C. D. Overton

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Overton qualifies for Boston Marathon

By John Howell

The winner of the last year’s Batesville Springfest Racing for Paws has qualified to run in the Boston Marathon.

That’s the 2013 Boston Marathon.

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Earlier this month, C. D. Overton of Batesville completed the New Orleans Rock and Roll Marathon with a time of 3:12:36. That placed him within the qualifying minimum required for next year’s legendary event in Boston (three hours, 15 minutes in 2013 for men ages 40-44, down from three hours and 20 minutes required for the same age in the 2012 event).

And fast enough. Overton was 113th in a field of 3,600 who finished the New Orleans marathon. The 26 miles took him from Audubon Park to the Lake Pontchartrain shore, along historic St. Charles and Esplanade Avenues and besides the sprawling City Park.

“It’s 90 percent mental,” Overton said. “You can stop any time you want.”

On the other hand, he thought about his family as he paced mile after mile: “All that time I spent away from them; I can’t let that be in vain, it’s got to be worth it.”

“I do a lot of my training at 9 or 10 at night, get everybody settled and I’d be out the door,” Overton said. “Everybody” includes his wife, Amanda (“She was very supportive; I couldn’t have done it without her.”) and their 16-month-old daughter, Graham.

“He worked hard for this one; I’m real proud of him,” said Overton’s friend Perrin Caldwell, a Batesville runner who participates in half-marathons. “There were afternoons that he has run in the pouring rain to keep on his schedule.”

There has been another other obstacle. Overton learned last June that he was suffering from Lyme Disease. During the six months that followed, Overton said he often thought, “I’ll never run again.”

But after his last debilitating bout in November, his health turned for the better, and he soon returned to the training regimen he had been missing. His New Orleans finish validated the extent of his recovery.

The New Orleans marathon was Overton’s eighth since 2001, his fourth run in New Orleans. He follows an 18-week training and diet regimen that he has developed from online sources and by studying books, he said. He runs year-’round to stay in shape, including half-marathons and 5K and 10K events.

Caldwell said that the training schedule involves the same discipline as completing the course during the actual race: eating right, resting and running distances specified to build into the full course length.

And he plans to run again in this year’s Springfest Racing for Paws on Saturday, May 19. He may not lead the pack this year. He plans to push Graham in a stroller for the 2013 Racing for Paws. Can’t get her started too soon.

(Join Overton for the 2012 Springfest Racing for Paws and help support the Panola County Humane Society. Registration $20 through March, increases to $25 on April 1. Visit racesonline.com to enter.)