U.S. Rep. Allen West finishes half-marathon at Palm Beaches Marathon

By Scott Eyman for The Palm Beach Post

WEST PALM BEACH — The sturdy man with tattoos on both arms and his back crossed the finish line breathing heavily, but not really panting. Pretty good for a 50-year-old Congressman who’d just finished the half-marathon at the eighth running of the Palm Beaches Marathon.

U.S. Rep. Allen West wasn’t concerned about his time.

“I don’t know. I finished,” said West, R-Plantation. “As long as you finish, it’s good.”

Originally, West was planning to push a boy in a wheelchair for the half-Marathon, on behalf of a local charity, but that fell through. Instead, he ran for the pleasure of the exercise, and for the chance to meet his constituents where they live.

West also ran the half-marathon at the West Palm Beach event in 2007, but has never run the full length.

“Twenty-two years in the military wears on the knees,” said West, who spent more than 20 years in the Army and retired as a lieutenant colonel.

To stay in shape, West ignores the Congressional gym in Washington.

“I get up at 5:30 in the morning, do five or six miles, then push ups and crunches. I eat pretty good, lots of fruit, try to eat healthy. I did the Army 10-miler in October at 1 hour 28 minutes, 13 seconds. ”

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