President's Column - May 2024

Jennifer Hay, Vice President

Jerry and I have spent a lot of newsletter space telling you how much we value Gulf Winds Track Club and its members. We’ve talked about our fave GWTC memories, group runs, races, volunteering, youth programs, and superstars. Now, we want to hear from you. GWTC is your club. We want to know what you think: what you like, what you’d like to see done differently, what new things would be fun. We think the best way to do that is with town hall style meetings and a member survey. We’ll host the first meeting in mid-May. If you have an opinion about the day of the week and time of day for any of the meetings, let us know, and we’ll get busy scheduling. Text me at 850-294-9395 (don’t forget to introduce yourself) or email Jerry at mcdaniel6068@gmail.com. When you receive the email survey later this week, please take a few minutes to give us your feedback. Our goal is to use survey responses, town hall meetings, and all the awesome ideas we know y’all have to grow the club, increase its sustainability, and make it even more fun. We hope every single one of you will be part of this effort. And, as always, feel free to reach out to us—or any board member—anytime with ideas for enhancing the running community and ensuring GWTC is an organization you’re excited to be part of.

FROM THE PRESIDENT

President’s Column – April 2024

First and foremost on my mind this month are the Springtime Races, which Jackie and I direct. All is well at this point due in some measure to a new Volunteer initiative of the club’s(more on that in a bit), but also due to the marketing efforts of Jon Brown and the...

President’s Column – March 2024

I spend a lot of time talking with people about running and walking and the role that being outdoors plays in our wellbeing. It’s a part of my job at REI that I really love, and it has become a bit of a passion as you can probably tell given all the energy I pour into...

President’s Column – February 2024

This column may tend to meander a bit but stay with me. I see and talk with my mother a time or two each week and we often chat of her past, growing up. She was an only child and often laments her loneliness growing up with no siblings. By contrast, my wife Jackie,...

President’s Column – January 2024

Jerry did a great job of succinctly summing up the past year of our club in his President’s Letter last month, and now we get a chance to look forward, to decide where our club is headed, who we want to be as a community. I’m the newbie here, so it’s easier for me to...

President’s Column – December 2023

As you read this letter, we will be into December of 2023 and closing out my first year as President of the club and last column. This necessitates a look back on the year for me to see whether the club has back-tracked, stalled, or moved forward from some of my...

President’s Column – November 2023

I grew up going to church. As a teenager, I spent many Wednesdays at confirmation classes and choir practice, and as a kid, Sunday mornings were for bible lessons and playing twenty questions with my friends in the very back pews. I loved our church people. I rarely...

President’s Column – October 2023

Running with a group has many benefits. Gets you out the door to run when you may not want to because you are meeting others. Helps the miles pass as you chat about your life or hear about others. Can create healthy in-group challenges or competitions. Maybe learn...

President’s Column – September 2023

I often find myself looking around Gulf Winds gatherings a little star struck. I’m always surrounded by people who have accomplished amazing physical feats. They’ve run dozens of marathons, completed grueling ultras, made being an Ironman look easy, qualified for...

President’s Column – August 2023

Back in the day, Jackie and I ran quite a few races. I am still showing up occasionally for some races when I am not injured. For those of you that have participated in these Saturday morning challenges throughout all or some portion of your running life, you know...

President’s Column – June/July 2023

I work at REI. Retail is a new thing for me, but it often feels more like an extension of the cheerleader in me than anything else. I spend a lot of time telling people they really are an outdoorsy person or they really are a runner. Why do we think we have to reach...