To infinity and beyond – Haiti


Judy Alexander, 


I recently received an email from a runner asking if GWTC was going to “do something” to help the relief effort in Haiti. I immediately responded, copying her with Gary Droze’s January 16th Democrat article (see information related to it on page ). That email exchange got me thinking about how many really caring and compassionate GWTC members there are. I have watched our Gulf Winds “family” band together to help one another in troubled times or illness or the loss of a family member. I listened to several deserving award winners at the GWTC ceremony explain how much the club means to them and how it has influenced their children as they have grown. I attended the Gulf Winds Triathlon Club awards ceremony the other night, and got the same warm, positive, and encouraging feeling from that group, as well. There is an understanding that while we may all be completely different people for the most part, we have something special in common, something that transcends our sport and desire for competition and gives us confidence and support, knowing we can count on each other.

Unless you have just moved here or just started running, you have probably heard about and/or experienced the plethora of fabulous off road running venues in and around Tallahassee.
Here to enjoy them for the eighth year in a row, ZAP Fitness (, a non-profit training center for post-collegiate, Olympic hopeful distance runners, has traveled down from Blowing Rock, North Carolina. Founded and managed by Pete and Zika Rea, this group of 14 coaches is committed to producing competitive, world-class runners. They not only provide a competitive environment in which to build winning mental and emotional skills in their runners, but they also seek to cultivate positive role models for America’s youth by promoting a healthy lifestyle and the desire to achieve and excel in general. We spotted them running a “progressive speed workout” at our new cross-country course, the Apalachee Regional Park, after declaring it perfect for their needs.

February is a busy month for racing! Our hometown marathon and half-marathon, February 7, are already at record numbers of registrants and promise to be better than ever this year. Although I don’t usually take the space to mention non-GWTC races, I would be remiss if I didn’t remind everyone to “get their cookies on” at the Run for the Cookies on February 13. Run like The Flash at GWTC’s Flash 12K/6K on February 20 – and don’t forget, if you have never run 12K or 6K, you will get an instant PR! Check the race calendar for several other events to round out the month, including a new Leon County Schools Foundation event, and FSU’s spring edition of the Habitat for Humanity 5K.

I am proud to be a member of Gulf Winds Track Club and Gulf Winds Tri Club and I hope you are, too!