Times Remembered – A New Year

Mary Jean Yon,

Happy New Year and welcome to a new Gulf Winds Grand Prix race schedule! As we ease our way into January, curiosity is in the air. Who will run what Grand Prix races this year? How many super runners will emerge that can do the long races as well as the short? Who will remain injury free this year and survive the entire circuit? Club members who scored enough points in last year’s competition can collect their hard earned prizes at the Annual Awards ceremony on the evening of Saturday, January 12, 2008. If for some reason you don’t know if you placed in your age group or in the overall competition, now would be the time to check the results listed elsewhere in the Newsletter or on the web page. Then come join us for an evening of fun and find out about all the other awards bestowed that night such as Runner of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, the newest inductee in the Hall of Fame and much more.

The first Grand Prix race of the year debuts on the morning of January 12 at the GWTC 30K! Jerry and Jackie McDaniel are the race directors of this historic race which celebrates its 30th anniversary this year. The St. Marks Wildlife Refuge was home for this race for many a year until a departure in 2000. Jerry tried mightily to reclaim that venue after he and Jackie took over the race in 2005 but the Refuge would have nothing to do with it. Call it fate but somehow the relocation of the race to The Retreat at Bradley’s Pond in 2006 has worked out beautifully and runners now get to experience the character building terrain of Old Centerville Road. As if this race didn’t already attract the hard core element, we’ve all but sealed that with those red clay hills! To really appreciate the history of the race and to check out race results from long ago to see what you and your competition used to run, check out the Club Races section of the Gulf Winds web site. It’s pretty amazing! Jackie & Jerry hope to see you on the 12th, whether it’s your target race or your last long run before the Tallahassee Marathon. Volunteers are also welcome! And after the race, stroll on over to Bradley’s Country Store and get a sausage dog. Rumor has it Jerry runs a tab there!

January also brings us a new Board of Directors for Gulf Winds with many returning members and a couple of new ones as well. I guess by now you’ve figured out that I’m hanging around for another year as your President. Bill Lott and Gene Opheim also said they’re having so much fun as Vice President and Treasurer, respectively, that they plan to stay too. Thanks to all of you that voted for us. I know it was a close election! Beth Alexander, on the other hand, decided three years as Secretary was plenty and who can blame her? Having held that job myself in 1990, I can appreciate how much work is involved. But don’t tell that to Sheryl Rosen since she’s our newly elected Secretary and I sure would hate to scare her off! A regular contributor to the Fleet Foot, I know Sheryl will do a great job!

Our turnover for Directors-At-Large was minimal as well. David Yon, Keith Rowe, Nadine Dexter and Judy Alexander are all back for another year. Mae Cleveland decided to resume her life as a traveling and care free retiree. Look for her to run races in exotic locales and scout out interesting brew pubs along the way. Filling Mae’s spot on the Board will be Mark Priddy who many of us know as that nice man who gives his traffic volunteers candy at the Tallahassee Marathon. Welcome, Mark!

In a true “Times Remembered” kind of way, I went back to see what sort of statements I made one year ago in my inaugural column and was pleased to see that the message remains true. Good communication is the essence of success for any organization. As members of Gulf Winds, we always want to know what’s important to you and where you see opportunities for improvement. The people listed above are your Board of Directors. Let them know what you think and what you’d like to see this club do. For us to try and read your mind is risky! For you to speak your mind is easy! Go for it!