Local runner places 2nd in Half Marathon

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Liberty Hill’s John Nance runs in the 3M Half Marathon. Nance finished second in his age group, 64 to 69 years old, to claim a spot on the podium. (Courtesy Photo)

By SEAN SHAPIRO

Sunday had all the makings of a good day to run for John Nance.

The wind was at his back, the route was downhill, and the weather was gorgeous when he competed in the 3M Half Marathon in Austin.

“It certainly had all the right conditions,” Nance said. “It was a fun day to run.”

His finish made it an even better day as the 67-year-old Liberty Hill resident finished second in the 65-to-69 age group, covering the 13.1-mile stretch in 1:43:26.82.

“It was the second time I’ve run a half marathon,” Nance said. “The first time was back in 1996. I didn’t hit that same time I did then, but I’m pretty happy with the finish. I thought I was going to be third, but I guess I caught the competition.”

Nance also ran in the race with his son Chris, 41, who finished the race in 1:41:52.72.

“It was supposed to be a three generation race, but my grandson got hurt and is on crutches right now,” Nance said. “So it was just me and my son, but it was still a fun event.”

Running has become a bonding mechanism for the Nance family, which started almost 30 years ago.

John started running when he was 40 years old since Chris had taken up track and cross country in high school, when the family still lived in Maryland.

“It was something that I really took up since he was running through school,” Nance said. “It was something that I could do and I continued to do on and off since then.”

Today, Nance typically runs “20 to 25” miles a week, even though he’s already put in 30 miles this week. He runs on the balls of his feet since it’s easier on his back and knees.

That exercise pays off each year when multiple generations of the Nance family will enter the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. In 2014, there were “almost 10” family members entered in the race.

“That was very neat,” Nance said. “To have multiple generations running in one event is something that’s very special.”

Completing a half marathon with a 7:54 pace per mile at 67 is also pretty special.

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