Letters

Letters 07-06-2015

Safety on the “Bridge to Nowhere” Grant Parsons wrote an articulate column in opposition to the proposed Traverse City pier at the mouth of the Boardman River. He cites issues such as limited access, lack of parking, increased congestion, environmental degradation, and pork barrel spending of tax dollars. I would add another to this list: public safety...

Vote Carefully A recent poll showed 84% of Michiganders support increasing Michigan’s renewable energy standard to at least 20% from the current 10%. Yet Representative Ray Franz has sponsored legislation to eliminate the standard. This out of touch position is reminiscent of Franz’s opposition to the Pure Michigan campaign and support for increased taxes on retirees....

Credit Where Credit Is Due I think you should do another article about the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund giving proper credit to all involved, not just Tom Washington. Many others were just as involved...

I’ve Changed My Mind The Supreme Court has determined that states cannot keep same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. This has happened with breathtaking suddenness. It took 246 years for Americans to decide that slavery was wrong and abolish it, but it’s been only a couple of decades since any successful attempt was made to legalize same-sex marriage, and four years since a majority of the American public supported legalization...


Home · Articles · News · Features · Track Club turns 50
. . . .

Track Club turns 50

Patrick Sullivan - June 20th, 2011
There must be something about the sport of running.
In 50 years the Traverse City Track Club has had three presidents and all
of them are still alive.
George Kuhn, the club’s first president, won’t guarantee running leads to
a long life.
“That we’re still alive is that we’re lucky, I’m not sure that it’s the
running,” Kuhn said. “I know that whenever I’ve had a medical issue,
having run all my life really paid off.”
The track club celebrates its 50th anniversary this summer.
Kuhn started the track club in 1961 with like-minded runners because there
were no road races in the area.
“I found some guys who also wanted to run some races so we organized and
set up races,” he said.
In those first years, it was guys. Kuhn estimates it was the 1970s before
a woman joined the group.

NORTHERN STRIDERS
The track club was modeled after a club called the Motor City Striders
which was founded in 1959 in Detroit, where Kuhn had worked before he
moved to Traverse City.
In TC Kuhn taught math and physics at Northwestern Michigan College and
managed the computer center for the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School
District.
Kuhn has not been able to run since a hip replacement 14 years ago. Now he
walks, bikes and cross-country skis.
“I figure I had about 45 years of running in before that happened,” Kuhn
said. “For me it was important that there were other things that I could
do.”
Kuhn may no longer run, but he remains a part of the club.
“He’s kind of the godfather of the club. It’s nice to have him around,”
said Karen Wells, current president. “He started this just to get runners
together, you know, back in 1961, running wasn’t that popular.”

FORMIDABLE FORCE
The track club has transformed from an almost informal group of runners to
a formidable charity in the region, thanks to the success of the Bayshore
Marathon, which will celebrate its 30th anniversary next year.
With funds raised from the Bayshore, the track club last year was able to
give away $92,000 to area track and field programs. A year earlier they
gave $86,000, Wells said.
The club helped pay for an impressive brick entrance to the track at TC
Central High School. The building serves as storage for the track club and
a concessions area for events.
“It’s a step up in a huge way from the shed,” Wells said.
The club’s original mission, those summer evening runs, are also still
going strong.
Back in 1961, each run cost 25 cents. Today they cost $1 per run, or $10
for 10 runs and a track club t-shirt.
Runners meet at 6:30 p.m. Wednesdays, usually at the entrance to the TC
Central track, for a variety of runs. A schedule can be found at the
club’s website.
On Aug. 17, the last run of the summer series, there will be a 5k or 2.5k
trail run at Mt. Holiday with a celebration afterward which will include
all of the track club’s presidents.

For more on the club see
www.tctrackclub.com.
 
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