2009 SFTC Awards Banquet

About 95 people attended the 2009 SFTC Awards Banquet held at The Red Room, Blountville, on December 12. The annual SFTC Awards Banquet featured a potluck dinner, door prizes, awards for the 2009 SFTC Competitions and a SFTC membership general meeting.

Phil Horner, Kingsport rep, gave the invocation before everyone tucked in to the dessert-dominated potluck dinner. Once all were well fed and on a sugar high, the Kids Festival of Miles awards and trophies were presented. Kids fourteen and under who ran at least 3 of the 13 mile races in the 2009 series were eligible for medals. The top runner in each age group also received a trophy. The TriCities area boasts a number of young KFOM-qualifying speedsters who set Tennessee State age records in 2009, including Harper Russell, Hannah Rhodes, Roman Borghetti-Metz, Ryan True, David Evans and Porter Bradley.

A short SFTC membership general meeting was chaired by SFTC President Earl Brown. Some changes to the SFTC bylaws were voted on. The primary change was the addition of three new voting positions on the SFTC board: secretary, racewalk rep and volunteer coordinator. Members present at the banquet voted to accept these bylaw changes.

Fifteen SFTC members who met the requirements of the Long Distance Series were recognized with fleece jacket embroidered with the SFTC logo.

Each year, two SFTC members are voted most improved male and female runners and an additional couple as racewalker of the year. Molly Allen was a repeat winner of the most improved female. In 2009, Molly set Tennessee State age records in the mile (twice) and the 8K. Philip Studholme was voted as most improved male runner. Philip is a sophomore at Abingdon High School and runs on Abingdon's varsity cross-country team. He improved his 5K road race times by over a minute in 2009. Kristi Marshall, a new SFTC member in 2009, and Harvey Neeley each won the most votes for female and male racewalkers of the year and were given plaques noting their accomplishments.

Awards were made to the two outstanding high school runners for 2009 as selected by SFTC - Molly Foster and Michael Mansy, both of Science Hill HS.

Two new competitions were added in 2009: the Trail Series and Adult Mile Series. Jason Goodman was the first Trail Series Overall Champion with a perfect score. Molly Allen and Earl Brown were the Adult Mile Series female and male top-placed runners. Gift certificates from Foot Rx and Fleet Feet Sports were presented.

Mark and Joanna Skelton work tirelessly putting on many first class races in the area - Surgoinsville 10 Miler, Phipps Bend 5K, Firecracker 4M, CASA 8K and Kids Mile, Laurel Run Ascent, Wolf Run 7 Miler, Bays Mountain 15 Miler as well as helping out at other races too. Their efforts were recognized in the form of the Wolf Run 7 Miler being voted as SFTC Race of the Year. The Wolf Run had its inaugural race in 2008 with a respectable 107 finishers. The 2009 edition grew to 182 finishers. The "one hill" race, which is part of the Skelton Law Racing Series and the Bays Mountain Challenge, is held on the beautiful though challenging trail system in Kingsport's Bays Mountain Park. The 2008 SFTC Race of the Year, the Bays Mountain 15 Miler, won the 2009 T-Shirt of the Year contest.

The King and Queen of the Road competition had some changes in its awards structure for 2009. Awards were given for top three overall male and female and three deep (down from five) in each age group. No masters or grandmasters awards were given. The final standings can be found by clicking here. Earl Brown held on to his King crown from 2008. Wanda Burnette took the 2009 queen throne. In addition to trophies, $50 gift certificates to Foot Rx were presented to the top male and female. Six random drawings for $50 gift certificates also to Foot Rx were made from the pool of K&Q qualifiers. The random drawing winners were Bill Dickerson, Rocky Overholt, John Pitt, Debby Tindall, Tim Seiferth and Emma Studholme.

Mr and Ms Mileage for 2009 were LeGrande Boyer and Mary Rodriguez. Both runners completed an impressive race miles total - the second highest recorded for both Mr and Ms Mileage since the inception of the competition in 2002.

Volunteering has always been an important aspect of SFTC. Without volunteers, the club would not exist. The top three volunteers for 2009, as determined by the Volunteer Points System were Bob Townsend, Matthew Studholme and Mark Skelton. Foot Rx gift certificates of $150, $100 and $50 respectively were presented to these three members.

President-elect Jason Goodman closed the festivities with a Jeff Foxworthy-style list of "You Might be a Runner if...".

Photos courtesy of Bob Townsend

Submitted by Matthew Studholme