• November 08, 2016 10:10 AM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    This article was taken from our FTC newsletter archives.  It was also published in our November 2015 FTC newsletter.  Read below about the namesake of our Half-marathon and now 5k race which took place this past Saturday.

    Who was Tom Walker?

    FTC newsletter, March 1994

    The name for the Micanopy Half Marathon is one most track club members, except the long-timers, don’t recognize.  Tom Walker was the president of the FTC from 1984-1985.  He was a tireless worker for the club and was the first to put the entire membership on computer.  In Jim Birdsall’s tribute in the January 1990 newsletter, Tom was described as having “worked almost every race, and he would get the results printed and mailed out to each runner”.  For a number of years, Tom and Nick Holler used to run 20 miles on the dirt roads around Micanopy with the goal of breaking three hours for a marathon.  Eventually, according to Holler, there was a photo on the wall of Tom’s office of Tom going under the clock at Chickamuaga Marathon.  The clock read 2:56.

                While doing what he loved, running, Tom died of a heart attack at the age of 38 in May of 1989.  It is to the memory of one of our own that the race is dedicated.

    Remembering Tom Walker – by Jim Birdsall,

    FTC Newsletter, January 1990

    I remember Tom well.  Tom was big for a runner and he had an odd way of running, a kind of shuffle where his feet never seemed to leave the ground more than six inches.  I met Tom many years ago when I called him to give him my racing times in the hope of making an FTC Masters Team. I was a little embarrassed because my times were not exactly earthshaking.  Tom reassured me that I’d do just fine and had me on the UF track doing interval miles.  It seemed that Tom’s shuffle could do those mile intervals between 5:30 and 5:40.

                Nick Holler, one of Tom’s closest friends, tells me that for three years he and Tom would meet (first every Sunday and later every Saturday) to run twenty miles on the dirt roads around Micanopy.  The two of them would run a course of “twenty miles and twenty-four hills,” putting water out in advance.  Their goal was to break three hours for the marathon.  I remember a picture in Tom’s office at the St. John’s beverage Co.  It was remarkable picture that I guess I’ll never forget.  In the picture Tom is going under the finish line of the Chickamauga Marathon.  Over his head is the finish line clock and it reads 2:56 and change.  He must have been very proud of that time.  It was certainly a testament to what hard work can achieve.

                One of Tom’s favorite marathons was the Grandfather Mountain Marathon that starts low in Boone, N.C., and ends up high on Grandfather Mountain.  It is billed as the world’s toughest marathon.  It is not the marathon to run and set a PR.  Tom ran Grandfather Mountain a number of times, the last time edging out his good friends Nick Holler and Bruce Higgins but being beaten by his friend Jon Allen.

                A few of us FTC members can recall attending Tom’s marriage to Ruth while we were still in our running shorts because we had just finished a local race.  At the time, Tom was president of the FTC so it was fitting that we showed up after a race.  I remember that it was a beautiful little church near Archer.  We were all too embarrassed to go in so we stood outside and threw rice when the newlyweds emerged.

                In Nick’s words, Tom was an “endless worker” for the track club during his presidency from ’84 to ’85.  Tom put the entire FTC membership on computer, he worked almost every race, and he would get the results printed up and mailed out to each runner.  It was Tom who originated the FTC running caps because without one of those caps he complained about the sweat getting in his eyes.

                Last May while doing what he loved to do, running, Tom died of a heart attack.  He was 38.  He is survived by his lovely wife Ruth, and their three lovely daughters, Angie, 10, Sara, 9, and Anna, 4.

                We love you and miss you, Tom.   


  • October 07, 2016 12:35 PM | Anonymous

    The Florida Track Club will provide half marathon pacers for the Tom Walker Half Marathon for several popular finish time goals.

    Now you can get to know your fellow FTC members who have donated their time to help pace fellow runners:

    Patrick Gallagher - 1:30

    I have been running distance races for over 15 years. I have completed 25+ marathons and ultramarathons as well as quite a few shorter races. I was the coach/coordinator of the Train2Run training program for over three years. I am the Race Director for the Gate2Gate Trail Run and organizer of the Two Rules Running Club. I have paced people in races ranging from 5k's to 100 mile ultramarathons. love helping other people achieve their running goals.

    Maude Laberge - 1:45

    I have been running since 2008, first very casually and eventually as part of triathlon, racing all distances. In the past year, I participated mostly in local community races and I am currently training for the marathon distance.

