2002 Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport Award

Presented by Judy Alexander to Julie Clark

I actually sought information from several different people in order to properly present this award. Here is a compilation of the responses, along with my own thoughts:

“This person is responsible for creating and encouraging more new adult runners in Tallahassee than any other person in the club.” What could be more encouraging than to start out as a brand new runner and have someone organize your training, guide you along the way, and see you through your first successful race? She did just that for new runners beginning with her Women’s Distance Festival training class, progressing through the Turkey Trot 5K class, and culminating with the Springtime Tallahassee 10K class.

“She always finds a way to go above and beyond the usual class effort.” Special iron-on logos have distinguished her training groups during Springtime, group pictures at the end of the races give the participants a permanent memento of their journey to show off and to keep them motivated, and personalized postcards remind members to get ready for the next class.

“She is so joyful that people love to continue with her when they start a running program.” Recently, this lovely person took on the responsibility of training a women’s group at Premier Health Club, and because she has such a successful and positive following, she started with 80 participants!

This person would never dream of asking for anything in return for all of these things she does for others, and for the sport of running. In fact, she once privately admitted to me to being terribly shy and how tough it was for her to get up in front of these groups and speak. Her reward is the success of others and the growth of our club and this sport that we all love.

“Julie is a treasure; I am so glad that she has been nominated for this award.” Treasure in this context is defined as somebody who is highly valued or loved. That goes without saying in this case.

“As a result of all the selfless hours this person donates to new runners, a nickname has been coined for her supporters. We call it “Julie’s Groupies!”

Ladies and Gentlemen: It is my pleasure to present the Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport Award to Ms. Julie Clark.