Gulf Winds Track Club
Annual Club Races – 2008 & 2009
Gulf Winds Track Club has been putting on races for more
than 30 years. The key is a cadre of
dedicated race directors who spend countless volunteer hours working for you,
the runner. While Turkey Trot and Springtime
Tallahassee are the two biggest races, they are only 2 of 15 races that offer
all kinds of surfaces and experiences on the roads and in the woods. Some are
flat and fast and some hilly and challenging.
All are fun. We want to invite
you to any or all of these events – both as a participant and as a
volunteer. For the most current details visit the GWTC race calendar at www.gulfwinds.org under the Races button.
Challenge. Date: December 6, 2008. Location:
It is the first club race after Turkey Trot. Judy Alexander and Brian Corbin make this a
first-class event that lives up to its name “Challenge.” There is a 5-mile race
that gives runners not wanting to go 10 miles a good option. The tough, but
pretty course is back at Killearn Lakes.
The race began as a 20K in 1977 under the direction of Leitch
Wright and became a 10-miler in 1988.
Ultra Distance Classic
50K/50M. Date: December 13, 2008. Location: Wakulla
their first year directing this event, Gary and Peg Griffin learned just how
dedicated not only the runners were, but also the volunteers. They are now
experienced directors in their third year.
The First Family of Ultra Running (Gary has now run 65 ultras and Peg
has crewed almost as many) has the experience and love for the Ultra distance
necessary to make this a great experience for participants. The event was first
run in 1980 and was directed by a committee of volunteers.
Billy Bowlegs 5K. Date:
January 10, 2009. Location: FSU/FAMU
Engineering Building, Innovation
Park. Bill Hillison
and Larry Giunipero direct this well-run race to
benefit FSU scholarships. The race became a club race in 2002, but has been
around since Leitch Wright directed the first race
more than 15 years ago.
GWTC 30K-15K. Date:
January 17, 2009. Location: Old Centerville Road. For many years this race had a special
home at the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge, but alas the Refuge decided a race was
not consistent with the Refuge’s planned uses. So the race moved to Natural Bridge Road
for several years. It just wasn’t the right place though, and in 2006 new race
directors Jerry and Jackie McDaniel hit the jackpot by moving the race to Old Centerville Road,
starting near The Retreat at Bradley’s Pond, which graciously opens its doors
for registration, awards and warmth. The hard-packed dirt road is hilly, but a
special place to run. Once known as the “Ides of March,” the race was first run
in March of 1978 under the direction of Tim Simpkins, who also won the
Marathon. Date: February 1, 2009.
Location: FSU’s Mike Long
Track. In 2004 the start of this
race moved to the FSU Track, and was run over an entirely new course starting
on the FSU track and covering a lot of the St. Marks Rails-to-Trails. It is
flat and fast, great for qualifying times and PR’s. Jay Silvanima
took over the reins of this classy event for 2007 and it has been growing ever
since. So much that Nancy Stedman Laux has joined him as co-director. They are preparing for another record crowd
in 2009. There is no better marathon experience than a “hometown” marathon, and
this one proves the point. This race was first run in 1975 in the forest at Natural Bridge Road,
and might just be the first “official” GWTC race. Two runners
participated, director Andy Burns and winner John Hargreaves. The certified
course is perfect for a PR or Boston
Flash 12K. Date:
February 21, 2009 (tentative).
Location: J. Lewis Hall Park.
Joe and Nadine Dexter bring us the best of memories about the Flash
cartoon character with smartly designed race T-shirts for all participants,
great homemade pies, and knick knack prizes for the winners. This race started
in 1989 and Joe Dexter has directed every single one; Nadine has been there
since 2000. They have left us for Orlando, Florida
so stay tuned for more details on 2009.