    Mike Upton - 1:45

    I'm married with two daughters, 3 and 5 years of age, and live right here in Gainesville, FL. Since moving here about 8 years ago I've ran several half marathons and even conquered a full in 2014 at 3:31:11. I really enjoy the half marathon distance with a PR of 1:31:54. I've never ran as a pacer before but have always thought that it would be fun helping ours cross that finish line. I'm extremely excited for this opportunity and always look forward to a race and the atmosphere that comes with it.

    Michael Dougherty - 2:00

    I have been running for four years and have ran several marathons and half marathons with a half marathon PR of 1:24:43 at the Tom Walker half last year. I have lived in Gainesville for a year now since finishing my graduate degree in North Dakota, and love living in a city with such an active running community and complete lack of snow and ice! The Tom Walker half marathon is one of my favorite races in particular, as the Hawthorne trail is where I do a large majority of my running these days. In most marathons I run I love being part of a pace group; the comradery of the group and experience of a good pacer is often integral to running a smart, fun race. I'm hoping I can return the favor and help some people achieve their half marathon goals at an awesome event.

    Gordon Anderson - 2:15 (Intervals)

    Have run Tom Walker twice. Run 25 marathons (4:20-5:30 range), over 40 half marathons (1:52-2:25) since 2004. 3 years living in Gainesville, previously from Miami. Wetland Scientist, 20 years in the Everglades.

    Srinivas Pinnamaneni - 2:15

    Srinivas believes he has transformed from an atypical runner by developing his art of running over the last six months. He attributes his growth to the guidance of Rick Swanson and friends in Asha Gators Running Club. He never misses a weekly run and has prospered from his consistency in training. When he’s not running, he enjoys hiking,paddling trails with the UF Adventure Club. I have served as a Five Points of Life pacer in 2016 and participated in 2016 Gate river run, Jacksonville.

    John Cartell - 2:30 (Intervals)

    Started running in high school then started again in my 20's then job and family interfered started running seriously after running have always liked running especially Galloway method.

    Keith Singleton - 2:30

    Keith started running 5 years ago after he saw how much fun his wife and kids were having doing 5Ks together. Since then he has participated in a number of running events including eleven half marathons and two full marathons (the last being part of the Goofy and Dopey Challenges at Disney World). He attributes running together as the reason why his family is so close. He really enjoys pacing with his wife for long distances and with his kids for shorter races.

    Angela Singleton - 2:45 (Intervals)

    Angela began running in junior high to improve endurance on the tennis court, and simply never stopped. She completed her first half and full marathons several years later, after becoming a mother. With three Ragnar Relays, four Goofy Challenges, a Dopey Challenge, seven full marathons, over 50 half marathons, and a few triathlons/duathlons under her belt, she uses her experience to encourage others to pursue their running and fitness goals by leading a local chapter of Moms Run THIS Town/She Runs THIS Town, supporting/directing the US Road Running Ambassador Program, directing the Five Points of Life Pace Team, and volunteering at races. One of her favorite race activities, however, is to pace. Her pacing experience includes Five Points of Life in Gainesville, FL (4 years straight), Disney Half Marathon, Treasure Coast Half Marathon in Stuart, FL, and Shipyard’s Portland Half in Portland, ME covering finishing times from 2:15-3:00.

    Elizabeth Hanselman - 3:00 (Intervals)

    Ten years after I was told by doctors that I could not do anything strenuous due to herniated discs, I ran the New York City marathon in 1981. Since then life happened and I didn't get "serious" until I joined Gainesville Galloway and the Florida Track Club in 2010. I'm currently the Program director of the former and President of the latter with a goal of being and setting the example for "seasoned" women everywhere.

  • September 06, 2016 11:03 AM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    Join us for our September meeting where we have the pleasure of welcoming runner/coach/teacher Jay Birmingham.  Thirty-five years ago, Coach Birmingham ran from LA to NY, setting a (still-standing)record for the trans-America distance of 71 days, 22 hours, 59 minutes.  He also did this run without a support crew!

    We will meet at the LifeSouth Building on West Newberry Road at 7:30PM.  Free and open to the public!

    Above photo of Birmingham at the conclusion of his trans-America run in 1980.

    Crossing the finish line at BadWater Race (135 miles from Death Valley to Mt. Whitney, CA).

    More info on Birmingham's 35th Anniversary of his historic run:


     See you all on Monday!

