Random Thoughts

David Yon, August 7, 2009

It is nearly a mantra – Tallahassee has some of the best running trails anywhere. Now there is a Google-Earth map to help you enjoy them more. You will find it on the GWTC web page under the “Trails” tab along with loads of other information. This recent addition is the result of a lot of hard work by Clark Evans.

And speaking of great places to run, it appears that filmmaker Ken Burns has put together another masterpiece documentary entitled “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Watching the half-hour preview of the upcoming 12 hour series (starting in mid to late September), I could not help but remember some of the great places I have run. Apparently, there are 58 national parks and what a great goal trying to run at least once in each of them would be. I love the concept of the parks expressed by co-director Clayton Duncan: “Each park is unique and has its own fascinating historical story. But they are all connected by the transformative idea that they belong to each of us, providing a shared place that lives in the memory of every individual and every family that has visited them over the years. And they are connected by the notion that individual Americans, in the best possible example of democracy, worked to make sure that future generations could enjoy them.” And protect some special places to run too.

Having covered the Tour de France mostly right, Versus will now offer hours of coverage of the World Championships of Track and Field starting August 15. I have my fingers crossed Versus will provide a lot of great coverage of distance events. Most often television coverage of major track championships leaves us disappointed and wanting more. The sheer number of hours being offered by Versus and the strong Tour coverage offers hope though.

Last weekend Christian Minor won the Operation One Voice race in a time of 17:01. The event, listed as a 5K, turned out to be significantly longer than that, maybe 3.3 miles, with most of the extra distance coming after the three mile mark. Gary Droze grabbed second and top masters spot in 18:23. Olivia Swedberg was the top woman in 22:07. The event, under the direction of Gavin Larremore and Bob Obernier, raised $2500 to support the immediate needs of children and families of wounded and fallen Special Operations Forces.

The summer track series wrapped up another successful season. Thanks again to Maclay School for supporting the event by making its track available each Thursday night during the season. Kelsey Scheitlin won four events and finished second in a fifth to claim the summer grand prix title with 48 points. Kirsten Baggett was second with 38 points. On the men’s side, Fritz Stoppelbein ran all seven grand prix events to win with 46 points. Ryan Truchelut made it close with 42 points to take second. The competition over seven weeks included the 100 meter, 200 meter, 400 meter, 800 meter, mile, two mile and 5K races.

While hot weather extends well beyond August in Tallahassee, I like to think of August as “the end” of summer racing. The summer schedule wraps up with two very different races. Breakfast on the Track is August 15 at 7:45 a.m. at Maclay School (see Gary Droze’s good article from last week) and Miller Landing Madness is August 29th on the Eleanor Phipps Park property starting at 8:00 a.m. The races offer two extremes – the “nowhere to hide intensity of the track” mile and the cross country terrain of one of our city’s beautiful parks. I hope to see you at both!