Ravenwood Cross Country Alumnus has Amazing Marathon Debut
When Parker Steed arrived on Ravenwood's campus back in 2010, one of the first things he did was sign up for football. He played his freshman year and had a lot of fun, but as the calendar turned to spring he thought he might run track. After sprinting at Woodland Middle School, Parker agreed to give middle distance a try and joined Coach Mueller's training group.
After a nice freshman track season running some 800m and 4x800m relays, Parker agreed to leave football in the rear view mirror and join the cross country team. In addition to the increase in volume and intensity of his workouts, Parker found teammates that were like an extended family and he came to love both them and the sport of distance running.
From 2011-2014, Parker was part of several breakthroughs as the boys' team began its ascent from relative obscurity to being a state title contender. In the spring of 2013 Parker ran anchor leg on the 4x800m relay at the Williamson County Championships, chasing down a 1:58 runner from Centennial to give Ravenwood the title and a new school record. In the fall of 2013 he helped the boys win the Tennessee Classic at Steeplechase, their first invitational win, and was part of the team that finished third at state, their highest finish to date. Unfortunately his senior track season was cut short due to an injury, but not before he helped break the school record in the 4x800m one more time.
Now a freshman at the University of Alabama, Parker recently decided to run a marathon. Despite only training for three months, he debuted with a very impressive time, covering the 26.2 mile course through Birmingham, Alabama, in 2:46:53. "I was feeling real bad by the last 6 miles with all the lactic acid build up, and especially the last 3. Somehow still kept a 6:30 pace even though it felt like 8:00 pace to me. Luckily I had a man with me from mile 18 till about 23 to push me and get me through a lot of the second half." Parker is being modest; it takes more than luck to win your age group and finish 13th overall out of 3,461 runners.
When pressed about the specifics of his training, Parker simply said, "My longest run was 20 miles. A couple of 10 mile tempo runs and no track workouts whatsoever."
So what's next for Parker? Maybe the Boston Marathon, for which he is now qualified. "The kid is something else. We are so proud of him!" said his father, Patrick Steed (pictured above with Parker and Andrea Steed, Parker's mother). Coach Mueller is also very proud of his former runner, whom he hopes to see run more marathons in the future. "With Parker's talent and a little more aggressive training plan, there's no telling what he could do."