Race Director of the Year Award

Presented by Bonnie Wright

It’s our pleasure to introduce the Gulf Winds Track Club Race Director of the Year. We like tothink of Race Directors as Leaders, for they are the leaders for Gulf Winds and it’s one of the primary reasons the club is successful.

Let’s talk about 5 leadership characteristics and how this year’s recipient demonstrated these leadership traits. First, leaders are flexible, 2nd they communicate well, 3rd they exhibit Courage, tenacity, and patience , 4th they demonstrate humility, 5th they are Responsible.

Our award winners are quite flexible, as they direct races that by their very nature, deal with weather, too few or too many volunteers, maybe not having Bill Lott at the finish line, will 100 athletes or 500 athletes show up on race day, did the medals make it from the house to the race as happened once to a RD I know.

Communication is not just the sharing ideas and visions for a successful race, a good Race Director also shares their strength and values. They empower those who volunteer and they pro­vide an excellent opportunity for all of the athletes to excel.

The toughest set of traits. Courage, tenacity, and patience. We saw this demonstrated when our RD’s took over a race successfully and later faced a tumultuous time of change. They taught many of us in the community how to deal with adversity, change, and upheaval with moral courage, tenacity while exhibiting ethical behavior. I’ll add humility here as they stayed thecourse and preserved a much loved event with their show of reserve, respect and grace. Not onlydid they stay the course, but they successfully went on to grow the event X3!They are responsible for months of planning, budgeting, gathering supplies, enlisting and organiz­ing volunteers, being at the race site hours before the first contestant shows up, cleaning up therace site hours after the last person has finished, answering hundreds of inquiries and questions – but our winners do this for 3 races a year for 7 years! Each race involves about 100 volunteers, 400 plus parents, maybe another 100 brothers and sisters on the sidelines while directing an average 200 athletes ranging in age from 5 to 70+ who are competing in the multi sport event atthe Youth Triathlon Series.

At the very heart of all of the planning is the one thing that has made this event a continual success: fostering the love of triathlon in even the smallest of competitors. That comes from our Race Directors’ love of the sport and love of the children competing. We are pleased to have thehonor to recognize Mike and Stephanie Weyant as this years Race Director of the year–and also as leaders for our community!