A Year in Review

Zack Scharlepp, GWTC President,

December 31, 2017, brings to close my first year as president of Gulf Winds Track Club. My ascendance to the position was not by design or plan. Had things gone according to plan, Mike Burns, a more worthy and qualified candidate, would have been writing this column. Mike had followed the generally accepted path to power; serving several years on the board including a year and a half as vice president. He had been groomed for the position, and was the president that the people deserved!

But as life is wont to do, Mike was torn away from the club and forced into exile in Columbus, Ohio. Tony Guillen, the outgoing president, panicked when he heard the news, fearful of being forced into a third term. I am uncertain of who put my name in Tony’s ear as a potential replacement for Mike, but given Tony’s desire for the role of “immediate past president” I am certain it wasn’t a hard sell. And so it was, running warm up laps on Maclay track before Tuesday morning intervals Tony approached me with the “opportunity” of moving from social coordinator, the board’s “party man,” into Mike’s unexpired term as vice president. I agreed, and also agreed to run for president the following year.

So here I am, reflecting on my first year as president. What a year! From a personal standpoint, 2017 has seen more change than any of my previous 34 years combined. It has been an extremely joyful yet difficult year. I became a dad, which is indescribable. I became a shareholder with my firm, a huge career achievement. I traveled with family and friends to fun and exciting locations. However, the year was not without difficulties. We lost our beloved English Bulldog, Bowden, in April. Most challenging, I have endured legal battles and circumstances with my wife that we never imagined would impact our lives. There are days and events that I would love to forget that are seared into my memory.

Despite the unforeseen challenges when I agreed to the position, if given a time machine and a chance to redo my decision, my answer would remain the same. Yes, I’d be honored to serve as president. (Whether I would still be the name put in Tony’s ear remains a mystery). The year has been a great success, with little to no thanks to me. All club races went off without a major malfunction. Thank you race directors! Peg, Billy, and Bill continue to be the cogs that make the machine go. Financially the club is in a better position now than it was a year ago. New members continue to be involved and engaged in the club. The club expanded its race offerings, with Sickle Cell as the newest addition.
So, here is to a new journey, a new challenge, new friends, new adventures, and a New Year.