Fragments, Vol 2


By David Yon



You go for a run. The mighty endorphins begin their magic. A thought comes into your head that you believe is a glimpse into all the deep dark secrets of the universe. You believe that by the time you finish studying your private revelation and are finished communicating it through the written word, millions of starving children will be fed and peace will replace the bird flu as the “epidemic” sweeping the globe. Then you start to type. “Boy let’s see now. At mile two it was still rough, but by six it was clear. I know it made sense. The endorphins that were floating through the brain cells are gone. Am I just not remembering the concept right or does the keyboard convert it to trite. Maybe if I went for another run…”

Committing thoughts to written or typed words is just plain scary. When I was lucky enough to serve the club as President, it came with the “obligation” to write a monthly column which passed through the editing eye of Rex Cleveland. No choice – write something, the best you can do, each month. So I borrowed a phrase from a master of communication (Red Barber) and started writing a column called the Cat Bird Seat almost always pushing the deadline each month. It was the best part of the job in many ways, at least when I couldn’t hear people laughing. But I can’t say I ever felt “ready” to let a column go.

And speaking of courage, it is “official.” Judy Alexander (with Brian’s help I am sure) is taking over Springtime. 10K Judy has directed the Ten Mile Challenge, track meets, cross country meets and coached both sports at the high school level. She and Brian have been huge helps at Turkey Trot every year and been very involved in all aspects of GWTC for many years. Seems we got pretty lucky having them willing to take over. Tom and Jeanne have been at the helm for more years than I can count and have done a terrific job.

Wow, what can you say about the crowd at the Palace Saloon? Lots of what seemed like first timers and lots of “fleet of foot” runners. Young and old. Rumor has it the race saw a couple years around the 1000 runner mark way back when. But it wasn’t that long ago that it was below 200 runners. Hard work is a big part of what has brought back the crowd. As noted in the last Fragments, Herb and Reid have been everywhere promoting the race. It paid off. Herb generally is not a person of many words in public (I am sure there are hashers who could prove this statement wrong), but put a mike in his hands at a track meet or give him the duty of promoting a race and there are few who are better! Here is hoping the trend continues. By the way, did you know that in 1976 a 16-year-old Herb Wills ran this race in 15:05, two seconds behind a 22-year-old Perry Shaw?


Dick Roberts, one of the founders of GWTC, had a scholarship at FSU endowed in his name recently. Roberts ran for FSU in the 60’s (setting three records) and coached at FSU from 1970 though 1988, serving first as head cross country coach and assistant track coach before becoming head coach of track and field coach in 1978. During his tenure Roberts coached four individual national champions and saw 40 athletes earn a total of 81 All-American awards. His program produced a number of Olympians like McCoy, Arthur Blake and Bradley Cooper. His 1980 men’s team finished third at the NCAA Outdoor Championships, FSU’s best finish ever.

Fast forward to 2006 and Andrew Lemoncello is doing his best to become FSU’s best distance runner of all time. There is a great interview with him on the FSU web site at It is worth the read. He and his teammates will be competing at the ACC championships in Winston-Salem starting on Thursday of this week.

Dan Browne

One of the US’s best distance runners when healthy, Dan Browne, who is just recovering from a series of injuries, has a good view of the world around him. I thought the following exchange from a Runner’s World interview was worth repeating…

RWD: We’ve noticed you’re one of the runners who, when traveling to other cities, actually avails himself of what’s there, what’s going on, and doesn’t just hang around the hotel or coffee shop all day.
DB: That’s exactly right. It’s all about the journey. If you skip enjoying the journey and only focus on the race, you can miss a lot. That’s definitely just a mantra I have in life, in terms of really enjoying the ride. At the same time, you have to know your limits. You have to be wise about it. I wouldn’t consider myself one to go out drinking the night before a race or something. But going to visit a museum or something the day before or something like that, as long as it’s kept to a minimum, you’re good to go. We’re really blessed to be able to get the opportunity to travel and to see things. Make the most of it.

London Marathon on the BBC

Hopefully you got or get a chance to watch the Boston Marathon on OLN. It is never easy in our part of the world to pick up good races or track on TV. Interesting though the internet seems to be opening some interesting doors if you can handle the small screen. WCSN shows a surprising array of events. And now the BBC is broadcasting the London Marathon over the computer screen. My experience is you have to want to watch these things, but since I do, I find the opportunities to watch fun. The details if you care: Sunday April 23.

USA broadcast times are as follows:
Eastern 3:30 a.m. to 8:50 a.m. (Hopefully, it will be available for download after the fact.) “Sue Barker introduces the action from world’s most famous road race with commentary coming from Steve Cram, Brendan Foster and Paul Dickenson.”

GWTC Board Meeting & CEF

Wednesday, April 12, was the monthly GWTC board meeting at the home of Joe and Nadine Dexter. If you have never attended a board meeting it is unlikely that your life has been fulfilled to the greatest degree possible. Ok, if you don’t buy that, you should know that the day to day operations of a club as big and involved as GWTC takes a lot of work. And if you haven’t noticed, runners are a lot more like cats than they are dogs and getting them moving in the same direction at the same time takes a special touch. But GWTC is lucky to have a dedicated group made up of people who really do like each other – most of the time.

This month among other things the board voted to approve funding for five Chenoweth Fund grants. One is for a high school in Mississippi struggling to put its cross country program back together after the hurricane destruction in 2005. A second will help fund the Red Hills Kids’ Triathlon on May 21 at Maclay Gardens, an event that is a true treat to watch and for which to volunteer. An award I was really excited about went to former FSU runner Vicky Gill, who is struggling to make ends meet while trying to prove she has what it takes to make it on the national and world scene. She is headed to the Cardinal Invitational which usually generates some of the fastest distance races in the U.S where she will run the 5,000 on April 30. The fund is also supporting the Trail Blazers (a youth track program) and the Special Olympics of Leon County. I have been very grateful for the number of GWTC members who check the box and write a check to the Chenoweth Fund when they renew their membership. It really helps make good things possible.

Democrat coverage

The last thing I will mention is that I want to give major points to the Democrat for its coverage of track and field last week. Two times a pole vaulter (one for FSU and one high school athlete) got front page (sports) pictures. The coverage of the high school regionals and FSU programs was superb.

Till next time here’s hoping life’s fragments make sense.