Cat Bird Seat
By David Yon
My deep concentration was shattered by the ringing phone. The voice on the other end was in a panic: “What do I do now?” He said. “What do you mean?” I asked. “I just received my Peachtree application and I need a 10K time to get seeded. I cannot find any record of my Springtime result.”
If you have ever run Peachtree, you probably know that it is a tough race to enter. While the race now accepts 55,000 entries, it usually fills within days of the Sunday morning the application appears in the Atlanta Constitution. Forty thousand applications are accepted on a first come, first serve basis. The rest are picked from a lottery. If you want to avoid starting at the back of the pack (where it will take 30 minutes to get to the starting line) you must send verification of a 10K time with your application to get seeded. That means you must send a copy of race results and you must send it as soon as you receive an application.
Back to our story. “Why don’t you just look up your time in the Fleet Foot issue with the Springtime results?” “I only have the last two or three Fleet Foots.” I almost hung up after learning about such irresponsibility. There is an important lesson here. Fleet Foots are not to be thrown away. They are too valuable. I have almost every edition I have received since the end of 1982. They don’t take up much space. However, my copies were at home and this problem required an immediate solution. The answer was at: http://ziggy.acns.fsu.edu/gwtc/raceresults.sh. You will find links to complete results of many local races, including a link to the Springtime results at this address. I quickly printed the first page of the Springtime results and those for finisher number 143, my caller. Now if I can just get him to buy me a beer after we finish Peachtree on the 4th of July, this story will have a happy ending.
Julie Clark, GWTC Female Runner of the Year, has taken on the task of restarting the club’s merchandising efforts. She has gathered up the existing inventory, ordered some new and improved items, and will make sure you can find them. Singlets and hats are two items she will have for sale. If there are other things you are interested in, let her know. She plans to have a table set up at Springtime, so look for her.
I mentioned last month that Doug Gorton was pursuing opportunities for GWTC team competition. His proposal to support as many as four teams ( male and female, open and masters) in one or two races per year was accepted by the board. I suspect you will find more detail about this proposal elsewhere, but I think it will be fun and give us all something to follow. If you are interested, find Doug and ask him for details. To support his proposal Doug and Gary Kenney put two teams together to compete in the Jacksonville River Run. The open men finished 3rd and the master team finished first.
Mae Cleveland has written a summary of the Chenoweth Committee’s efforts to restart this idea. We hope when everything is said and done that this Fund can be a better source for the club to support running in the community. We are looking for better ways to fund this project so that the awards can be more regular and meaningful. Among the ideas under consideration for awards are an annual scholarship for high school track and cross country athletes.
April is a great month for races, I hope you find the time to thank all of the volunteers making them happen. Unless you have been there, it is easy to overlook how much time and effort people like Paul Hiers put into a race like Springtime. So, please let them know you appreciate the effort. In addition to Springtime, Palace and Rose City, it is marathon month. I am betting we see someone make a real run at Belayneh Densimo’s world record of 2:06:50 sometime during April. Ingrid Kristiansen’s record of 2:21:06 will be tougher to take down, but not impossible. There is a large group from Tallahassee heading to Boston to run The Marathon on April 20. I am sure there are a number of Kenyans who are very concerned.
Wherever you run, I hope you find favorable winds.