Every Thanksgiving, thousands of my fellow Tallahasseeans (along with visiting friends/family) and I gather to run 5, 10, or 15 kilometers (or the 1 mile “gobbler”) to kick off the day.
I had no illusions of running a “fast” (for me) Turkey Trot last year; I had been injured for several months and had barely been running at all. When the race started, I began a slow jog. Within a few hundred feet, I ended up falling into conversation with Charlie Yates (who was 85 at the time!) and my friend Judy Alexander (our Gulf Winds Track Club president).
Charlie is a true institution in Gulf Winds. Back in the mid-90’s when I started running races in Tallahassee, I thought of him as “one of those older runners.” I don’t know what that means now that almost 20 more years have elapsed, but he’s still out there – maybe a little slower but still putting in the miles.
As we traversed the course it was Charlie who made us feel like rock stars (I think the exact words were “two beautiful women”). Our pace allowed me to enjoy the surroundings, such as this autumnal vista that turned into the following week’s Wordless Wednesday:
More importantly than the scenery, I had an opportunity to spend time with someone who has done so much for our sport locally*.
But this was no average day.