Times Remembered – Ultra Intrigued

Mary Jean Yon,

I ventured into the world of ultra running this fall. And this time, I was a spectator instead of a registered runner so I had plenty of time to study the event. There are many things about ultras that appeal to me. I like the fact that the gender line is very blurred in terms of ability and it’s not at all uncommon to have a woman win the race outright. I also like the focus on food! Not only do you eat a lot prior to the race in order to run the entire 50 miles or 50K from start to finish, but you also get to eat during the run as well! And I especially like the tortoise & hare analogies that favor those who slow it down and focus on getting to the finish line. This particular venue was the Fall 50 in Door County, Wisconsin where David Yon & Gary Griffin ran strong and brought home trophies and belt buckles. But you don’t have to travel 1248 miles to see more of what ultra running has to offer. Gary & Peg Griffin will bring us a “Run Through The Jungle 50K/50 Mile” on December 8th at Wakulla Springs State Park. The Tallahassee Ultradistance Classic has been in existence since 1980 and it’s definitely worth checking out. Every year renowned ultra runners grace this race with their presence. Come run through the jungle or volunteer and see if you get inspired. You never know!

Another group of athletes that intrigues me is cyclists. We all know the value of cross training and many of us have bikes stashed away in our garage. The more dedicated among us tend to ride those bikes a lot and some frequently ride with the Capital City Cyclists on their organized bike rides. Recognizing that Gulf Winds has plenty in common with the Capital City Cyclists, Kathy Lindsay, our Social Coordinator, started talking up the idea of having a social that involved runners and cyclists. Before we knew it, the idea blossomed into an expanded Holiday Party! It is with great excitement that I tell you the Capital City Cyclists have been invited to the 2007 Gulf Winds Holiday Party on December 15th and the party will feature a live band at the American Legion Hall! Runners and cyclists alike can dance to the music of Crooked Shooz, one of Tallahassee’s best bands of all time. Come join us! I feel certain you’ll enjoy this infusion of energy into our holiday party!

And speaking of energy, I have one last event to put on your calendar. We are extremely fortunate to have Jeff Galloway, former Olympian and well known author, coming to town the weekend of January 5-6, 2008 to participate in the Gulf Winds lecture series. Jeff was inducted into the Gulf Winds Hall of Fame in 1983 and recently received word (as did all other Hall of Fame members) that this honor entitled him to a lifetime membership in our club. To show his appreciation, Jeff immediately offered to do something for the club and started working with Fred Deckert to set up a special weekend. For those who may not know, Jeff is well known for his unique training approach of incorporating walk breaks into running and racing. He is the author of the best seller “Galloway’s Book on Running” and is a monthly columnist for Runner’s World magazine. He owns two Phidippides Running stores in the Atlanta area and also conducts fitness seminars and running camps all around the U.S. It’s truly a special opportunity to be able to add him to our lecture series so do plan to join us on Saturday, January 5th at Premier Health & Fitness at 7:30 p.m. You can also join Jeff and his wife Barb for a fun run at Forest Meadows at 4:00 p.m. If you like that, you might want to consider signing up for Jeff’s running class the following day. Details for all of these events can be found on page 16 of the newsletter. Save the date and come hang out with the runner who claims to be the “first official member” of Gulf Winds!

Enjoy your holidays and here’s hoping I see you tearing up the dance floor on December 15th at the American Legion Hall!