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Summertime Solutions

GWTC President, Zack Scharlepp, June 2018 Column

The temperature is heating up, humidity levels are rising, afternoon showers are a nearly daily occurrence, and parents of all school aged children are trying to figure out what the heck to do keep their young ones entertained, while maintaining some semblance of sanity in their lives. Ah, summer is upon us! I am still perfecting my ability to change the weather, until I succeed, I suggest Tim Unger’ excellent article “Summer is on the Way,” for helpful tips and techniques to deal with Tallahassee’s inhospitable summer months. I can, however, offer some assistance on the child entertainment front. Beginning the first Thursday night of June, Gulf Winds Track Club’s annual summer track series will be operating again.

When: Thursday, June 7, 2018 – Thursday July 26, 2018 @ 6:45
Where: Maclay School Track
Contact: Tom Perkins 894-2019

What is it:
There are no "requirements" for participation in the track series. It is free and open to the public. Runners do not have to be fast or be a member of GWTC to participate. Anyone with a "need for speed" or just a "need for fun" is welcome!

The series is arranged in a sequence that alternates on odd and even weeks. For the odd weeks (1, 3, 5 and 7), the competition events are the 40-yard dash (for the very young, ages five and under), the 100-meter dash, the 400-meter dash, the 1-mile run, the 5K run and the 4 X 100 (400 m) relay. For the even weeks (2, 4 and 6), the available events are the 40-yard dash, the 100-meter dash, the 200-meter dash, the 800-meter run, the 2-mile run and the 4 X 200 (800 m) relay. Participants are welcome to compete in any or all of the available events. The track series organizers will determine what events are available in the 8th week. One event is certain: GWTC will present the annual Ice Cream Social and GWTC Summer Grand Prix Awards in the 8th week.

The Summer Track series has its own Grand Prix series for GWTC members based on the weekly Featured Event. The 100-meter dash is the Featured Event in week one. The grand prix event is the next one up in distance (200m, then 400m, etc.) each week after that through the 5K in week 7. Only GWTC members are eligible to participate in the Grand Prix series. Membership applications are available online or at the track so that non-members may join and become eligible. Again, club membership is required ONLY for Grand Prix participation, NOT for Summer Track series participation. A Gulf Winds Track Club table will be set up in the infield of the track and will have GWTC volunteers ready to help participants. (If you would like to volunteer to help with the Summer Track Grand Prix, please contact Tom Perkins @ 894-2019).

Last year, looking for activities to do with Kobi, my mentee through Big Brothers Big Sisters, I decided to give the summer track series a go. It was a great decision. Kobi, never a runner before, loved the races and ran every event. He looked forward to the series every Thursday. Kobi and I will definitely be back this year. Rhys, my 18-month-old, will be making his first appearance as a competitor this year. Rhys has been training for the 40-yard dash and is looking forward to his first official race against his nemesis, Barrett.

Watching the excitement and pure joy on the kids faces as they learn to love the sport we all love is something all GWTC members need to experience.  Kobi, Rhys, and I hope to see you all out there.