Summer Times Remembered

Mary Jean Yon,

I understand that technically summer does not start until June 20 but to me, it’s hot outside now! With that heat comes a whole new way of approaching running. I find I sweat more, complain more and run slower. But that’s just me. Many people love the summer months. Take kids for example. What’s not to love about summer for them? They’re out of school and free to do all sorts of fun things like run in the Summer Track Series that Gulf Winds puts on with the City of Tallahassee. Every Thursday evening from June 5th to July 31st, a large group of kids of all ages and sizes gather at Maclay School Track and run events ranging from the 40 yard dash to relays to longer events like the 5K and the 2-mile run. Adults are also welcome to compete in any or all of the available events. Smiles are aplenty and the enthusiasm is contagious.

One long time participant of the Summer Track Series has taken his love for both summer heat and competition and produced a winner of a road race called the Sizzler 5K. Hobson Fulmer, resident of beautiful St. George Island, saw an excellent opportunity to showcase his running turf with this “destination 5k” and created this race in 1999 to entice people to come run and have a little island fun too. The race was originally intended to raise money for the cross country team that Hobson coached at Apalachicola High School. Rules being what they are, Hobson was told he could not train these runners in the off season under the school name so he gave them the nickname of the Tate’s Hell track Club, in honor of the nearby famous swamp that holds its own unique place in Florida history. In 2003 the race shifted its emphasis to the Franklin County Humane Society which corresponded to Hobson’s veterinary practice in Eastpoint. This year’s race, scheduled for June 29th, marks the 10th anniversary of the Sizzler and has the added distinction of being a Grand Prix race as well. You might find yourself cursing the temperatures (or Hobson!) as you run this sultry evening race but the good news is there’s always one heck of a post race party to restore that good mood. Hobson promises fun all the way around so pack up your car and head on over to St. George Island for a few more of those precious grand prix points. There’s also an adorable 1-mile race as part of the evening festivities that is part of the Kid’s Grand Prix as well.

Speaking of packing up the car…have you heard about Joe & Nadine Dexter leaving town? I find it sad to lose such energetic people from Gulf Winds but it is a happy time for them as they explore new frontiers in Orlando. I just worry about trying to fill their shoes! We’ve had TJ Cutchins and Robin Borschel step forward and agree to continue Nadine’s Boot Camp and Beginning Running classes. And Jay Wallace has agreed to fill Nadine’s spot as a Director at Large on the Gulf Winds board. All we have left is the Equipment Manager opening. How scary is that? But here’s the good news. Your Board has approved the rental of storage space for most of the equipment, absent the clocks and the chronomix, so that we’re no longer asking somebody to keep all of this equipment at their home. What we’re looking for is a person willing to serve as the point of contact for race directors who rent or use the equipment throughout the year. You don’t have to accompany the equipment to the races as Joe often did. We’ve designed a slightly different set of shoes to be filled here. If you think you’re interested, please let me or any Board member know. We’d love to fill this vacancy!

And last but not least, thanks to all of you that responded to our Newsletter Editor’s survey recently concerning the content of the Fleet Foot. We appreciate all the comments received and are working hard to make many of the improvements you suggested. Please continue to let us know what you thoughts are. No need to wait for an official survey!