Zack’s Korner – GWTC Heats up as Weather Cools Down!

 Zack Scharlepp,

The last two weeks have been stressful for Tallahassee! After last years’ experience with Hermine and the destruction the category 1 hurricane caused in the Big Bend area, coupled with the recent devastation Harvey visited on our Gulf Coast brethren to the east in Houston, Tallahassee residents were on high alert as Irma spun powerfully in the Atlantic. When Irma strengthened to a Category 5, becoming the biggest and strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, residents of Tallahassee rushed to the local grocery and gas stations.

I watched the hysteria with interest, but never felt compelled to action. I went about my week as a normal week. I made my weekly grocery store visit on Thursday and waited until my truck’s gas gauge binged at me to start thinking about filling up. While I enjoyed watching GWTC runner extortionate Ryan Truchelet’s video updates on the latest information on Irma’s path and likely impact on Tallahassee, I never truly felt in danger. Even when Ryan, chief meteorologist and President of Weather Tiger, reported that Tallahassee was facing a greater storm event than that experienced in Hermine, evacuation never crossed my mind.

When I woke up Sunday morning the forecasts indicated that Irma was likely to scrape up the west coast of Florida, bounce of Tampa, reenter the Gulf, and pick up strength as the eye of storm barreled toward Tallahassee. Despite the increased threat, Rachel and I decided to stick it out. Instead of fleeing to Alabama, I decided to go for a run and enjoy the unseasonably cool weather ahead of the storm. My refusal to leave turned out to be the right call as Irma passed with more of a whimper than a roar, sparing Tallahassee any significant damage. This past week, a return to normalcy was welcomed. Students returned to school, work schedules resumed, and the last thoughts of summer slipped away as fall sets in.

As we put Irma behind us, and summer slips away to a memory, the local racing calendar is heating up. On any given Saturday, local runners have anywhere from 2-7 races to choose from. With the increased volume of races, volunteers become even more important. Reach out to a race director if you are looking for volunteer opportunities. I know for certain that the Pine Run is looking for a few good men and women. If you are available on October 7 and willing to help, email Gary Griffin at With enough volunteers Gary can post a course director at every turn and make sure Tony Guillen doesn’t get lost…for a third time. If you are looking for a more permanent volunteer opportunity the club is currently looking to fill the social coordinator and training group coordinator positions. If you are interested, please email me at