Future of Running – Special Award 2017 – Carly Thomas

Judy Alexander, January 14, 2018

For years, our running club did not have an everyday summer running program for students who did not necessarily belong to organized teams or who just wanted to run for fun and fitness. For twenty years, Gary Droze offered the all-comers’ SMIRF program at Maclay School. In typical clever Gary style, SMIRF stood for ‘Summer Mornings Include Running Fitness,’ and participants could run till they were blue in the face, like those little blue Smurf guys.

Six years ago, Gulf Winds Track Club partnered with the City of Tallahassee Parks and Recreation Department to take over this program and relieve Gary and continue to provide rich running opportunity for youngsters from May through July.

I have known this special ‘Future of Running’ award recipient for a long time. They have come up through the ranks, running well all the way through their college career. This honoree knows running, knows children and knows how to motivate and inspire those children. They are now facilitating our SMIRF program and doing it with the patience, kindness and love that will ensure the future of running in our community.

This honoree is knowledgeable but humble. They are caring and organized. Their father said they were inspired by our club members. Now, this honoree is paying it forward. Proudly representing the Gulf Winds Track Club to our youth and their parents is this year’s ‘Future of Running’ award recipient, Carly Thomas!