  • September 06, 2016 10:57 AM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    The FTC has scholarship money available to all club members to use for travel/race registration/lodging, etc.  If you have an upcoming race this spring for which you could use some financial support, please submit an application! The form for the Steven Detweiler Florida Track Club Racing Scholarship is below. Please email completed forms to:  Deadline for submission is November 1st at 11:59PM.

    Florida Track Club Race Scholarship

    Goal: To financially support athletes within the Florida Track Club when representing the Club at races.



    Total Funds: $500 allotted biannually ($1000 per year)

    Maximum allotment per individual per term: $100-250 (Recipients per term: 2-5)

    Maximum allotment per individual per year: $250

    Timeline       Each applicant may submit one (1) application per bi-annual term. The application must be submitted by 11:59 pm on November 1st, for races in January through June and by 11:59 pm on May 1st for races in July through December. The application includes a Questionnaire Form and a Budget Form. The applicant will be notified approximately two weeks after each deadline.

    Reimbursement      The travel grant will be used to cover racing fees, transportation, and lodging. Other expenses, such as meals, souvenirs, etc. will not be reimbursed. The recipient of the award must keep all itemized receipts. After the event, they must fill out the reimbursement spreadsheet and submit all receipts through email to: The awarded amount indicated prior to travel is the maximum amount the recipient will be reimbursed. If the individual doesn’t submit receipts they will receive $0.

    Transportation        Plane fare can be reimbursed as long as the total funds for the trip do not exceed the allotment per individual per term ($100-250). Gas receipts from en route travel days and MapQuest/GoogleMap (etc.) directions to and from race will suffice for reimbursement.


    Lodging         Lodging expenses can be reimbursed as long as the total funds for the trip do not exceed the allotment per individual per term ($100-250).

    Expectations                        If receiving a sponsorship, the participant is expected to:

    1) Give an oral race report at a FTC meeting within 6 months of the event

    2) Deliver a written race report submitted to the Executive Director, Betsy Suda ( for the FTC newsletter within 1 month of the event

    3) Represent the Florida Track Club! Submit a photo wearing the Florida Track Club singlet at the race.


    The application will be reviewed based on the following characteristics:

    1) Active membership in FTC

    2) The applicant’s prior service and involvement within the FTC and the Gainesville running community

    3) The significance of this race to the individual

    4) Competitive potential

    5) Financial needs of participant

    Questionnaire  for Applicants:

    Are you an active member of FTC? If so, how long have you been a member?

    What other activities (especially fitness, running, and community service related) you are involved in, within the community and the state?

    What are your running goals for this race, this season, and long term?

    Please share why you would like to run this race and how the funds from FTC are important.

    Are you willing to do an oral (within 6 months of event) and written race report (1 month following event) and wear the FTC singlet for a photo at the race?


    Budget Spreadsheet (Application)

    Applicant Name



    Race Name


    (Race name)

    Date(s) of Race



    Dates(s) of Travel



    Location of Race



    Race Entry Fee



    Mode of Transportation



    Approximated Distance


    (x miles)

    Approximated Travel Cost



    Expected Accommodations



    Approximated Lodging Cost






    Total race cost



  • July 24, 2016 2:02 PM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    The Florida Track Club is very excited to bring our members and the entire Gainesville Running an excellent opportunity to train in a supportive group and qualified coaches!

    Here is some more info about the program:

    Who can sign up?

    Any runner can sign up.  All ages and abilities.  Everyone is welcome.  You do not need to be an FTC member (although this is HIGHLY encouraged!).  This program is for the entire running community.

    What are the dates of the program?

    The first practice will take place on August 7 (Sunday) and the final meeting will be at the Tom Walker Memorial Race Weekend on November 5th.

    Do I need to compete in either of the races to be coached?

    You do not need to race (although this is also strongly encouraged!).  The beginner program will get you ready for the 5k, while a more advanced program will be tailored to get you ready to race the half-marathon.

    What is the cost and what does it cover?

    The cost for the program is $100.  This is the same for both the 5k as well as the half-marathon program.  The 5k program will also cover your entry fee to the Tom Walker 5k race.  The $100 will provide you with 3 sessions of face- to-face high quality coaching each week for three months.  It’s a great deal!!!

    How “beginner” is the 5k program?

    This program was designed by our partners at OSMI (Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Institute) to take folks who have either never run seriously before OR who are recovering from a lengthy/serious injury.  The program starts with walking and builds to getting you ready to complete a 5k.  The emphasis is on building strength, stamina, and speed in a healthy and progressive way. 

