Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport - Bill McGuire

By Bob Thomas

It’s my privilege to present the winner of the 2007 Cleveland-Caldwell Advancement of the Sport, although I feel a bit unequipped to handle this responsibility, since our family just completed its first year as club members.

At the same time, we have thoroughly enjoyed this past year, thanks in large part to many of you who have warmly welcomed us into the club. It’s been a wonderful experience, for my wife Kim, who has been exposed to distance running for the first time, and especially our children – Carly, Blaine and Cole – whom we hope will enjoy a lifetime of benefits as a result of their involvement.

What a time to be a distance runner in the United States. We are in the midst of a running renaissance. For those of you who – like me – were part of the 1970s running boom, it’s an especially exciting time. While the stable of national class distance runners has never been deeper, the Gulf Winds Track Club should be especially proud of its efforts in developing one of the strongest groups of young, up-and-coming runners in the state right here in Tallahassee.

In many respects, every one of you deserves a piece of this award, which is presented annually to the club member who makes significant contributions to the advancement of the sport. We are blessed to have so many of you who provide quality racing, training and social opportunities; for having the vision and commitment to establish and maintain the Chenoweth Fund, which assists so many and nurtures the future of distance running locally.

The list of torch-bearers is long and distinguished. From coaches like Gary Droze, Scott Gowan, Andrew Wills, Allison Egan, Perry Shaw, Chris Sumner and Gary Kenney. To the network of volunteers headed by the likes of Bill Lott, Tom Perkins, and the countless families – like the Yons, Dexters, Ungers and Deckerts – who make the club go and grow. There are so many of you members who are worthy of this award.

So who is this year’s 2007 Cleveland-Caldwell winner? Well, it’s a person often overlooked, yet never unappreciated by those who work closely with him. He’s not only a jack of all trades, but he has “mastered” most every one of them as well. He is often described as one of the founding fathers of the GWTC and among a handful of its historians. Care to guess “who” he is?

He is a husband, father and role model. His enthusiasm for running is infectious. He dispenses words of wisdom and encouragement with nothing to gain but the satisfaction of spreading the running bug to the next generation. He has a way of making each and every person he comes in contact with feel special. I can speak to that on a personal level, having come to know him the past 2 years, after reading his name atop race results for nearly two decades. He’s a Gulf Winds Hall of Famer and two-time runner of the year.

“Who” is he?

He’s the man who oversees THE heart-warming running event of the year; the highlight race of the middle school cross country season – The Gretchen Everhart “Owl Run.”

Some of you know him as the man who sings the song – “All the Time in the World.” What a fitting title, given the time this man has given so generously – past and present – to ensure the Tallahassee running community’s rich future.

Please join me in congratulating the man known to all as Mr. Exacto – our Master of Ceremonies and the 2007 Cleveland-Caldwell winner – Bill McGuire.