Presented by Mary Jean Yon

Our story starts 279 days ago at the 108th running of the Boston Marathon. The temperatures were some of the hottest this prestigious event has ever experienced and you can tell the scars run deep for our local running friends who were chewed up, spit out and demoralized that day. But not our Runner of the Year! No sir! For the first time in his life, he listened to that sage advice of “start out slow” and followed it long enough to shine on a day when others withered and died. To have seen him cross the finish line, one would have thought he had simply gone out for a fun run; yet he turned in an impressive 3:22:43 finish time. We should have known then that Hobson Fulmer would be Gulf Winds Track Club’s (GWTC) Runner of the Year but he clearly wasn’t finished demonstrating his talents.

Hobson went on to win his age group at the Summer Grand Prix track series and showed us all he’s got something most of us don’t possess…fast and slow twitch muscles! Ask Felton and Bonnie Wright. They even invited him to run the prestigious Hamstring 100 meter race that’s part of their Breakfast on the Track series.

In the fall, Hobson pulled his most impressive feat yet. He ran a personal best at the Hot Dog 5K in Colquitt, Georgia in a time of 18:42 and followed it up with a 3:09:40 PR at the New York Marathon. To say he has run and raced well in 2004 is an understatement. Who else do you know that gets PR’s in the 5K and the marathon in little more than two weeks apart?

Hobson obviously loves the sport of running and he graciously shares his knowledge and enthusiasm with residents of Franklin County where he lives and trains. He has served as the cross country and track coach for Apalachicola High School in prior years. Nowadays, along with Nick Yonclas, he trains new runners in twice-weekly classes and readies them for their first race. He entices many of us to make the 80-mile drive to his stomping grounds by directing such classics as the Summer Sizzler 5K and the Apalachicola Bridge Run 10K.

Hobson’s “giving” also extends to Tallahassee where he serves as a Director on the GWTC Board. He’s been known to make large donations of shrimp to the Pot Luck Bash and periodic Board meetings and never asks for a penny in return.

He’s also a soft touch for any cause that supports animals, given that he’s a veterinarian, and he often uses races to raise money for his local humane society. He has such a connection in Lexington, Kentucky too where his running friends have made it possible for their race proceeds to come back to Hobson’s causes. So close is this friendship, that when word got out that one of Hobson’s former high school runners, Suryan Jama, died of a rare form of cancer last year, his Lexington buddies put on a special race to raise money to fight that form of cancer. Suryan was a special runner in that he made All-State in cross country his senior year in high school. Impressed by this showing of Kentucky good will, as well as the need to honor such a talented runner, Hobson and his son escorted Suryan’s mother to Kentucky in order to attend the race.

Don’t you agree that this is the kind of person that deserves to be our Runner of the Year? Please join me in congratulating Ho