Zack’s Corner – Was that April Going By?

Zack Scharlepp, GWTC President,

After a month like April, I am reminded of how grateful I am to have found running and the Gulf Winds Track Club. April was a hard month in the Scharlepp household, marred with head colds, out of town travel, busier than usual work schedules, and having to make the decision to put our English bulldog Bowden to rest. Thankfully, as a distance runner I have at least five hours a week of free therapy. Many of my five hours are spent with friends I have made through this club; friends who are always there to give an encouraging word, a condolence, a listening ear, and when needed a good reality check to snap me out of whatever self-created pity party I find myself. As much as I love my time with friends, it is the solo runs that I find most therapeutic. Solitude. The sound of my breathing. The rhythmic thump of my heavy cadence. The ambient noise of passing traffic. The increased heartbeat with each climb. The mental games of deciding whether to push harder or ease off. I have experienced no greater stress reliever than when the above are all brought together.

Thankfully for me, April will soon be behind us, and we move forward into May. As we ease toward summer, and those character building summer runs, Gulf Winds has plenty to offer. The summer trail race series will kick off on June 10, followed by a July 1, July 10, and August 5, race. If you plan to enjoy Tallahassee’s trails, make sure to sign up now, space is limited to 150. If racing in 95-degree heat on a course set up by race director Jim Halley – someone who finds pleasure in creating the most difficult course possible – is not your idea of fun, the Trailblazers may be more to your liking. For those still chasing Grand Prix points find your way to Blountstown, Florida on May 20 for the sixth annual Catfish Crawl 5k. I’ve heard the course is flat and fast. If you have children 9 and up, be sure to sign them up for SMIRF, Gulf Winds’ annual summer cross country program. SMIRF runs from June 5 through July 21 (excluding the week of July 4) from 7:45 – 9:30 at the Meadows Soccer Complex. For more information contact Carly Thomas at: or 850-631-2184.

In tribute to Bowden,