Pot Luck in Zack’s Corner

Zack Scharlepp, President GWTC

Gulf Winds Track Club’s 2017 Potluck “four mile” race is right around the corner. June 3, 2017, at Forest Meadows Park, promises to be full of heat, humidity, hills, and horseflies-the 4-H of Tallahassee summer running. For those unfamiliar with the event, Potluck is GWTC’s only prediction race of the year. In a prediction race you guess your finish time prior to the gun going off. At the end of the race the person whose guess was closest to the actual results is declared the winner. To prevent the less scrupulous racers from cheating, you must run sans all electronic/timing devices. While this sounds innocent enough, for someone as mentally weak as myself, this is pure torture. I am terrible at judging how far I’ve gone without the help of my trusty Garmin 620 GPS watch, and race director, David Yon, does the runners no favors by changing the course every year. By the halfway mark of the race I’ll have convinced myself I only have a mile to go, when in reality there are still two grueling hot miles left – likely uphill. Not knowing how much race I have left, with no watch to pace myself, it’s been my tradition to run some pretty wicked positive splits during this event, making the last mile drag on for what seems like an eternity.

The good news, I think I have my predictions dialed in. As a newbie in 2014, I was nearly 3 minutes slower than my eager, optimistic pre-race guess. Having learned my lesson, in 2015 I was much more conservative with my guess and ended up finishing over two and half minutes faster than my prediction. I found the sweet spot in 2016, and was within 34 seconds of my predicted time (and faster to boot)! This year, well this year is my time to shine. Consider this me calling my shot, pointing to the fences, and guaranteeing a victory. 29:57!

After the race, be sure to stick around for the annual low-country boil and potluck. Be sure to thank our new Social Coordinator, Joseph Petty, for all the hard work organizing this great event. There promises to be great beer, good food, and awesome friends; what more could you ask for. As is tradition, the Chenoweth Fund will also recognize outstanding high school track-and-field and cross-country athletes in the area with scholarship award – adding to the $121,000 in scholarships previously awarded.

For those unfortunate souls unable to attend Potluck, the GWTC race calendar is filled with other summer activities to meet your running needs. The Summer Track Series starts Thursday, June 1, at Maclay school track and continues for the next 8 Thursday evenings. If trails are more your style, be sure to register for the summer trail series; the first race is June 10, 2017, at Munson Hills. For those with children ages 9 and up (sorry Katie, Barrett doesn’t qualify just yet) be sure to register for GWTC S.M.I.R.F. series, running June 5-July 21 from 7:45-9:30 Monday thru Friday. For those not looking for a series of events, the calendar is filled with singular Saturday races. Be sure to check out the St. Peters Anglican Church 10k on June 17, which is directed by our very own Mark Priddy.

One step at a time,