A Conversation with Sean Hudson
Most race directors just weren’t listening carefully to the question when they said “yes.” Mandy and Sean Hudson thought they heard “Would you like to go directly to the race Saturday?” Why else would someone be willing to take on the most difficult and stressful task of directing a race? I (David Yon) had the chance to ask Sean and Mandy: “What… are you guys crazy?” Here are Sean’s answers.
What made you guys decide to take on this race?
We both had been thinking about directing a race to get more involved supporting Gulf Winds Track Club, and we were watching to see if any current club race directors were ready to pass on their duties. We thought it may be a few years before we did so, but that is when Judy Alexander and Brian Corbin announced early last year they were moving away from Tallahassee and approached us about taking over the Springtime 10K. At first, we were not sure we wanted to take on the monumental task of leading one of Tallahassee’s traditional road races. But with the support of many and the Gulf Winds Track Club, we decided to jump in and take on the task of leading this race.
What is the most difficult task so far?
The toughest task for us is being able to find enough time to plan and prepare, while still managing our own professions, family life, and the training we continue to enjoy as endurance athletes.
Are there changes in this year’s race courses? Any plans to include Cascades Park in the future?
This year’s courses will remain the same as last year for all three races. Originally, we were looking to change the course slightly to incorporate Cascades Park as the finishing area, but delays in the park opening made it tough to plan on for this year.
We definitely want to use Cascades Park in the future for the finish, so we are looking forward to looking at courses to incorporate this beautiful downtown park opening. It will be a perfect venue for the finish and post-race party. Of course, the race has always run along Franklin Boulevard which had been vastly improved as part of the Cascades Park Project. Look for changes to be made for the 40th Anniversary of the Springtime 10K in 2015.
Will either you or Mandy try to run?
The Springtime 10K is one of the races that I look forward to running each year in Tallahassee. However, as race director, I will have to bow out this year to make sure the race is running smoothly for the participants. Mandy may enter the race, but that will probably be a race day decision depending on the needs for the race.
What would make you guys feel you had a successful debut as race directors?
Serving as race directors in the first year has been a big learning curve for Mandy and me, and we knew that it would be when we decided to fill the shoes left by Judy and Brian. We decided early on that we were not going to make a lot of changes to the race the first year we were directing, and hopefully we will just build on the good work by Judy and Brian.
I believe a successful debut will mean that the participants continue to enjoy the wonderful race that the Springtime 10K has been every year.
Do you have any predictions on the 10K winners?
On the men’s side, former Canadian Olympian Kevin Sullivan is our defending champion and is always a threat to win any local race he enters. I believe Stanley Linton is the other top local runner that will contend for the win. He has been running great this spring, and I expect him to be primed up for this race. Tallahassee natives Caleb Carmichael and Chris Lake are also potential challengers for the race win.
Our defending women’s champion, Stefanie Slekis, has moved away so we will probably have a new women’s race winner this year. In the last eight years, there have been eight different women’s race winners. One of those past winners, Sheryl Rosen, has the potential to end this streak of new champions. Carrie Seiberlich of Wisconsin will be competing and is another potential race winner. Katie Sherron is another local runner that has been running well this year and could vie for the win.
Anything else you want readers to know?
I would like to encourage people of all fitness levels to get out and run or walk one of the events. This race will be supporting two great charities this year, the Leon County Humane Society and the Boys & Girls Club of the Big Bend.