TRAVERSE CITY — Jerome Recker might consider coming to Traverse City more often.
The software developer from Lansing won his second Bayshore Half Marathon with Saturday’s 1:09:56 effort.
He won the same event in 2008 and then placed second in the full marathon a year later. And hasn’t raced in Traverse City since.
“It’s been awhile since I’ve been back here,” Recker said. “I don’t know why. It’s a great race. This is the first time I’m staying around for the weekend in Traverse City. I’ve never really explored the city.”
His personal-best marathon time is still the 2009 Bayshore (2:27:37).
Recker celebrated his 31st birthday less than two weeks ago.
“I consider myself an old guy, I guess,” Recker joked, noting that both of the top two finishers are in their 30s. Runner-up Ryan Johns is 35.
Recker — who ran for Saginaw Valley State in college and is part of the Playmakers team — was able to stay close to the 5:20 pace he wanted throughout the race.
“They changed the course up, so we went up this hill at the start,” Recker said. “I was thinking the whole goal was to go really nice and easy; don’t let that drain me at all. And I went out in 5:30 and I felt like I was jogging, but nobody was with me. I gapped the field pretty much immediately. The guy who ended up taking third reeled me in about mile four or five and ran with me for about two. He kept making moves like he wanted to go, and then he fizzled out. I ran dead even splits the whole time.”
Former Traverse City Central standout Jacob Secor finished third in 1:11:27, just 17 seconds behind Johns.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do next,” Recker said. “The goal was always to run in the (U.S. Olympic) trials. And every year, they move the standard down. When I first started trying to do this, it was 2:22. And now that I can probably run that, they’ve bumped it down to 2:18. It’s kind of a dangling carrot that I’ll never get.”