President's Column -September 2023

Jennifer Hay, Vice President

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 Boston, finished 5Ks, 10Ks, and half marathons in times that are unfathomable by most of us running the streets of Tallahassee. And they’ve all done this while living the rest of life: working, cooking meals, running a household, raising children… They are superhuman. Freakin’ rockstars! I am completely in awe of what they are able to train their brains and bodies to do. But what impresses me the most about them is what they give to our running community. If you flip back a page and look at the names just in the directory, you’ll find people who have been directing races for decades. Yes. Decades. And yes, plural. Many of our race directors host more than one race or serve on multiple race committees. They do it every year and they work with a committee made up of a bunch of other people on that page. They spend countless hours ensuring all the details of a race come together to make it safe, fun, fulfilling, and cost effective. They sweat every detail: permits, insurance, registration, sponsors, portolets, race shirts, bibs, awards, marketing, hydration, traffic control, course marking, volunteers, food, cones, signs, timing equipment, trail grooming, and sometimes even bug spray. And they have fun doing it. I love being on race committees because I get to work with the rockstars. But y’all, at some point they are going to have to pass the baton. They have run their leg of the race with amazing grace and speed, and now it’s time for the rest of us to hold the lead. But we have to take the baton! Letting it fall to the ground is not an option. So go find a race director and volunteer to be on their committee. Yes, you. And yes, now (because life doesn’t actually get simpler). And that’s how you get to hang with run royalty and learn to be a race director. Even if you never take the lead role, you can serve on a committee and shine at getting sponsors or making the finish line fun or coordinating art for medals. Or you may just have a good truck for picking up race equipment. Every role is critical, and these volunteers keep Gulf Winds going and keep the Tally running community running. Be one of them.

FROM THE PRESIDENT

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