Tallahassee boasts fine coaches

By Gary Droze


Compared to other sports, distance running is a generally solitary endeavor. During much of their exertion, runners have only themselves for counsel. Perhaps this is why so many runners come across as individualistic, headstrong, and contrary (I envision more than a few running friends reading this and blurting “No we aren’t!”…thus supporting my point).
Nonetheless, room exists in the psyche of most runners for coaching advice. The degree of influence can range from mapping out an overall training program (for new or timid runners), to tweaking an existing schedule (for veteran competitors seeking fresh perspective).
Happily for area runners, Tallahassee boasts a wealth of coaching talent. Space does not permit me to introduce all of our fine coaches, but I’d like to mention a few of them: Bob Braman of Florida State University and Scott Gowan of Chiles have, respectively, taken the local level of college and high school running up a few notches over the past two seasons. Braman’s young men came within 1 point of qualifying for the NCAA Division 1 Cross Country Nationals, while Gowan’s boys placed 3rd in the most competitive division of the FHSAA State Cross Country Finals (Class 2A).
One area runner-coach has been just as impressive in her own way: Gulf Winds Track Club member Julie Clark – an accomplished age-group competitor – is passing on her hard-won running lessons. She has turned greenhorns into aerobic warriors with her hugely popular Springtime 10K Training Group. Her program is tailor-made for those beginners who are starting the new year with running resolutions. Clark will meet with new runners at 5:30pm every Monday at the DOT parking lot (corner of Suwannee and Lafayette Streets), beginning January 7th. Her 12 week program is free, starts with 2 easy miles, and builds to a “graduation” run in the Springtime Race. Bright clothing is a must, as you will be running at dusk. Dozens benefited from this program last year, and Clark promises that all attendees can be as contrary as they want, as long as they show up. Call 575-9266 for more information.