Times Remembered

Mary Jean Yon,

It’s November! And you know what that means? It’s time for Turkey Trot! Forgive me for the shameless plug I’m about to commit but the temptation is too great. As the co-race director for this Thanksgiving Day race, I tend to see things a bit differently than the average participant. Yes, it’s true we get record numbers of people out to run either the one-mile fun run or the 5, 10 or 15K races. And yes it’s true that the race has taken on a true family focus over the years and has the power to entice entire families out for some exercise before they head home to feast on their Thanksgiving meals.

But you know what I really like? It’s the spirit of giving that permeates the whole affair. It’s knowing that a good portion of the race proceeds go to benefit the Refuge House (since 2001) and the Shelter (since 1995). It’s watching those very folks give back by working water tables on race day and showing their appreciation for what this race has done for their organizations over the past 12 years. It’s watching Judy Alexander and Brian Corbin absolutely fill up a U-Haul truck with donations that runners bring on race day and knowing the amount of work that goes into delivering these goods to those in need. It’s having kids compete for which school can donate the most canned goods and which school can enter the most runners in the Turkey Gobbler one-mile run. And last but not least, it’s gasping over the generosity of people that drop money in large and small amounts into my all-too-famous fish bowl that sits at the Turkey Trot pre-registration Music Fest knowing that it’s a direct infusion of cash for the Refuge House and the Shelter.

If that’s not enough to make you run this year’s Turkey trot on November 22, nothing is. It’s all a wonderful thing. But you know what? It’s not just a Turkey Trot thing. The vast majority of Gulf Winds races have a named charity or organization that benefits from race proceeds. Thank goodness the club is financially sound right now because it’s much more fun to share with others than to worry about making enough money to stay afloat.

Much of what we do as a club is about giving and sharing, including things we do for you as a member. And no…this isn’t a pledge drive! But we do need your feed-back on some initiatives we started this year. If you ran Breakfast on the Track, Women’s Distance or Prefontaine this summer/fall and you pre-registered for the event, you might have noticed you received a $2.00 discount. During the summer, your Board approved this concept of granting Gulf Winds members a $2.00 discount when they pre-register for a club race. Or maybe you’re one of the lucky people that received a $50 gift certificate from a local restaurant or movie theatre in a random monthly drawing geared towards rewarding Gulf Winds members. Both initiatives are intended to “give back” to our members and both initiatives will be up for evaluation and possible renewal when we approve our 2008 budget in January. We’d love to hear whether you think we’re on the right track or not. So next time you see a club officer or board member, tell them what you think. We want to know!

Another thing we’d like to know is who you think should win one of the club’s Annual Awards for 2007. Nominations are being accepted now and are due on or before November 30th. If you have a suggestion for Runner of the Year, Hall of Fame, Race Director of the Year, Triathlete of the Year or any of the other categories…write it up and send it in! Details are available in Lisa Unger’s column in the Newsletter and the form is here.

Don’t forget to join us for Turkey Trot on November 22nd ! There really is no better way to spend Thanksgiving Day…whether you run it, walk it or work it! See you there!