Race Director of the Year AwardPresented by Judy Alexander
ARPXC opened in 2009. Gulf Winds invested $10,000 in the course that year. The course was very underutilized in 2009, and didn’t get much more use in 2010. This race director thought GWTC should be getting some direct use out of the course, so he went to the club’s board in
2010 proposing a race in December 2011. Rather than staging yet another 5K, he thought it would be more interesting to do 6K, a distance that’s used in NCAA and IAAF cross-country. Plus, it’s easier to put on a 6K than a 5K at ARPXC because the 6K is two identical loops while 5K is a long loop and a short loop.
Fast forward to 2016 and the 6th year of The Tannenbaum 6K. During that fall, ARPXC hosted over a half dozen championships at the state, regional and national level. The venue and the race have come a long way!
I’ll quote the race director, as he puts it best in his blog:
“For most of the athletes who finished the [Tannenbaum] 6K, it was their only chance in 2016 to race on the championship course. With the flags still in place and Florida State’s Seminole logo still painted on the grass, it still felt like a championship course. Think of getting to play a few downs in the Super Bowl stadium while the lines are still on the field, or getting out on the field after the final game of the World Series before the ground crew spreads the tarp over the infield. That’s what everyone in the Tannenbaum 6K got to experience, whether or not they took home a poinsettia plant for winning their age group.”
It’s not enough for this race director to hold numerous running records that still stand or to have run in the Olympic Trials or to be the first American finisher at the Boston Marathon. It’s not enough to have already successfully co-directed The Palace Saloon 5k or to take marvelous photos and write excellent race reviews for everyone to enjoy. This race director could easily sit back and enjoy the fact that he is a member of the FSU and the GWTC Halls of Fame.
For the creation and direction of The Tannenbaum 6k Race, our 2016 GWTC Race Director of the Year award goes to Herb Wills!