Top 10 Reasons for Being A Runner in Tallahassee


By Jane Johnson

Because … GWTC heroes Craig Hasty and Tim Simpkins were so special, that even the race officials at the Rose City 10k in Thomasville, GA, took time to remember them and their unique contributions to local running before the start of this year’s race.

Because … you can laugh that the Rose City 10k calls its hill in the last mile of the race “Heartbreak Hill” – until you get to that point in the race, and you realize that the borrowed moniker is not overstated after all.

Because … regardless of what song they are playing – or how well they are playing it – when you run past the high school band during the Rose City 10k, you are sure to find an extra boost of adrenaline and a smile within yourself.

Because … after a string of really hot and humid days, even a slight drop in the temperature can totally invigorate your daily run.

Because … some races can take on a life of their own – and even when the race director or sponsors pull out, someone else will be willing to pick up the pieces and keep the tradition going.

Because … GWTC members Jeff Bryan and Reid Vannoy did just that for the Palace Saloon 5K this year, by doing a fantastic job at organizing and planning a great race and party – thus preserving an important institution in the Tallahassee running community.

Because … if you see Breeda Dennehy-Willis while you are out running the trails around Lake Overstreet, you can go home and brag to your friends that you just “worked out with” an Irish Olympian.

Because … our town can claim a local high school coach whose track and cross country programs have won more state championships in the last five years than you can count on both your hands.

Because … that same local high school coach is our own Gary Droze, phenomenal runner himself and selfless contributor of energy, talent and creativity to GWTC over the years.

Because … the weekly interval sessions sponsored by GWTC (and usually coached by Gary Droze) have continued without interruption for the past thirteen years – attracting upwards of 50 people of all ages each week, in all kinds of weather – even on Christmas and New Years day.

Book of the Month – June

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The Poisonwood Bible is so rich in the range of themes it covers, that after reading it once, I was immediately tempted to read it again, knowing that I couldn’t possibly have absorbed it entirely the first time through. Like most of Barbara Kingsolver’s works, there are underlying social themes throughout the book, but the message the author is trying to convey is woven into such a compelling story about people and events, a reader could conceivably read the book solely for the plot and never even “get” the social messages.

The story begins in 1959 and revolves around a missionary family from Georgia who go to what was then called the Congo in Africa. Their sojourn turns disastrous and the story that unfolds is fascinating and multidimensional as Kingsolver takes turns narrating the plot from the individual perspectives of each of the female characters.

I can’t think of a facet of the human spirit or civilization that goes unexplored in this powerful book. The book is available in paperback at most local and online booksellers.