Cat Bird Seat


By David Yon


I have been back on solid ground for a little over a month now. (A little longer than that by the time you read this.) I can tell you one thing, if I could choose between the lobbyists, legislators and lawyers swarming our town now and the penguins – it would be an easy decision. Exploring Antarctica sure beats wandering the halls of the Highpoint Center where I work. It is not that a trip like that does not involve hard effort and many challenges, it certainly does that and more. But in today’s incredibly fast paced world of e-mails, faxes, and unending demands, there is just something special about being locked on a ship in a world that consists of less than 100 people, one phone and one computer with an outside world connection. Goals become very simple: get through the marathon, avoid getting sick or alternatively stay near the side of the boat, observe and learn about the incredible surroundings, and finally eat and drink.

The Sunday March 21 “Tune up for Springtime and Breakfast in the Park” was a great success. Wendy Smith and Sarah Docter-Williams fed a crowd of runners bagels and muffins at Myers Park after they had run part or all of the Springtime course. Sarah and Wendy plan to schedule another of these events soon. It is a great way finish up a Sunday morning run and maybe even find some new running partners. You will also find an ad for the 2nd annual Great Pot Luck 5 Mile Bash scheduled for June 5. This event is another recipe for fun, a chance to torture yourself and contribute to the club’s best effort to raise money for the Chenoweth Fund. More important than the run is the after-race Open Mike Social. Club members have a chance to display their talents (or lack thereof) on stage. It should be a summer party to remember.

On May 7-8, GWTC is sponsoring a team in the Relay for Life benefit for the American Cancer Society. The event involves teams of 10-15 runners trying to run laps and raise money at the Leon High School track. Will Walker is the team captain and can still use participants and money for this 18 hour marathon. It seems like GWTC members have been hit really hard lately with the affects of cancer, either directly or through family members. This is a great cause to get involved with either by running or contributing. You can e-mail Will at

Kathy McDaris continues to do a great job on the Tri-News sections of the Fleet Foot and the Web page. These pages are great sources of information for Triathlons. We have an increasing number of members who have embraced the variety of triathlon events. I think the interest has climbed to new heights with the announcement of the Florida Ironman in Panama City in November and the club will be well represented at that event. There is a quote on the web page that says “If God created marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, triathlon must have taken him completely by surprise.” Well, I suspect this 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.219 mile run will test the limits of this concept. It will be, as Steve Kazmierski pointed out last month, the first qualifier for the 2000 Hawaii Ironman.

It looks like some of our members are heading abroad. I refuse to say we are losing these members because I have great hope that we will stay in touch. Howard and Jennifer Andrews are on their way out of Tallahassee to new job opportunities. They have served as the membership coordinators since long before my first term began and have done an outstanding job. These duties will be passed on to Brian Corbin and Judy Alexander so they will be left in good hands, but we will miss our friends. This is one of those jobs that requires a lot of work, but often the effort goes unnoticed unless something goes wrong. Welcome aboard Brian and Judy.

Our Web page is on its way to 10,000 hits, crossing the 7000 mark last month and maybe reaching near 8,000 by the time you read this. It is a good source of information and a way to fill time between issues of the newsletter. If you have information or ideas please feel free to forward them. The effort to keep news and results current, however, points out the need for updating the way we compile race results and race registrations. For Springtime we have hired help. But for many races this is just not cost efficient. I am sure there is a better way than having to type names and times from scratch for each race and I am confident we can find it with the right amount of effort. If you have any thoughts on this topic let me know.

Springtime will be over by the time you read this, but Will Walker has a great event planned for the 25th running of the Palace Saloon. As far as I know this is the longest running club event on the same course with the same sponsor. Bill McGuire is the only person I know of who has run every Springtime 10K; Is there anyone who has run every Palace Saloon race? If so drop me a line about it. If you have run more than 10 Palace Saloon races, I would like to hear from you also. I ran my first Palace in 1984 and have run a total of 13. I would have run more except for the occasional conflict with the Boston Marathon. One of my most gut wrenching efforts came as I climbed the hill on Jackson Bluff Road while bumping elbows with Dave Sheffield many years ago. Dave drug me to a PR that year. And certainly it is difficult to forget the performance of Groucho Marx (also known as Hoze Droze) a few years ago. Be there in 1999 or miss out on some fun.

In the meantime keep those feet moving on the trails and stay healthy.