    How “advanced” is the half-marathon program? 

    This program will be tailored to your half-marathon goals.  Both coaches are highly accomplished at both running and coaching runners at longer distances and can adapt training plans to fit your needs.

    What if I cannot make all the practices?

    You can choose your level of commitment to the program.  Obviously, the more you show up, the greater the likelihood you will see results, but you certainly won’t be penalized for missing practices if conflicts arise.  Unfortunately, we cannot pro-rate the program.  There is one set fee.

    How can I sign up?

    Visit the Florida Track Club website and fill out the form at the bottom of the page at

    Send completed form to Eddie and Enoch at:

    Can I come to a practice to see if the program seems like a good fit for me?

    Yes, you can try out the first practice! But first, fill out the sign up form and sign the release waiver for insurance purposes.  Come to the first meeting on August 7th at 7:30AM and see how great it is to have a workout group and coaches!

  • July 15, 2016 2:25 PM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    FTC Coaches Eddie and Enoch!

    The Florida Track Club is excited to announce that it has entered into a partnership with the University of Florida’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Institute (OSMI) to provide personalized coaching. For the inaugural season a “Couch to 5k” and a Half Marathon program will be offered. The programs will both start on August 1st and run through November 5th. This year in conjunction with the training program we will be adding a 5k to the Tom Walker Half Marathon weekend.  Participation in the 5k training program includes entry to the Tom Walker 5k (a $25 value).

    While the 5k program is primarily structured for beginning runners, the half marathon program will aid runners of all abilities in training for a fall half marathon.  The Track club is bringing in two coaches to run the program: Eddie Garcia and Enoch Nadler.

    Enoch is a 2009 graduate of the University of Florida and was the UF Cross Country Team Captain. Enoch has coached a variety of age groups from middle school to adults. He qualified for the 2016 Olympic Trials and holds a PR of 1:03:55 in the Half Marathon. Enoch is looking forward to assisting runners reach their goals.

    Eddie won the SEC Conference title in the 10,000 Meter with a time of 29:49.92 in 2015. Hailing from Jacksonville, Florida Eddie stumbled upon running and found his passion. With a successful collegiate career behind him Eddie has volunteered with Youth Combine, and now hopes to help a variety of runners reach their goals. 

    Schedule for FTC Coaching Program:

    First practice: Sunday, August 7th at 7:30AM at San Felasco Park (both 5kers and Half-Marathoners)

    Couch to 5k Program: Tuesdays 6:30PM @ OSMI

    Half-Marathon Program: Tuesdays 6:15AM @ UF Track

    Both! :  Thursdays 6:30PM @ OSMI, Sundays 7:30AM @ San Felasco State Park  

    Cost: $100 for 3 mos of coaching! (can pay through PayPal or by check)

    If interested in participating, please read and fill out the following:

    Florida Track Club Coaching Program Participant Sign Up.docx

    Send completed form and direct any questions about the program to

  • July 07, 2016 10:26 AM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    This Monday morning the Florida Track Club held its 38th Annual 3 mile Melon Run.  We had 336 official finishers and several dozen kids run in the Fun Run. Results of the Melon Run can be found at:

    A big thank you to the follow people for helping to make this event such a success:

    *Runners!!!! It may seem obvious, but without such great a running community, we couldn't put on such high quality races!

    *City of Gainesville for granting us the permits and the folks at Westside Park and the Spurgeon Pool staff for open up their facilities for us to use.

    *The Melon Run race Committee and the Board of Directors of the Florida Track Club, especially Race Director Mike Carrillo, FTC President Elizabeth Hanselman, Kathy Benton, Matt Carrillo, Richard Garand, Anne Elise Creamer, for all of their help organizing the event as well as volunteering on race morning.

    *Jonathan Rembert and Start2Finish Race Management for his timing services as well as The Rembert Family for use of their large function room at Rembert Farms which housed our 200 watermelons in a cool space prior to the race. Also Ken Rembert, owner of The Bagel Bakery for their donation of bagels for post race refreshment.

    *Heather Martin for designing another beautiful race tshirt! (She also created last years' Melon Run as well as Tom Walker Half-Marathon, and our 50th Anniversary tshirts).

    *Martin Costello and Stephanie McGrail for being our lead bicycles.

