Saturday, December 16, 2017

TATUR Christmas party

We had our annual TATUR Christmas party last Tuesday at the Westside YMCA. As usual, the dinner was a potluck, which never disappoints. There were several different types of meat, salads, Bryan Carpenter rolls, vegan dishes, and desserts.

Picture by Clint Green
I didn't count heads, but I'd say we had at least 60-70 friends in attendance.

Picture by Clint Green
I piled a plate high with turkey, ham, potato casserole, some sort of vegan macaroni salad, and topped it off with a hard-shell chocolate and pecan covered cheesecake, which was delicious.

Picture by Clint Green
Kathy, dressed in leather, tempts the crowd with cupcakes.

Picture by Bryan Carpenter
Meego, oddly enough, was well behaved. No one signed up for any races--at least during the party. But he has powers to drive people to their computer and sign up for races of insane distances in the blink of an eye.

Picture by Gina Day

We presented the top three male and female winners in the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series. Top three women were 1st place Cheryl Kastl (on the left), 2nd place Chrissy Whitten, and Christine Fisher (not pictured). Top three men we 1st place Jeremy Harrison (on the right), 2nd place Kyle Knapp (in the center) and me (I managed third by virtue of volunteering a lot and chugging out several slow finishes.) 

Picture by Clint Green
Then it was on to the Silver Spuds. The categories were Male and Female TATUR of the Year, TATUR Rookie of the Year, Most Improved TATUR, Most Inspirational TATUR, Best Performance in  Race, TATUR Volunteer of the Year, TATUR Comeback Kid, and Most Beat Up Feet.

We took nominations for each of the categories, and then a panel of nine voted. No one knew how anyone voted, and most of the presenters did not know who won until they read the nominations and opened the sealed envelope.

Picture by Bryan Carpenter
TATUR Rookie of the Year went to Gina Day. Gin ran in excess of a marathon per month in 2017, along with all the training that goes with it. She always has the biggest grin on her face--running will do that to you. He brother, Brian, presenter the award, and was as surprised as she was.

Picture by Gina Day
Lisa Butler was the TATUR Comeback Kid (my favorite category). Lisa is a strong marathoner and triathlete. She had an injury setback, and this past year, dived into ultras. She won Midnight Madness 50 miler, then won her first 100 at Urban Adventure, and won her second hundo at Pumpkin Holler.

Most Improved TATUR was Bryan Williams. I stalked his STRAVA stats as he trained for the Mark Twain 59 miler. He was relentless, especially with his ascent numbers.

Most Inspirational TATUR was Justin Walker. Justin helps so many runners with their fitness and form, teaches yoga, works at RunnersWorld and besides getting the runners the perfect running or trail shoes, he talks up local trail races. 

TATUR Volunteer of the Year was a tie between Misty Rowland and Michelle Bates. Both of these ladies are like elves on steroids at our aid stations. When they volunteer for a race, they're in it for the long haul-staying and helping for hours, and in the case of Pumpkin Holler--days. 

Best Performance in a Race went to Jbob Jones. First off, he ran a series of races in Tennesee including Vol State--a trek across Tennessee in the dead heat of summer and finished 11th. Then he ran the Spartathlon. Jbob finished 167th out of 369, and was 11th for the USA out of 25 entered.  Jbob finished 167th out of 369 and was 11th for the USA out of 25 entered.

Most Beat Up Feet went to the duo of Jememy Harrison and Cheryl Kastl. This mom and son team ran every single race in the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series--something that I said would not be done. We've made some great friends running this year, and these two are some of the best.

Picture by Bryan Carpenter
Jwalk presented the Female TATUR of the Year to Rachel Coulter. Rachel dominated in the 50K at Turkey and TATURs. SHe has been a contender for this award for the past three years and this year the honor was well deserved.

Mitch Drummond won Male TATUR of the year honors. Mitch could have been at the top of many f the categories. He's an inspiration his army of running friends, he's a selfless volunteer, he's stepped his game up and is getting stronger and faster. He built the new Pumpkin Holler website, as well as the new race calendar. He's gotten into the race directing side of things, RDing Turkey and TATURs, and Snake Run. He's a huge supporter of the Westside YMCA and was responsible in largely in part for the $3000 donation to the YMCA this year.

Pictured left to right--Misty Rowland, Brian Williams, Justin Walker, Gina Day, Rachel Coulter, Mitch Drummond, Jeremy Harrison, Cheryl Kastl, and Lisa Butler.

Thanks to Kathy Bratton, Jwalk, Victor Brown, and Brian Hoover for helping present the coveted Silver Spuds.

Thanks to the Westside YMCA for letting us have our party here. It was another fun year, and if you missed it, please join us here in 2018.

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