Feels Oh So Right: A Night of Recognition


By David Yon


It was what you might call a “feel good” night. There are so many who do so much in GWTC that it really is a terrific experience to get a crowd together to recognize at least some of them. And indeed the award winners make up a very special and dedicated group. The Grand Prix-Award Committee varied a little from tradition and held the awards on a weekend night, January 22, 2005. The excellent turnout suggested it was a good decision. Bill McGuire was back again as MC and did a good job keeping the ceremony moving while adding his unique insight to the evening. An especially poignant moment occurred when Bill broke from the prepared agenda to thank his father, who was present, for giving him the gift of running.

Mary Jean Yon, straight from her hospital bed, led off the annual awards presentation with a reminder of how Hobson Fulmer, the Male Runner of the Year, bucked the Boston trend of buckling in the oppressive heat to run a strong Boston Marathon. He went on to set two PR’s during the year. Gary Droze gave an animated presentation for the Female Runner, Seeley Lovett, emphasizing her dominance in the grand prix races and her huge improvement during 2004.

The Community Award was presented to Capital Health Plan by David Yon, who thanked CHP for being a partner as well as a sponsor. Claudia Anderson was in attendence to receive the award on behalf of CHP, the presenting sponsor for both Turkey Trot and Springtime, GWTC’s two biggest races. GWTC President, Tom Perkins, presented the Volunteer of the Year Award to Stacia Keller, while almost every race director in the room applauded. Stacia Keller has helped every one of them out at one time or another. Gordon Cherr made the Race Director of the Year Award presentation (after expressing his disappointment at not being the winner) to Peg and Gary Griffin for the terrific work they did on the Tallahassee Marathon, not to mention the many other races they have helped out with during the year.

The Caldwell-Cleveland Advancement of the Sport Award was presented to Nadine Dexter by Jane Johnson who used the theme “pay it forward” to illustrate how one runner’s kindness to another can spread ever so quickly. George Palmer was the Triathlete of the Year and Gary Griffin got a chance to be the presenter instead of the presented. And the club’s most prestigious award, induction into the Hall of Fame, went to Felton Wright as he became a part of the first father-son combination in the Hall of Fame.

There were of course lots more awards as the grand prix winners were recognized. The top five men and women received beautiful wood bowls and plates carved, polished and donated by Jerry Ongley. Gary Droze and Seeley Lovett were the overall winners of the 2004 grand prix. Special awards were also presented to Jim Zimmerman who scored in the most number (14) of grand prix races during 2004 and Cathy McCarty who completed her 50 states marathon challenge this year. Yes, Cathy has now run a marathon in all fifty states. And yes, GWTC is full of many amazing people and it feels “real good” to recognize some of the best at least once each year.

Keep checking as we will have all (or at least most) of the written versions of the presentations posted.