Bainbridge runner Harold Allen is the type of person that inspires someone, even when he’s not trying to. He’s the guy that motivates people he’s never even met. A man that, through his own determination and strength, is having a butterfly effect of sorts on his community. Harold Allen is a living legend.
Recently, the Post Searchlight featured Harold in an article detailing his latest accomplishment – a 100 mile race in Ft. Clinch, Florida. In that write up, Allen talks about the intense mental and physical strain he endured. The 9000 feet of elevation change. The struggle of running in sand and through forests. Ultimately, Harold attributed his success to believing he could do it saying, “I wanted to get it done, I wanted to be a person that didn’t just talk about it, I wanted to be a person that did it.” While others around him were surrounded by friends and family, pacers and support teams, Harold was a one man show – the only thing Harold had was a Gatorade bottle that he carried the entire way.
Harold was a guest on Tuesday’s Sack Lunch Show and announced another major goal of his: a 24 hour, 135 mile endurance run in Bainbridge this summer.
Allen has partnered with the Bainbridge Middle School to procure use of the school’s track, a 440 meter oval in the middle of town. On July 15th, Harold will begin the grueling process of circling that asphalt track 555 times over the course of 24 hours, effectively running 135 miles in one day. It’s a feat that has never been accomplished here (and may never again). Allen told the Sack Lunch Show’s audience that he was doing it for his hometown, “I just want the world to know that there is something going on here, something special, something that we can be proud of.” Allen also mentioned that he has signed up for another 100 mile race in Daytona in December, so the July run is as much about staying in shape between the two 100 mile races as anything.
You may have seen Harold running along Shotwell Street in Bainbridge on occasion. He told us that he typically runs about 80 miles per week, most of which are on the same paths. On the weekends, when he runs his “long runs” (30-35 miles), he typically does it as a repeat of a 5 mile loop that he and others have laid out and measured in the Earl May Boat Basin. Harold has run full marathons in Tallahassee and Albany and hopes to soon qualify for running’s ultimate goal, the Boston Marathon (his 26.2 mile personal record was set at the March 4, 2017 Albany Marathon where he ran the race in 3 hours and 17 minutes, just 7 minutes short of a qualifying time). Until then, Harold has set his sights on an oval target with 555 rings, a mark that he’ll no doubt hit this summer.
Harold attributes his success to those that have inspired and taught him along the way, including former City Councilman Greg Waddell, his mother and his co-workers at Memorial Hospital. Those interested in following Harold’s progress can like his facebook page here.
Listen to the full interview here.