Special Award – Just Say Cheese

Presented by Felton Wright

The GP committee can create an occasional special award.   Tonight we have a unique one.

Some club positions are elected.   Some are appointed.  Some club jobs are hard to recruit for.   A few positions have been filled only after a “volunteer” has been given numerous beverages. However, this award goes to 2 individuals who stepped up and created their own positions with no coaxing, no bribery, filled it themselves, and have performed it for many years.   They also continue to get better at it.

These two award winners were both very competitive runners in their prime. One hasn’t run since 2005; the other does not race much anymore.  Rather than becoming less involved with GWTC, they have become more involved. Between the two, they go to more races than any club member except Bill Lott.  Let’s differentiate these award winners by calling them senior and junior.

Junior worked at least 59 races in 2013 according to the website.  Yes, that is more than one race every weekend. However, senior worked at least 71 races in 2013. Between the two that is a total of 130 race photo albums that they posted online for 2013. There are some subtle differences between these two unnamed award winners.

Senior is an old school journalist.  In addition to the volume of his photography, he has served as the editor of our print edition of the Fleet Foot since 2003.
Junior is new school journalist.  In addition to his photography, he serves as the master of his running blog and the club’s Facebook page.  He has also unofficially become the club’s historian, race commentator, and publisher of local running trail details. In an era when most large races have professional photographers selling photos of finishers, Tallahassee runners are blessed to receive them for free and to get them fast.  I bet this couple has posted multiple race photos of everyone in this room over the last year.  (This despite whether we like what we see or not.) The 2 of them they also take up the majority of the storage capacity of our website. Senior told me recently that he estimates that he has posted over 60,000 pictures of local runners to our website.  I will estimate that about 57,000 of them are of our female members.  

Senior and Junior also photograph races differently.  Let’s take the 30/15k and look at how they do their jobs.  For those of you not there, it was raining with an occasional bolt of lightning.  As with most races, Senior drives up to the finish line and generally finds his reserved parking right there. Junior, on the other hand, is sent out on the course on his bike in the mud. It starts raining and lightening.  Senior stands at the finish line under his custom built umbrella stand.  Junior is miles out on the course on his metal bicycle during the storm taking pictures. I guess with age comes wisdom.

However as with most races, between the two, every finisher is photographed at least once.  Unlike big city races where the solicitation to buy your photo may come a week later, their photos are generally up on the web the same day for all to view. They are then saved for years for all to see at no charge.
This is just another example of the way special volunteers make our club’s benefits unique.  All of us in GWTC wish to say a giant thank you to Fred Deckert and Herb Wills for all the hours they put in taking and saving pictures of us.

It is with great pleasure that the GP committee would like to present them with a special award, we will call the “just say cheese award.”  Thank you both for all you do.