    *Race day volunteers: Vicky Andrada, Shellie Berkelhammer, the Veltcheva family, Lisa Atkinson, Karen Chamusco, Linda Bloom, Dylan Lennon, FTC Coaches Eddie Garcia and Enoch Nadler

    *Our race photographer for her beautiful photos of runners: Cathy Bester.

    *National Anthem soloist Ericka Brockish.

    *Spectators!  Thanks to our family and friends for your support!

  • June 26, 2016 7:02 PM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    Link to sign up for the Melon Run!

    See you on the 4th!

  • June 21, 2016 3:17 PM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    The Melon Run is fast approaching! Remember to sign up and stay around for the awards ceremony.  We give out melons three-deep in each age group!  Here's a great way to share this refreshing summer fruit:

    Red, White, and Bleu Salad

    Serves ~10 "regular" people or ~7 hungry runner-type people

    1 Watermelon (hopefully brought home from the FTC's 38th Annual Melon Run)

    1 sweet vidalia onion

    1 cup of blueberries

    1 cup of cherry/grape tomatoes

    1 cup of red grapes

    1 container of bleu cheese


    1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

    1/4 cup of Extra Virgin Olive Oil

    Fresh basil for garnish

    Assembling the salad:

    Chop up the watermelon and sweet onion into bite-sized pieces.  Halve the cherry tomatoes and red grapes.  All all fruits and veggies into a large serving bowl.  Chill until party time.


    Whisk together the olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.

    Right before serving, drizzle the dressing over the salad, sprinkle with bleu cheese and garnish with basil.

    Enjoy and see you at the Melon Run!

  • June 16, 2016 11:31 AM | Betsy Suda (Administrator)

    This past week was a busy one for the club!  On Thursday, June 9th we held our Twilight Meet and Monday, June 13th we hosted our June Social and Group Run at Crafty B'astards Restaurant. Many thanks to all who helped make both events successful! 

    Twilight Meet:

    The track meet was an excellent opportunity for all members of the running community to participate in a professionally organized, yet low-key track meet at a world class facility: the Percy Beard Track at the University of Florida.  We rented out the track and field area for the evening and held three running events: 1500m, 5k, 800m, and two kids' fun runs: 100m and 400m.  

    We felt that our Track club should honor our historical roots as a competitive track club and bring the joy (and pain!) of track racing to the next generation of runners.  Watching the little ones "play at track" was one of the major highlights of the evening.  We also had some very fast performances, considering it was well over 90 degrees at the start of the meet.

    The event started at 7:25PM and concluded just after 8:30PM... just as the sun was setting.  It was a beautiful evening and a fun opportunity to race hard at our home track!  We are very interested in bringing more track racing opportunities to the FTC community.  If you would like to be involved in a Twilight Meet series race committee, send me an email at:

    Many thanks to our awesome volunteers that helped make the evening run smoothly: Richard Garand, Elizabeth Hanselman, Kathy Benton, Eddie Garcia, Enoch Nadler, Mike Carrillo, Varun Praveen, Will Harding, Michelle Castillo, Claudia Jackson, and Daniel Jackson.  

    June Social:

    This event was postponed a week due to Tropical Storm Colin.  A group met at Crafty B'astards Restaurant, which is also the headquarters for our New Year's day race: The Shorter Mile, to get in a quick easy run before the social.  Many thanks to Richard and Elizabeth for leading the run.   The group went across NW 39th Ave towards the Boys and Girls Club and to the wood-chip trail behind Barr Systems.  There is a great sort of hidden running path back there  ~1 mile long - perfect for workouts and shaded summer running. Afterwards, we were able to hang out in the reserved back room at Crafty's and catch up with one another in a relaxed setting with some great beer and food.  These socials always leave me thankful to be living in a place like Gainesville with folks who care so much about running but also about the person behind the runner. It is always inspiring just chatting with fellow FTC members and learning about what is going on in everyone's training and lives outside of running.  If you missed this social, another one is coming up in August at First Magnitude!  Stay tuned for details.

    Up next:  38th Annual Melon Run!!!!!!!!!!

    Make sure to add this race to your July 4th plans.  Always a family favorite tradition with a flat two-loop course around Westside Park and neighboring streets.  Watermelons for age-group winners and free kids' fun run (~1mile).  Sign up today to save $5 with your FTC membership:

The Florida Track Club is a member of the Road Runners Club Of America and the USA Track and Field Florida Association.


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software