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  • Patti Sponsler

Same Music, Different Dances!

West Melbourne’s Jonathan Howse seems to fly through the Battle of the Bands 5K course on Sept. 10. The race was number two in the six-race Track Shack Running Series. Photo courtesy Jonathan Howse.

Sometimes you just need to shake things up to improve.

And that is why West Melbourne’s Jonathan Howse chose to race with new people in a different environment during this season’s six-race Track Shack Running Series in the Orlando area.

“I wanted to run the series to try something different and challenge myself in a new field of racers,” said the 47-year-old Northrop Grumman Systems Engineer. “I also wanted a racing environment where I had runners around me the entire way, similar to what I've experienced at Gate River, regional half marathons, and Boston. This series delivers that and an extremely competitive field.”

New motivations helped Jonathan Howse run his fastest 5K since the Boston Marathon last April. The 47-year-old Northrop Grumman Systems Engineer finished in 18:33 to win the 45-49 age group. Photo courtesy Jonathan Howse.

Apparently, the new motivation is already reaping some rewards.

He dropped significant time at the second event on Sept. 10 – Battle of the Bands 5K – when he finished in 18:33, winning the 45-49 age group.

It was the fastest 5K he has run in five months.

“A benefit to having runners around me is that I can get my head out of my watch and just focus on running,” he said. “Now that I ran my fastest 5k since Boston, I need to recalculate my training paces and train at that and so forth as the weather - hopefully soon - cools off!”

Howse is also using the competitive field to help sharpen him for his A list races.

“These series races are perfect for experimenting with gear and strategies for the goal races which for me are the OUC Half in the fall and Boston Marathon - number seven for me - in the spring!”

Jennifer Absham took the 35-39 age group win and eighth overall in 19:19 at the Battle of the Bands 5K, race number two in the Track Shack Running Series on Sept. 10. Jen is pictured here taking the overall female victory at the Tail Gate 2-Miler, part of the Run Brevard Racing Series. Both of these series offer cash to top Series winners and Jen is looking for a double payday. Photo courtesy Keith Snodgrass.

While Howse is using the Series to help him prep for goal races, Jennifer Absher’s motivation is the cash that will be awarded five deep to end-of-season overall winners.

The 35-year-old strength coach and soon-to-be licensed PTA won her age group in both Track Shack events and placed, respectively, fifth (18:55) and eighth (19:15) overall. She is currently still in the money, ranked fifth overall.

Congrats to all of our 321 athletes who completed the race including Jennifer Absher, 35, West Melbourne, 1st 35-39, 19:19; Karen Furton-Sparks, 62, Cocoa Beach, 42:43; Kristian Furton-Sparks, 11, Cocoa Beach, 42:46; Jonathan Howse, 47, West Melbourne, 1st AG, 18:33; Claudia Lovin, 51, Cocoa, 44:19; Laura Parkins, 50, Cocoa Beach, 43:23; Page Perigo, 63, Titusville, 50:05; Thalia Ramos, 34, Rockledge, 30:05.


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