Hall of Fame Award Presentation for 2009

Karl Hempel

I understand I am supposed to keep you guessing as to the identity of the Hall of Fame winner. If I start talking about this individual’s accomplishments I’m afraid it will be obvious who I am talking about so I am going to start out with some inside knowledge I have from years of observation.

Once while running with a group, this individual told us confidentially that she was not really very competitive. We all just laughed and thought she was just kidding us. Later, I realized what she said actually did make sense. This person really did not have to switch into a competitive gear to beat all of us.

She has supported running and the Gulf Winds Track Club by making new runners to the area feel very welcomed. She has a way of extracting personal information about these new runners, which makes them start to feel at home. This individual’s talkative nature has served her well as a previous social director for Gulf Winds Track Club and for promoting the sport of running in our area.

She has supported not only running but other sports by producing offspring whose talents have proven very challenging, to say the least. She has served as Coach of the Deer Lake Middle School cross country track team and is currently assisting Scott Gowan’s high school distance runners at Chiles, helping with injury prevention and cross training. She is currently president of the Chiles Cross-country Boosters which focuses on fundraising for travel and other costs associated with the cross country team. She has also served as president of the ATAC swim boosters for 4 years, where she coordinated at least ten major swim meets. This type of dedication and commitment is what encourages our children to participate in school sports, helping to make the teams so successful.

She has won all of the major races in Tallahassee at least once, but most of them many times, including the Turkey Trot seven times and the Springtime Tallahassee five times. She has won the open division for the Gulf Winds Track Club 5 times in the past. She was named Runner of the Year in 1999.

In addition to her running accomplishments, she excelled in another sport. She grew up in the north and started speed skating at a very young age. She became incredibly competitive. She placed 3rd in speed skating in the World Championship in 1980. She was 10th in the Olympics several weeks later. This individual was elected to the Olympic Speed Skating Hall of Fame in 1990. So, this is not her first Hall of Fame election. 

Give it up for the 2009 Gulf Winds Track Club Hall of Fame winner, the very deserving Sarah Docter-Williams.