by Steve Maguire
This is my last entry as the lame duck President given the Pacers’ Christmas Party is now on Michelle’s tab. First order of business is to thank Michelle Henry for stepping up and to offer my support and congratulations. I strongly believe she has the talent and backing to increase participation and continue the path of community engagement set by so many members before us.
In my first letter to the club, I shared the guidance disclosed by one of our members–simply put, “Don’t F@#$ it up.” I think my three years pushed that metric. This wasn’t limbo, however, and I’ve set the bar as low as possible. Figure at some point we cancelled all the races, social events, group runs, post-run gatherings, monthly meetings, and discouraged socializing in general. We had a flood, a few earthquakes, a mass emergence of cicadas, a pandemic, and that still didn’t stop our support of other local organizations and businesses.
The world has thrown at this group of runners, bikers, and motivated people a flurry of hardships, and in the words of Tom Chobot, aka “Ultra Runner,” we simply continued to move forward. This wasn’t singular, as the entire lot of us moved forward. The product of our relationships. A friend penned the epitome of that thought today which is worth sharing.
To have friends – who truly care about one another, who help each other, who look out for one another and who laugh and cry and play together, well, there are few greater things in life.
I would like to thank all the race directors for their tireless work organizing and executing events in what were unknown and constantly changing conditions. How about race day morning in 2019 when Blue Marsh dam flooded out the Gring’s Mill course or when COVID protocols forced Kris Kringle to go virtual and the Shiver series postponements only days in advance.
I would like to thank the volunteers that came out to each of the races and events to support both the race directors and the participants. Yep, we dealt with rainstorms marking courses, total changes to logistics and venues, and the uncertainty of how to gather, hydrate, award, and disperse participants while keeping everyone as safe as possible. Teamwork at its finest.
I would also like to thank and apologize to those extended families of these volunteers who put up with the late nights, early mornings, boxes everywhere, wet clothes, dirty cars, and likely some cursing.
I’m not sure if it’s pride or thanks, but the individuals that brought the idea and execution of the Race Mates program went above and beyond. This is the program where we’ve teamed up with IM Able, creating an opportunity for adaptive athletes to participate in some of the local events.
Lastly on this train of thanks is the runners. Yes, you are the ones that have put the bibs on and provided the parade of motivation set by example and perseverance. To the age group 70+, you show the rest of us there’s no limit, no time to stop, no excuse. To the youth, we see at the JR High Invitational among other races, this is the investment we’ll be thankful for later. To those between those two fence posts, continue doing your best. That loud onerous cow bell has always been ringing “thank you for running” because I’m a page behind on my training plan.
Hope to see you all at the Christmas Party and all the other events Michelle and the new team have planned for the club.
Thanks again for your support and friendship during my tenure as Pacer President.
Got to run,