After last year's America's Finest City Half Marathon, David realized that he was getting close to 100 half-marathon finishes. Inspired to reach a 40 AFC/100 half-marathon dual milestone, he ran five half-marathons this year, putting him at his 99th as he starts his 40th AFC.
Three men have run all 39 previous AFC Half Marathons. Gordy Adsit, 63, David Parker, and Jerry Albert, 80, all live in San Diego with Parker living in Point Loma, home of the start line.
Parker will be celebrating his 100th half-marathon finish and will be running with his daughter, Tivoli, who was just a mere twinkle in his eye when his AFC journey began 40 years ago.
Discussing his running history, and his upcoming attempt at a 100th half marathon finish/40th AFC finish, Parker noted, “I'm just lucky I have the body type — I've always been thin.”
Surprisingly enough, Parker said he had no intention of ever running a race 40 years ago.
“I was just running to get in shape,” he said.
The half marathon is expected host a field of more than 7,000 elite, recreational and inspirational runners hailing from approximately 46 states and 14 countries. The race's scenic point-to-point, 13.1-mile course starts at the historic Cabrillo National Monument at the tip of Point Loma, runs past Ft. Rosecrans National Cemetery, along the San Diego Bay, Harbor Island and Embarcadero, past the Star of India, before winding through downtown San Diego and finishing in Balboa Park.
In addition to these significant half-marathon goals, this year's AFC half marathon will be a sentimental journey for Parker as well. He still treasures a photo of him holding his 6-week-old daughter at the 1986 AFC finish area (his ninth AFC).
Fast-forward to the 2012 AFC (his 35th) his daughter is running in her first AFC half marathon. She and her husband are coming to San Diego from Portland to run in the 40th with dad.
After his 10th AFC is when Parker decided to run the race as long as it was staged. He has also held onto all 39 of his race numbers/bibs and T-shirts from each race. Parker's fastest AFC finish was in 1983 (1:16:50), the slowest was 2016 (2:16:31).
Noting he's had his injuries over the years, Parker's ready for this challenge.
“I'm ecstatic, I have no aches and pains right now,” he said, adding, “I'm running six to 10 miles daily, 14 miles on Sundays.”
Parker cautioned that he doesn't expect to post his best time this event. But don't think for a minute he won't be ready to try.