JUNE 1998 CAT BIRD SEAT
By David Yon
I am 25,000 to 30,000 feet above the ground somewhere between Atlanta and San Antonio. My first thought is thank God for technology. I can write this column (on my lap top) while on the plane, land, rush to my hotel and email it to Rex. Given that I am again pushing the deadline for publishing, there is no way it can wait until I get back. Oh yes, technology! Without its time saving convenience, how would I ever find time to run? Every day seems like a race from the time the alarm starts ringing until those last few moments when fatigue finally takes over and sleep becomes master. Then I start thinking – darn this technology, without it I would have finished this column before I left and given it to Rex before I left. Instead of banging furiously on the key board, I would be sitting back dozing and enjoying my Maker’s Mark (its Delta, what can I say). The newest gadget or program is always fun, but it also seems to reduce the time we have to just “be” instead of “doing.” The constant in all of this though still seems to be that daily run. No matter how small or portable they become, there are still no cell phones or laptops and the only distractions are the friends you run with and the thoughts that bounce around inside your head.
If you have paid any attention to the local running scene lately, it is hard not to notice the efforts of two very talented runners. I used to run away from both of them. Now I never see one of them (at least not without binoculars) after the first turn on the course, while the other waits until a mile and half or two miles to say goodbye while I struggle for oxygen (at least she is polite about it). Tim Unger and Sarah Doctor Williams are both racking up some impressive performances these days. I have never seen anyone who has run for as long as he has improve as much as quickly as Tim. Not so long ago he thought any 5K time under 18 minutes was worth bragging about and I rarely worried about looking over my shoulder to see where he might be. Saturday saw him become the fastest “Tim” in town when he ran a 16:21 5K at the Humanatee 5K. He went from 36+ minute 10K’s to breaking 34 at Thomasville. Well, I still don’t look over my shoulder for him. Doug Gorton wrote a great piece on Tim that I hope made it into the newsletter. If not, you will see it next month I am sure, except the times will be faster still. Sarah deals out her own special torture from close range. She blistered the Belle Vue 5K in a time of 17:20, leaving me 10 seconds behind and a trail of battered male egos littering the course behind her. She was just over 36 minutes at Thomasville and is becoming a consistent top ten overall (male and female) finisher in most of our races.
Gary Griffin and others did a superb job of organizing a GWTC team for the Relay for Life. The team did a total of 564 laps or 141 miles – one lap less than the Navy ROTC team. They raised more than $800 for the cause. It sounded as if just one more club member (even the club President would have been just fine) had shown up to help out they would have had the team title. While there were 10 people who helped out at one time or another it sounds like superhuman effort was given by Gary, Will Walker, Peg Griffin and Paul Heirs. I know next year they would love to see a few more people and a chance to take the title.
There were also three GWTC teams at Boston with a men’s team finishing 33rd and a women’s team finishing 11th. Boston had teams from both sides of the Ocean and some very stiff competition. This follows two teams (including winning Master’s team) at the River Run. Bill McGuire has put together a good group for Gate to Gate team as well. This team will be defending last year’s championship.
On June 20 we are planning a ton of fun and a fund raiser for the Chenoweth Fund. In case you don’t know the Chenoweth Fund was established (many years ago) to “assist local runners and members of GWTC in their efforts to achieve athletic or academic excellence.” It has sat relatively inactive for awhile. The board approved a revised set of guidelines and the Chenoweth Committee is geared up to find some new ways to raise money and recognize runners in this area. The Pot Luck Bash on the 20th is just such an effort. The race, which will start at Forest Meadows, will be approximately 5 miles through the woods. The main idea is to have fun and raise some money. Immediately afterwards we will have an open mike social. Bill McGuire will play host and I can promise you there will be lots’ of good music and fun performances. The last time we did an open mike it was at Poor Boys and I think everyone had a great time. Your $5 minimum entry fee will go toward the fund. We are also looking for corporate and other sponsors who willing to donate a little more and become friends of the Chenoweth Fund. If you have any ideas for how to help let us know. If you would like a copy of the guidelines, I would be happy to email or snail mail them to you.
I constantly hear from members that there are too few young runners participating in the club or in running in general. This is merit to this comment, but there are people out there trying t do something about it. If you read Anne Draper’s column last month about “Running with the Posse” you got part of the story about a group of kids and a coach in Quincy trying to have an impact. Anne and Dot Skofronick showed up at our last month’s board meeting and told the rest of that story. They made a very compelling pitch for supporting this group of kids and the board voted to provide some financial support to Quincy Chapter of the Big Bend Track Club, coached by Amelia Holton. I believe the number of times the club has reached out to areas youths has increased over the last few years and I think we will see these efforts come back in the future. Gary Droze compiled some very impressive participation statistics for the local schools. The number of kids participating in track and field is far greater than other spring sports, including baseball and softball. It seemed like every week one of our local high schools or athletes were placing well at state meets for track and field. Hopefully, next issue we can have a complete run down of all the quality performances.
Well as usual I am too long winded. My ears are popping so I know it is time to finish. Keep your running paths well worn and stay ahead of the deer fly as summer rolls in with the heat.