MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!
I have some end of the year news to share with all of you. First of all, I'm back in the loop a little bit more, now that my dad's health has improved quite a bit. He's still got a ways to go, but he's much better than in the spring when they put in on hospice and gave him one to three months. He lost weight until he was just skin and bones, probably less than 100 pounds, but now he's gotten up to around 150. He's gotten a lot stronger, but he's still too weak to get up by himself if he takes a fall. His balance is also betting better, but he usually uses a walking stick or a transport chair. I've been able to make it to a few races this fall and winter after missing most of the summer. I want to thank those of you who had/have Dad on their prayer list, I know that the biggest difference in his health condition is because of all the prayers on his behalf.
While my sister was taking care of my Dad earlier this year, she also did some online genealogical searching to help my dad learn more about his Cherokee heritage. We found out that his 5th great grandfather was a Cherokee military leader called "Draggin' Canoe', the son of a Cherokee peace chief named Attakullakulla, or "Little Carpenter." So to both recognize my own Cherokee heritage and be descriptive of the most recent years of my running career, I've adopted "Draggin' Caboose" as my pen name.
I'd like to take a moment to remember some area runners who've crossed that finish line in life and will be missed by those of us still trying to stay on course. Bruce Turner of Plains, KS and who was a navy veteran and the postmaster at Kismet, KS passed away on February 22, 2012 at the age of 53. Chris Campbell of Guymon, OK, and known as the SOS guy to those needing a copier fixed, also known as a competitive and fun loving runner to most of us passed away on May 20, 2012 at the age of 55. He was also an avid O.U. Sooner fan. Dr. Terry Tarrant of Hooker, OK passed away in Tulsa, OK on December 17, 2012 at the age of 83. He practiced dentistry in Hooker for a number of years and was a navy veteran. I'm sure there are others that I've overlooked, and I want to share my condolences with friends and family of all those area runners who have passed on during this past year.
The big announcement before I get to the upcoming races is the annual SWFTR Banquet. This year it's going to be held at Satanta at the Methodist Church and will be catered by their youth group, under the supervision of Karen Burrows. It will be a free will offering and the menu will be chicken and noodles, mashed potatoes, green beans, rolls, and dessert. My mouth is watering already! I think there will also be a pre-banquet group run on the Pumpkin Run course (5-K) so come early. The banquet will start at 5:30 p.m. on February 2nd (Groundhog Day). We'll try to have an agenda available prior to the banquet for your consideration. In January I'll try to get an agenda sent out and I know mark also has the goal of getting races results of all the races posted online. I don't know how that would work for Facebook, and I don't want to overload our webmaster either, but I think with a few of us posting to a virtual site, the webmaster could easily link the www.swftr.com site to the results site, and probably the Facebook editors could add that link as well. Put on your favorite race shirt and join us and be prepared to enjoy good food, good fellowship and help get things started for an active new year.
Speaking of the new year, the New Year's Run at Syracuse will come out of hiatus this January so meet at the Tamarack Golf Course in the southeastern outskirts of Syracuse on January first. To get ready to race on January 1st, you can race at Meade while December is still here. On December 29th the Wellness Center will have a 10-K, 5-K, and 1-mile predict to raise funds for some new equipment. Later in January, there's a race in Garden City on January 20th. One week after the SWFTR banquet in February, Liberal will host the Pancake Chase on February 9th. The start and finish will be at the finish line of the world famous International Pancake Race. Look below the race results in this newsletter for entry forms on these races. Some of these are also posted on the Facebook events section.
There are many races already on the schedule for 2013, so be sure to look over the race calendar. If your race isn't listed, be sure to send me information so it can be included in the newsletter and added to the website and Facebook events. Be sure to check both the Facebook Events pages as well as the full race calendar page on www.swftr.com when looking for race info. If you wish to reserve the clock, you should be the first to not only request it, but also to supply the information of when, what, where, etc. Offering a SWFTR discount also carries weight in the deciding logistics, but mostly it's first come, first served. When planning a race, check before you pick a date and we can help you hopefully choose an open date and/or time so the clock would be available and more runners might also be able to participate. Most races are Saturday mornings, but the occasional Friday night, Saturday afternoon, evening or even Sunday races sometimes help space out an otherwise crowded weekend of events.
There's a new series coming up in March. You long distance runners might be interested in doing one or more in the series called the Dust Bowl Series. This series will be five marathons/half-marathons in five states in five days. That's right, five of them in five days in five states. Starting on March ??-?? (Monday - Friday) there'll be races in the following, in order: Dalhart, TX; Guymon, OK; Ulysses, KS; Lamar, CO; and Clayton, NM. There will be a SWFTR Discount, and also a chance to earn entry fee for a race by volunteering for another one. I inquired about including 5-K races to the series and was told they'd need more volunteers, but would be willing to add the 5-K's if we could help them get volunteers. The catch is that e orders his medals, t-shirts, etc. in late December, so you'd need to contact him right away if you, a friend, or family member would be able and willing to volunteer. The volunteer can be a proxy for the runner who's exchanging volunteer for the entry fee, it doesn't have to be the same person. You can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. I think this is an intriguing idea and I only wish it were during my spring break and all included 5-K's, I'd do five 5-K's in five days in five states for sure. Even volunteering for a race or two and doing a half-marathon would be alright, but my hat's off to those who sign up and do all five halves or full marathons.
-- Draggin Caboose (Emery V. Swagerty)
CLASSIC SWIFTLETS (selected in honor of Chris Campbell)
BW RACE: Notation next to race results signifying race occurred before it got windy [Chris Campbell gets
the credit for inventing this term.]
DW RACE: Notation next to race results to indicate it was windy during the race (In SW Kansas, this is
the rule rather than the exception.) [Chris Campbell also invented this term.]
WOW RACE: Notation next to race results on rare occasions meaning race occurred without wind
[Chris Campbell was on a roll.]
"My goal has always been to introduce other people to running. They might accomplish something they never thought they could."
-- Grete Waitz, Norwegian marathon runner and former world record holder
"Success does not come to the most righteous and rigorously disciplined but to those who continue running."
-- Amby Burfoot, Editor at Large, Runner's World