Sunday night (Jan 29), the Fort Wayne Running Club celebrated 40 years of running in the Summit City with its annual banquet. Former Indiana University runner Andy Bayer and his professional teammate Dan Huling were the featured speakers. Bayer, who is from Allen County, just missed making the U.S. Olympic team in the steeplechase last summer, finishing fourth in the trials (the top 3 made the Olympic team). Bayer has moved back to Indiana and has apparently given up the steeplechase to concentrate on the 1,500 meters. He was NCAA champ in the distance while at IU and ran it at the 2012 Olympic trials.
In addition, the club recognizes runners who participated in all of its points races (17 in all in 2016, 16 in 2017). Thirty-some men and women were recognized. I am impressed by that more than anything with this club. I ran in 15 races last year, including nine Fort Wayne Running Club points races. One of the 2016 points races was in the evening while I was at work. At least one was during a time we were out of town on family business. And some others just didn’t fit in with where I was with my training when the race took place.
In looking at the schedule for 2017, I see no apparent conflicts. The first race is Saturday, the annual Fanny Freezer. It’s a no-frills race. No T-shirt. Just show up, pay the money and race. We had an unseasonably warm day last February, and the forecast now calls for a high of about 30 degrees this week. My training is not quite where I’d like it to be, but I still plan to run, even if it’s just to give myself a base number from which I can improve.