FAMU ROTC runners inspiring


By Dana Stetson


There is a running group in town, the FAMU ROTC running team, that recently showed what a combination of good training and dedication can accomplish. The team had a total of nine entrants in the recently held Tallahassee Marathon/half Marathon.
The majority of the runners were running their respective distances for the first time (marathon or half marathon). What was especially amazing about the teams results was how well they placed in their individual divisions while running in a difficult race.

A lot of the motivation for all this distance has to be credited to Master Sergeant Paul Vecchio who is one of Tallahassee’s top ultra-runners. He inspires by example, having completed many ultras and with plans for many more.

But, this team is tough – top to bottom. Other team leaders who competed in these events included Lt. Col. Waldo and Major Storey who both completed their first marathons in excellent times. An inspiring aspect of watching this team run was how they paired up and used each other for inspiration and motivation.

The first pair that I saw run by were Jabbar Colbert and Sam Haynes, who finished first and second, respectively, in their age group. These runners made it look fun and easy. Another equally awesome pair of runners were Maria Darby and Nadia Traylor. I met them with six miles left to go and they were putting forth a lot of energy. You just knew they would finish fine.
Other members of this team, Anthony Jenkins and Mario Malpica ran equally as successfully in the half marathon. This team has also competed at the Blue Angel and Jacksonville Marathons. It is certainly a welcome addition to our running community to have members of this team adding some energy, style and a little more fun to our local races.