Ten Miles of Smiles!

 

Brian Corbin & Judy Alexander, 12--3-07
 

A beautiful day, lots of volunteers, the best finish line and results teams of all time, a great looking T-shirt, and talented runners and walkers – these are the things every race director hopes for on race day and yesterday’s 10 Mile Challenge & 5 Mile Race had them all and more!

Thanks to the enthusiastic recruiting talent of Nancy Laux, at the dark and quiet hour of 6:45 in the morning, a group of approximately 30 Tallahassee Area Crew Team members and their parents gathered for volunteer assignments and instructions. What was equally as impressive as the number of people who showed up to help was the fact that two thirds of them were teenagers who could just as well have stayed in their warm, comfy beds, but who chose to come out and support the event by helping or running one of the races. Experienced volunteers from last year who knew exactly what to do took neophytes under their wings and taught them what they needed to know. Several runners made a point of telling us that the volunteers out on the course were positive and encouraging, confirming comments made about Crew Team volunteers last year, as well. Bravo!

In 2006, runners were kind with their post race comments and accepted the new venue across town at Tiny’s graciously, but when we moved the event back to Killearn Lakes this year, it was clear by the general response that it is the preferred place for this race. We looked forward with a little trepidation to feedback about the 10 mile course change and the consensus seems to be that it’s more scenic than and just as challenging if not more so as the original. The only consistent complaint revolved around the immediate uphill after the turnaround…I guess that’s one of the reasons we call it the “10 Mile Challenge!”
There’s nothing like the triumphant look on the face of a finisher who has never run a race as long as 10 miles, or on one who ran a personal best in spite of the level of course difficulty. It makes the heart soar to hang a medal around a smiling little girl’s neck after she has won the 0-9 age group in the 5-miler. Smiling raffle winners, cheering fans of award winners, the satisfaction of finally getting everything cleaned up, the list of highlights of the day goes on and on.

We would like to thank the following wonderful people for their help and support:
Herb Wills for permission to use the awesome “logo” he created for our T-shirts; Bill Lott for marking the course beautifully; Gary Griffin for the use of his truck to haul all the “stuff” we had to have, including what seemed like a million cones; Beth Alexander and Bonnie Wright for their early arrival and registration prowess; Calvin Vannoy (one of those cool teenagers and son of GWTC member & Palace Saloon co-race director Reid Vannoy), Jay Newton (GWTC member Josephine Newton’s son), Nancy Maryanski, Bonnie Wright, Bill Lott and Stacia Keller for their finish line expertise; Peg Griffin for her always encouraging words, help along the way and for expertly compiling results along with Jay Wallace with Jay Silvanima and Bonnie Wright jumping in at the last minute to help with hand tallying after the computer died; Nancy Laux for helping with packet pickup at Shaw’s and entertaining the runners with the raffle while they waited for the awards ceremony; Alex Wallace (daughter of GWTC member and frequent volunteer Jay Wallace) for her 4th grade boundless energy; Bill Lott, Fred Potter and several others for helping us clean up after the event was over; the many Crew Team Members for cutting up hundreds of oranges and bananas, stacking bagels and cookies for hungry runners, working the aid stations and providing course direction; my sister, Allison Bruneman, a non-runner who loathes early mornings and who has never volunteered at a race for joining me at 5 AM and happily doing everything from unloading equipment and setting up the registration and food area, jumping in to help with registration when the line was long, to working the finish line as if she’d been doing it all her life (and then telling me how much fun she had had!); and finally, the runners for coming out and running the race!

Thank you everyone! We hope you ALL had as good a time as we did!