Join us for the Summer Track Series!

Each year, Gulf Winds Track Club teams up with Tallahassee Parks and Recreation to host the eight-week Summer Track Series. It takes place at the Maclay High School track, always beginning on the first Thursday evening in June. Runners of all ages are asked to arrive no later than 6:45 p.m. There are opportunities for runners of all ages and abilities to enjoy running a variety of distances. There are no “requirements” for participation in the track series. It is free and open to the public. Runners do not have to be fast or be a member of GWTC to participate. Anyone with a “need for speed” or just a “need for fun” is welcome!

The series is arranged in a sequence that alternates on odd and even weeks. For the odd weeks (1, 3, 5 and 7), the competition events are the 40-yard dash (for the very young, ages five and under), the 100 meter dash, the 400 meter dash, the 1 mile run, the 5K run and the 4 X 100 (400 m) relay. For the even weeks (2, 4 and 6), the available events are the 40-yard dash, the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash, the 800 meter run, the 2 mile run and the 4 X 200 (800 m) relay. Participants are welcome to compete in any or all of the available events. The track series organizers will determine what events are available in the 8th week. One event is certain: GWTC will present the annual Ice Cream Social and GWTC Summer Grand Prix Awards in the 8th week.

The Summer Track series has its own Grand Prix series for GWTC members based on the weekly Featured Event. The 100 meter dash is the Featured Event in week one. The event is the next one up in distance (200m, then 400m, etc.) each week after that through the 5K in week 7. Only GWTC members are eligible to participate in the Grand Prix series. Membership applications are available online or at the track so that non- members may join and become eligible. Again, club membership is required ONLY for Grand Prix participation, NOT for Summer Track series participation. A Gulf Winds Track Club table will be set up in the infield of the track and will have GWTC volunteers ready to help participants. GWTC members who wish to participate in the Summer Grand Prix will be split into two groups: Age 9 and under and Age 10 and older. The two groups will be scored differently, as described in the next paragraph.

Some parental assistance may be needed for age 9 and under runners. On the first evening of participation, the parent or child should complete a score card (provided at the GWTC table) including the child’s name, age, gender and verification of the child’s membership in GWTC. This score card will be held by the GWTC volunteers and used for the entire series. Each week that the child participates, the parent or child needs only to “check in” with the GWTC volunteers so they can get the child’s score card ready. The 9 and under series scoring will be based upon participation, not times or placements. Children aged 9 and under will run the Featured Event for the first 5 weeks (up to the mile). In weeks 6 and 7, the children may choose any of the offered events under 1 mile to count. Children ages 9 and under may run longer distances at their parent’s discretion, but we will not score children 9 and under for distances longer than 1 mile. Upon completion of the Featured Event, each child will be awarded a finisher ribbon. The child or parent should proceed to the GWTC table to show this ribbon to the GWTC volunteer who will place a sticker on the child’s score card recording the child’s participation in that Feature Event. Parents are encouraged to watch their child’s finish and listen to the times called by the track volunteers and to record their child’s time if desired.

Grand Prix participants ages 10 and up will provide their running times to a GWTC volunteer after the scheduled event is run. Runners are responsible for obtaining their own finish times upon completion of the Featured Event. Parents of runners ages 10-14 may need to assist their children in obtaining their finish time. Upon obtaining their finish time, runners should proceed to the GWTC table to provide their name, gender, age, GWTC membership verification and their finish time. Only finish times provided to the volunteers will be considered for Grand Prix scoring. Runners who participate but do not provide their finish time information to the volunteers will NOT be scored. Points will be assigned based on finish time/placement in the following categories: Youth (10-14) Male and Female, Overall Male and Female (15 and up), and Male and Female in five-year age groups beginning with 15–19 and continuing through to 85 and older.

The results of the GWTC Summer Track Series will be posted on the GWTC web page as quickly as possible each week. GWTC will present the Summer Grand Prix awards in the 8th week of the Summer Track Series. Participation in at least three races is required in order to be eligible for an award. Children ages 9 and under will awarded based on the number of races in which they participated. Runners ages 10 and up will be awarded based on race placement and accumulated points in Youth, Overall, and age group categories.

The Summer Track Meet takes place, rain or shine. In the event of lightning and/or thunder, the track meet directors will postpone or cancel the event for the safety of the runners.

Please join us for the Summer Track series every Thursday at 6:45 p.m. beginning on the first Thursday evening in June. You’ll be glad you did!