedes Half Marathon on 2/17/13

Josh Whitehead and Dink Taylor again made the cities of Huntsville and Madison proud and displayed their talents for the folks in Birmingham to see.

Last Sunday, the 34-year-old Whitehead showed competitors in the annual Birmingham Mercedes Half Marathon why he's one of the top runners in the South.
He ran a time of 1 hour, 6 minutes and 37 seconds to finish fourth overall. That's a blistering 5:06 pace and was only a minute or so behind winner Fernando Cabada of Boulder, Colo., who ran a 1:04:55, a sub-5-minute pace. The time was good for first in the 30-34 year old male category.

I saw Josh, his wife and two small children in the Blue Plate Cafe on Monday, and he said he was happy but a little sore. Get this, he said he ran a PR in both the 10K and half marathons in the frigid conditions -- about 33 degrees at the start of the race. He ran a 29:40 in his 10K which is only about 30 seconds off the Cotton Row 10K record that has stood since 1982. Of course, Cotton Row has the huge Mountainwood Hill right in the middle of it, but still, 29:40 when you still have seven miles left is pretty amazing. And, it couldn't happen to a more nice and modest guy. Congrats Josh.

As for Dink, his comeback from a scary stroke back in August of 2012 continues to be amazing. In August the 47-year-old had just returned home from a 7-mile run when he became very sick. His wife, Suzanne, rushed him to Huntsville Hospital, where he remained for 10 days after suffering what turned out to be a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a brain bleed.

Now, just a few months later, Taylor, co-owner of Fleet Feet running store with Suzanne, ran a time of 1:21:40 in the Mercedes Half Marathon, good for third place in the 45-49 year old male age group. That was a 6:14 pace, not too shabby for somebody pushing the big 5-0.

You can always tell Dink gets a thrill out of showing those young bucks he's still got a lot of gas in his tank. It's even more amazing he continues to do it after his stroke.

Chris Welch

You can find official results from the Mercedes Half Marathon HERE!

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