Scribner not slowing down

Frank Couch | AL.com Robert Scribner, from Tupelo, wins the Mercedes Benz Half-Marathon on Sunday in Birmingham.

Frank Couch | AL.com
Robert Scribner, from Tupelo, wins the Mercedes Benz Half-Marathon on Sunday in Birmingham.

By John L. Pitts

Daily Journal

Robert Scribner is back.

The former Tupelo High School and Mississippi State distance running standout is back in the Magnolia State – and he’s back in good running form.

Scribner, 28, recently returned to Starkville after spending several years training and competing for a team in Michigan.

And in his first race of the season, he won the Mercedes Half-Marathon on Sunday in Birmingham.

Scribner led a field of 3,400 finishers in 1:05:38.

“I missed my personal record at the distance by about 30 seconds, but considering the course was hilly it was a really strong performance,” Scribner said Monday. “It’s equivalent to my best time at the distance.”

And it was a good confidence boost as Scribner, who won an MHSAA cross country title in 2003, wrestles with his future as a runner.

“I kinda wanted it to go well, to prove to myself that I still have a future in running, that I can still improve,” he said. “Conditions were perfect. It was a great day to race.”

On the road

Scribner worked for 31⁄2 years with the Michigan-based Hansons-Brooks Distance Project, qualifying for the 2012 U.S. Olympic marathon trials and sharing in the 2013 USA Track and Field 8k club championship.

“I certainly had a great experience there and learned a lot,” he said. “I thought I needed a change of setting, to see where my running might take me.”

To start, it’s taken him back to Starkville, where he’s working as a volunteer coach with the Mississippi State track team. “I’m running with those guy a lot, trying to help out however I can,” Scribner said. “Maybe I can edge into the coaching profession.”

On Saturday, he plans to run the Oxford Run for Hope half-marathon – “a fun way to get a workout in,” he said.

And Scribner is looking forward to running in some other events that he’s missed, including Tupelo’s Gum Tree 10k and perhaps the Coca-Cola 10k in Corinth, both in May.

“I’m excited to run some of these races around here,” he said. “In Michigan, I was just another guy running. Around here, to run well in a race like the one in Birmingham just seems to mean more.”

john.pitts@journalinc.com