President's Column - June-July 2024

Jerry McDaniel, President

I subscribe to Popular Mechanics magazine. While the name is a bit of a misnomer in my view, I mostly have a subscription because my Dad always had one.

There are always interesting articles, but the magazine starts out with a section called “Can’t Stop Thinking About.” This section usually features 2-3 random staff people at the magazine sort of musing on, well, things that are presently occupying their thoughts or happenings.

Lately, for me, “I Can’t Stop Thinking About” a variety of things…my latest book, politics and our country, the wars, my aging Mother, next motorcycle trip with my brother, my mortality, GWTC, and the list goes on. News to some, I am an intuitive person, so will confine this column to Track Club stuff.

In terms of the calendar, historically once Springtime and Palace conclude – my racing focus used to always turn toward having fun at Potluck and trying to be competitive in the Breakfast on the Track mile.

Potluck has always been an interesting event. It is the only event all year where your favorite wearable timing/tracking device is not allowed nor is the course marked mileage-wise. It is also the only race in the 4 mile range and the goal is to predict your finish time. Early on, I thought it was ludicrous that anyone could even contemplate predicting their finish time on a hilly, rooty, not particularly accurate 4 mile off road course.

Well get this, one year I nailed my time to the second and Jackie was a mere 1 second off our respective predictions – in the same year! What are the odds?

I have not come close since that time. This run is also about the Chenoweth Fund recipients and promoting the efforts of runners and triathletes in the Big Bend area. Come run, stay for food and drink and listen to area coaches recognize their youth runners! It is a really fun social occasion.

Noteworthy this year for Breakfast on the Track are newly installed race directors, Christopher and Lauren Stanley. Thank you for stepping up and taking over from Felton and Bonnie Wright! Big shoes to fill. Ah yes, the mile. The scariest and shortest event we offer. Most runners worry about this event because it is so rare- the only mile they run all year; all on-lookers can see you every step of the way; and you’re pretty much in pain, if you’re pushing, the last 21/2 laps. On the upside – it is short-lived.

For those that do this race at maximum effort, it usually boils down to this: 1st lap – adrenaline high, no pain, trying to find your pace, don’t fall; 2nd lap, where’s my competition, did I go out too fast, starting to hurt; 3rd lap, you are starting to be delirious with pain, lactic acid building, and the end seems a marathon away; 4th lap – complete oxygen debt, lactic acid is full on, collapse at the finish, don’t barf on the volunteers.

Interestingly, my best mile was not at an official event – it was on the Leon track, during a noon- time run with the Sloths. We conjured some bet, figured out the marks on the track that made up the stagger for a mile, 4-5 watches on me and off I went! All I remember was the inability to lift my legs coming down the final stretch.

The Breakfast on the Track Mile is a Grand Prix race this year, so you know you’ll be there!

The primary GWTC things that I Can’t Stop Thinking About however, involve the long term health and well being of the club. We still do not have race directors for the marathon, and the machinery to put this on is in motion. I do have a feeler or two out but nothing solid as of yet.

I am gratified when someone comes to me or Jennifer or any club officer and says they wish to be more involved. That does and has happened- wonderful! I do hear and see moans and groans occasionally as well, about the Club and and how we operate. As Jennifer suggested in her column last month…let’s talk about it!

Meet us at Momo’s on Market St., Saturday afternoon, June 15 at 3:30 for some pizza and a drink and let’s hear what you think. There is a survey out now that you should have received via email. Please respond! We want a heathy, well sustained club that balances the members’ concerns and needs with a vibrant and active community organization that promotes good and healthy lifestyles. No need to debate club business on FB when we can do it face to face! Should you be unable to attend June 15, we’ll do a follow up AM event for coffee drinkers or morning people later in June.


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