You Don\'t Mess Around With Jim

By: Jim Woolfitt

I ran in the Deckers Creek Half Marathon on June 1, an event timed by TriStateRacer. Looking at the results I discovered I could search results merely by entering a first name, say Jim or James. (There were 6 results for “Jim” and  2 results for “James”.) Seeing how well we did that day inspired this post. (All of the Jims or Jameses were 42 or older, too.)

Jim Bailey (2:05:53.8), who is from Gilmer County, WV, won the 70 & over age group at Deckers Creek. Looking up some online race results, I think I met Jim Bailey at the 2002 Grafton 5 Mile race.

I think I figured out who this “Jim Banks guy” (1:38:37.3) was in 2004 or 2005. I remember seeing his name in race results & wondering who is this “masked man”. He’s 6 years older than me & he was / still is consistently posting impressive times. Banks is from Scotdale, PA, north of Uniontown. He won the 60-69 age group at Deckers Creek.

My good friend Jim Cummings (1:30:36.5) took 2nd in the 50-59 age group. I met Jim on Feb 3, 2001, while running through the unincorporated town of Rachel in rural Marion County. Jim still laughs at how I turned around so that I could run the same direction as he. Having run to Rachel (about 3.5 miles from my home) many times since we moved to our present location in November, 1982, I rarely if ever saw any other adults out for a run in or near this little community.  I had to find out who this guy was. Turns out he & his family had moved to a nearby area of rural Marion County about a year prior to us meeting.

Your humble blogger (1:49:26.8), often the weak link in this group, took 3rd in the 60-69 age group at Deckers. My age group had 22 finishers but we did not run deep this year compared with last year.

A “Jim” I don’t know placed 2nd (1:27:36.7) out of 63 finishers in the 40-49 age group.

The four of us manage to show up at some Morgantown race usually once or twice a year. I smile as I hear a chorus of “hey Jim” at these times.

An example of this, the 4 of us converging on a Morgantown race, was the 2006 Snowflake Sprint. Banks (20:27:71), Bailey (22:11.28) & your ever so unassuming blogger (21:25.45) all took first in our respective age groups, 60-64, 65-69 & 55-59. Cummings (19: 11.77) placed 2nd which shows his age group (45-49) was more competitive than mine that day.

Bailey & Banks have supported many of our Run to Read soirées over the years. Jim Cummings quickly became my “right hand man” in staging these events. These three may be found multiple times in the event age group records & top 10 lists which are posted at and 

Two weeks later at the Greater Clarksburg 10K, “Team Jim” took a bit of a hit. Jim Cummings (42:54) took 4th in the 50-54 age group while I took 4th in the 60-64 age group (49:42). Jim Bailey (55:49) won the 70 & over age group. James Cann (47:11) won the 60-64 age group which restored some honor for “Team Jim”.  Cann has quietly been showing up at our Run to Read events in recent years.

They say you don’t tug on Superman’s cape

You don’t spit into the wind

You don’t pull the mask off  old Lone Ranger

And you don’t mess around with Jim

Recorded by Jim Croce


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