Times Remembered – One Last Time

Mary Jean Yon,

So much of life is a balancing act and how true this is when it comes to running. From the very beginning, runners must learn to balance their enthusiasm and desire so that the sport can be with them for many years to come. Then there’s that delicate balance we all must find that allows us to train without ending up in a doctor’s office. We also strive to balance our running with all the other facets of our lives including family, friends and work because we know, when all is said and done, that running often improves and enriches our lives.

This time of year makes that balancing act even trickier as the holidays approach and demands on our time increase. Races are plentiful and feature a little bit of everything when it comes to distances. If you are on the hunt for a few more grand prix points, the GWTC 10-Miler on December 6 offers you the last Grand Prix race of the year. Later that night, the Jingle Bell Run charts a new course through downtown Tallahassee which offers 1.8 miles of fun as scores of people turn up to run in Santa hats and help kick off the City’s winter festival.

From the streets of the city to the loops of Wakulla Springs, the following weekend brings you “A Run Through The Jungle,” otherwise known as the Tallahassee Ultra Distance Classic. This event, held on December 13, caters to those who prefer the mega miles of a 50K or a 50 mile race. Attendance has grown steadily over the years and the 2008 race is on track to host the largest field of runners in over 10 years. Among the runners already registered is Joe Burgasser, a one-time Tallahassee resident and club member who now resides in St. Petersburg. For those that remember Joe, I’m sure it won’t surprise you to learn that his plan on December 13th will be to break the 70-74 50K age group record. Come on out and cheer him on!

Once all that running and racing is done, it will be time to celebrate and we have just the right opportunity for you. Come join us on Saturday, December 20 for the annual GWTC Christmas Party at the American Legion Hall. Last year we tried something new and partnered with the Capital City Cyclists and the Gulf Winds Tri Club for this fun filled event. That helped us bring you Crooked Shooz, one of Tallahassee’s finest bands. The result was a party so good, we decided to do it again! Same band, same guests, same good food, same good dancing! So come join us!

As December draws to a close, so too does my time of being your President. It’s been a great two years. I started with an idea that we are well served if we remember our rich history in this club, whether it is the longevity of a particular race or the contributions of a particular person no longer in the spotlight. Our path forward holds many exciting possibilities which can be deeply enriched by thinking beyond the simple here and now. T.S. Eliot helped me phrase this two years ago and I borrow from that same quartet now when I say, “If all time is eternally present; all time is unredeemable.”

Congratulations to Judy Alexander, who will be our next President. Akin to the Energizer Bunny in so many ways, I know Judy will give 110% of herself to get the job done. And congratulations to all of you for being members of one of the best running clubs I know. I leave you with one small bit of nagging. Don’t forget to renew your membership for 2009! See you on the roads and trails! It’s been a blast!