2001 Race Directors of the Year - Jamie, Bonnie and Felton Wright

By David Yon

When I joined GWTC almost 20 years ago, I remember there being lots of folks in their 20’s with their main goal being to “run like hell.” Fast and furious. Since then we have mostly grown older, gotten married, brought children into the world and watched parents and loved ones leave the world. Through it all we have remained friends and watched this organization mature into a great support group and contributor to our community. I have watched the recipients of this next award experience all of these things and contribute so much to this club’s growth. This award represents just one small part of their contribution.

Four plus years ago, I recall running with Felton Wright one morning and discussing how much fun it would be to have a mile race on the track again. Well, not long after that the Wright family went on a mission.

First stop was to contact the high priest of youth running, Gary Droze. Gary helped them secure a track and an opportunity to support high school running in Tallahassee.

The next goal was to figure out how to make the track mile appeal to all, regardless of age or ability, and despite its intimidating glare. Well, very few of us can turn down pancakes and so the idea of a breakfast social was born. And if you give runners a chance to compete against other runners of similar ability, you can remove the intimidation factor of the track. So the idea of multiple heats took hold, each heat matching runners with similar abilities. And finally, if you throw in a 400 meter relay, even the youngest among us suddenly grow wild eyed with anticipation at the thought of running.

Obviously, this scheme is way too complicated for one person or even for one generation to handle. But what if you called on three generations – a grandmother, a mom and a dad and a grandson? Well, then you have the perfect picture of what makes this group of folks so special. Beth Wright cooks pancakes, while Bonnie runs the computer, Felton fires the starting gun and Jamie rides herd over them all. Our youngest race director, Jamie jumps up long before the sun comes up race morning and begins pounding on mom and dad to get out of bed.

Put it all together and you have one outstanding race. For four years now, the Wright family has given us an August delight with their version of Breakfast on the Track at Maclay School, one of the best run, most fun and diverse races our club has to offer. Those who compete range from 5 to 75, some run 4:14, while others run 14:38, but all owe a great debt of gratitude to our 2001 Race Directors of the Year, Jamie Wright, Bonnie Wright and Felton Wright!