Volunteer of the Year Award

By Nadine Dexter

The Volunteer of the Year award allows us to acknowledge someone each year who has made tremendous contributions to the success of Gulf Winds events and even to the success of the club itself. This individual is often someone who has consistently helped with our road races, or who has made even broader contributions to the local running community itself. There are actually many ways to volunteer one’s time within the context of our running organization. The recipient of this year’s award has contributed in numerous invaluable ways to the Club.

I have known this person both professionally and as a fellow athlete for at least 5 years. I have seen tremendous dedication to the sport of running and have found in this person a shared kindred spirit that showed an enthusiasm for running that matched mine. Indeed, almost every Saturday I would see this person at the starting line for almost every race in the local community. I was always impressed by how much this person knew about how to deal with injuries, what you should do to heal quickly, and some great stretches for runners. I admired this individual when she decided to branch out to try a triathlon, and she did well at the Freedom Springs Triathlon. So one day four years ago I approached this person to ask if she would like to help me with a beginning running class. To my surprise, she agreed. So with her help, Joe and I proceeded to hold the first beginning running class at FSU. She has been a part of this class since we started it. I have been so proud to know her and have felt privileged to have her tireless energy to help make the beginning running class such a success. Her dedication to the sport of running is evident by her tireless teaching of our new runners. She has volunteered her time every year for the last 4 years at the FSU track for week after week of training for our new runners. She never complains or utters one word of protest about the hours of work involved with the class. Her students are dedicated and very loyal to her.

She has made a further commitment to the GWTC family by accepting one of the critical positions on the Board which involves a tremendous amount of work. She is currently in her second term as secretary of Gulf Winds Track Club. I guess by now she knows who I am talking about. Please help me to thank her for volunteering her time and energy and showing us her tireless dedication to GWTC, and for being a sterling example to all of us as well as the new runners she has coached by giving her time and energy to GWTC……Congratulations to our Volunteer of the Year, Beth Alexander!