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It is Almost Magic; Maybe its Family

I have often wondered how a small city like Tallahassee manages to support so many running events nearly every weekend.  We must be one of America's healthiest cities if the number of races is any indication!

The annual Gulf Winds Track Club Palace Saloon 5k is always one of the most attended races in town. Yesterday, the 44th edition of the event faced some healthy local race competition with 4 other community racing events on the same day in addition to a 12-hour Relay for Life event on the FSU campus that raised over $300,000!

I worried about attendance, but runners and volunteers turned out in great numbers.
Thank all of you!

As you can imagine, a large race such as this one depends on dozens of volunteers.  I risk hurting someone's feelings if I try to start naming all of you, because there were so many that I'm sure to miss a few.  I know who you are and I promise you that I never take volunteers for granted. Some of you worked Wednesday night pre-registration, then showed up again on Saturday to work race day registration, then stayed around to help clean up. At least a dozen of you showed up around 5 am to unload supplies and set up tables. All of those folks stayed around for 2 hrs. after the event and cleaned up. Water stop helpers turned out in large numbers and also stayed around after the last runner passed and cleaned up. You are simply amazing people!

I would specifically like to single out a few people who exceeded expectations and worked long hours leading up to the race and long hours afterwards.  Jeannie O'Kon organized dozens of volunteers to work both registrations and she ordered, retrieved, and delivered the awards. Tom Perkins worked every phase of the race from hauling, setting up, registration and cleaning up.  Keith Rowe is simply amazing. He volunteered long hours to organize and clean the equipment, load the club trailer with supplies, haul it all out the course locations, then drove back out after the race and picked it all back up. And, oh yeah, Keith ran the race, pausing his watch at a water stop to serve water to about 200 runners, then resumed running.  And of course, there is Bill Lott, who recommended the quantities of race equipment, helped load, unload, and clean it before putting it away in addition to signing checks and managing the finish line. Thanks to Ely Rosario and Jackson Properties for donating the food and displaying it in is such a professional manner. Thanks to Debbie Peters for hand painting the rocks that we gave out as part of the awards. That was a labor of love that took time and skill to prepare.   Finally, thanks to Peg Griffin and Bill Hillison for making sure race results were accurate; and that was not a simple task yesterday!  I am so grateful for all of you.

Thank you again runners for choosing to run the Palace Saloon 5K. I hope you ran a fast race and enjoyed yourselves at the finish. I learned quite a bit this year as the first-time race director and I will carefully consider all of the helpful suggestions that you provided to us. 
Put us on the calendar for next April, then after the race head across the street and attend the FSU Spring Game later that afternoon!

Mark Priddy
Palace Saloon 5k Race Director