Friday, February 10, 2012

2012 Fleet Feet Racing: Robert Whitaker

Name: Robert Whitaker
Date of Birth: November 3, 1958
City: Owens Cross Roads, Alabama

Brief Biography

I grew up and went to college in Memphis, Tennessee and earned a BS in Computer Science. I entered the Air Force in 1981 as a 2nd Lieutenant where I flew F-4 Phantoms and performed Space Operations for 26 years. Along the way I earned a MS in Aeronautical Science. I retired from the Air Force as a Lt Colonel in 2007. I moved to Owens Cross Roads in 2008 to work as a Systems Engineer for an Army surveillance system at the Redstone Arsenal. I'm married to Sherry who is originally from Cullman and we have 2 grown children and a 5-year old granddaughter. I began running in 2002 to get in shape for my Air Force fitness test. My first race was a 5K in 2005. I also race with a 50+ Virginia team at National USATF events. I enjoy the local racing and have made many new running friends.

Short Term Goals

  • Continue improving my 5K to 10K times. 
  •  Work on endurance and stamina for longer distance events.

Long Term Goals

  • Stay healthy so I can continue to run and race. 
  • Develop marathon endurance. 
  • Continue being competitive as a Masters runner.

Personal Records

  • 1 Mile at River Bottom Burnout on 10/2011 Time 5:11 - Florence, AL (AL State Record)
  • 2 Mile at Run 2 Calvary on 1/2009 Time 11:25 - Tuscumbia, AL
  • 5km at Spooktacular on 10/2011 Time 17:51 - Huntsville, AL (AL State Record)
  • 4 Mile at Winter Winds on 2/2009 Time 24:51 - Huntsville, AL
  • 10km at CocaCola Classic 10K Run on 5/2011 Time 38:19 - Corinth, MS
  • 10 Mile at Yorktown Battlefield 10 Miler on 11/2008 Time 1:03:48  - Yorktown, VA
  • Half Marathon at Huntsville 1/2 Marathon on 11/2011 Time 1:27:10  - Huntsville, AL
  • Marathon at Rocket City Marathon on 12/2011 Time 3:40 - My first marathon ever
  • Other at HTC Scholarship Fund Run (8K) on 4/2011 Time 30:28  - Huntsville, AL

Goal Races

  • USATF Masters 8K Championship, 5/19/2012
  • River Bottom Burnout, 1-mile, 10/6/2012
  • Spooktacular, 5K, 10/27/2012
  • Huntsville 1/2 Marathon, 11/10/2012

A fun fact others might not know

I have a 1969 Hurst/Olds -- a very fast and rare muscle car.

How have you been an ambassador to the sport of running?

As a Master’s runner, I’m regularly approached by younger and older runners complimenting us "old guys" for being so fast. I take these opportunities to be a role model for all runners and positively influece their running by providing advice. I've also volunteered for HTC events, where these events would not take place if not for the tremendous volunteer effort behind the scenes. I’m a hardcore advocate for what Fleet Feet brings to the running community and I tell people every chance I get.