Thanks For Caring Orlando

By Betsy Hughes

“Thanks for caring,” my customer said as she was leaving. Helping her find shoes is just what we do at Track Shack and at specialty running stores everywhere. Caring comes with the territory; knowing her story and yours is a must as we strive to make the shoe fitting process a great experience. Our goal every day is to keep our customers healthy.

Central Florida is a community that cares. Sometimes Jon and I will reflect at how Orlando has grown these past 40 years and it is overwhelming. It seems so big but really it is still our hometown where our friends and family all know each other and care for each other. Last Christmas Eve, Jon had to go to the ER for a problem we couldn’t resolve on our own; he was on a blood thinner. It was like we were with friends there, the staff knew of Track Shack, some said they shopped with us. And then, like magic, Jon’s heart doctor shows up and gives him the best present of all by saying no more blood thinner meds are necessary. I can’t remember what I gave him last Christmas but both of us will never forget our morning in the ER.

I started physical therapy last January because a dear friend cared enough to say it looked like I was in pain. Three months later and a lot of work on the part of my therapist and me, my neck pain and dizziness are almost gone. Thanks for caring Dan and encouraging me; it made the craziness of the rest of 2016 much easier. This year I also tackled a skin problem with the help of a former employee who now specializes in dermatology…and the medicine I finally decided to take also helped my arthritic foot! Now, thinking of running a half marathon next summer doesn’t seem so impossible. Thanks for caring, Theresa!

I look forward to 2017 because this past year was a tough one. It was a difficult summer for all of us in Orlando because of the Pulse tragedy. It truly affected everyone I know. Our Central Florida running and walking community came together and helped raise over $20,000.00 for the OneOrlando Fund in just three short days. This generosity and the comfort friends gave to one another as we ran and walked as our community event shortly after the shootings, shows us again that this growing city is still a small hometown. Thanks for caring, friends.

This summer a lot of work was done planning several 40th annual runs and Track Shack’s 40th anniversary! The OUC Orlando Half Marathon in December kicked off these anniversaries as wecelebrated 40 years of running through downtown Orlando! That’s almost 525 miles! It was a perfect day and enjoyed by all, even our staff, who worked harder than ever before. Thanks for caring, team; we couldn’t do any of this without you.

Before the year ended there were other celebrations. Hurricane Matthew threatened to put a damper on our annual Ladies Night but not so! We still raised $15,000.00 that evening to fund mammograms for many women in Central Florida! Plus, our son Chris and Allie were married in October. They met at Track Shack just like many other couples we know. In December Track Shack was selected as one the 50 Best Running Stores in America! Did I already mention that our staff cares for you, that we strive to keep you running and healthy?

So, here comes 2017…on January 28th the 40th Annual Lady Track Shack 5k takes place. This is probably my favorite event and literally one of the oldest women only events in the United States. Years ago we invited elite women runners from all over to compete in our prestigious Lady Track Shack, now we invite our friends, our moms and daughters to run and/or walk this beautiful 5k and help us raise money for the Florida Hospital Breast Cancer Care Fund, benefiting underprivileged women. This event plus our others including Park Avenue 5k and Run for Love 4 Mile should prepare you for the 40th ZKS Winter Park Road Race 10k on March 25! Are you seeing our 40th trend yet?

Thanks for being a part of our caring community. Thanks for supporting Track Shack and all our events that have raised much needed financial support for so many, especially children and women. It is hard to believe that next August we’ll be celebrating 40 years of being part of this amazing Central Florida area.

Thanks for caring, friends and I’ll see you on the roads.

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