Springtime 10K/5K/1M. Date:
March 28, 2009. Location: Monroe
Street and Jefferson. This is GWTC’s premier event, and you
should never miss it. Brian Corbin and Judy Alexander now have two years
directing this flagship event under their belts including a 5K they added in
2008. The hills and the community
feeling will assure that you will have wonderful stories to tell. The
race was first run in 1976 under the direction of Andy Burns and became a 10K
Palace Saloon 5K. Date: April 11, 2009. Location: Messer Field to the Palace
Saloon. One of GWTC’s oldest races,
it was first run in 1975. Now under the direction of Reid Vannoy and FSU Hall of Fame Runner Herb Wills, this race is
sheer fun – well, other than the hill near the end. In 2008, 782 finished this race making it one
of Tallahassee’s biggest. Maybe 1000 in
2009? It’s a great way to follow the
Springtime 10K. Mike Hochstein directed
the first race.
Great Potluck Bash 4-Mile and
Open Mike Social. Date June 6, 2009.
Location: Forest Meadows Tennis Facility. GWTC prides itself in supporting youth
running, in part, through the Chenoweth Fund. This event, as much social
as competitive, serves as a fund-raiser while recognizing the outstanding
track-and-field and cross-country athletes in the area with scholarship awards.
You can’t beat the low-country boil after the race. The off-road race was first
held in 1998 and is under the direction of the Chenoweth Committee: Warren Emo, Myrna Hoover, Mary Register, Toma
Wilkerson and David Yon.
Breakfast on the Track 1
Mile. Date: August 15 (tentative).
Location: Maclay Track. Talk about marathons as tough races if
you want, but a well-run mile requires more courage than any other
distance. GWTC picked the Wright family to direct this event and Felton,
Bonnie and Jamie put on a great show, including pancakes for breakfast. The
first year for this race was 1998.
Madness on Miller Landing
(formerly Tom Brown Bash & Miccosukee Madness). Date: August 22. Location: Eleanor
This race has become the kickoff for the high-school cross-country season
and the signal for GWTC members that it’s time to start racing again after a
summer hiatus. After a few years on the Miccosukee Greenway, the race
moved to the gorgeous Eleanor
behind Forest Meadows. The race is a
great chance for GWTC members and local high-school runners to mix it up
together. Mike Sims and Tom Perkins have teamed up as race directors. The race
began as a 5 mile event in 1977 under the direction of Lee Cohee.
Prefontaine 5K. Date:
September 26. Location: Silver Lake Recreation
Area. Like the runner this event was
named for, the course is always a challenge.
Changes in 2006 made it a bit more runner-friendly, but in 2008 the
course returned to its tough sandy roots. Race Director Jeff Nielsen always
brings his own mark to this race that runs through the national
forest. The race has also become a favorite place for local high-school
teams to prove themselves. Dave Rogers birthed this event in 1975 not long
after the legendary Steve Prefontaine died.
Pine Run 20K. Date October 10, 2009. Location: Tall Timbers Research Station.
For many years this race's home was the South Georgia
experimental forest known as Southlands and maintained by International Paper.
But alas, good things must pass and the forest went up for sale and the race appeared
to die in 2007. But it came roaring back to life in 2008 under the direction of
One of the race’s biggest crowds responded to Gordon’s rescue effort at
a brand new location, Tall Timbers. The tough hills were there as the off road
course created some memorable hills and great scenery. Bill McGuire was back with music to make sure
all had a fun time. The race was first organized for IP in 1977 by Dave Stetson
of the Troy Running Club, Troy,
Alabama. Jim Stephens, GWTC
President, was there to help as well.
Women’s Distance Festival
5K/1 Mile. Date: September 19, 2009.
Park. Lisa Unger and Jo Lena Pace debuted as
race directors in 2006 and did a great job. The emphasis is on celebrating women
in sports, and the women outnumbered the men in 2006. It has a unique twist in
that the women start 10 minutes before the men. The race began with Dot Skofronick and Shirley Bull as race directors in 1982.
Turkey Trot 1M/15K/10K/5K. Date Thanksgiving Day. Location: State Office Complex in SouthWood. This race has been the club’s fastest
growing and has become an essential family outing for area runners and
walkers. It has been around since 1976, and race directors David and Mary
Jean Yon do their best to give you a caring way to burn calories before