What if our choices in life were as simple as choosing between Skittles or M & M’s?

Pictured: Betsy at Lady Track Shack 5k 1978

Socks, shoes, training program or which race to run? Which is better, or margarine? Should I color my hair? The choices never end! But, thankfully, we have choices. In 1974, I had one shoe option. One, I’m not kidding. I’m married now to the cute guy working at Athletic Attic in the Fashion Square Mall who gave me that choice. Shoes, all tied together in pairs, and were in a big bin full of size 5 shoes. They were the smallest men’s style made; a Brooks model as I recall. My dad, just about had a cow when learning the cost was almost $30.00. I think they were blue and white…yep, blue and white; they all were back then. Oh my, have times changed! My dad passed away 11 years ago, and although he never fully understood my love for running, he screamed the loudest at my meets. 

I often tell people, we don’t just sell shoes; we sell a lifestyle. All of us at Track Shack have a passion for people first, then running and of course the shoes and events we offer…have you even seen the regional calendar on our Track Shack website? It is a little overwhelming. Choices? Oh yes, there are choices! There are so many events to choose from. There is something for everyone. A favorite charity? Muddy and dirty? An underwear run? Check it out, it’s there. But my most favorite of all? The second oldest “all women’s” running event in the US, is Lady Track Shack 5k! I was 17 when I first ran it and finished third! That cute guy, I married?He was the race director and presented me with my award! Now, 38 years later, the Lady Track Shack is still a favorite of mine, my family, our staff and pretty much everyone I know. This year we have the biggest fundraising goal ever and to accomplish it we are presenting all finishers with the most awesome medal ever seen! And, a TuTu! Which I may or may not wear, my prerogative. I hope to see you at Mead Garden on January 31, 2015! We’ve been planning 2015 for what seems like a year, already. Anthony, our ace shoe buyer, sees models of shoes and orders almost nine months ahead of time. Imagine how difficult that is…He has to think what will be best for you, our customers. What color will you like most? Should he order a variety of widths? Might it run small or large? Will it win a shoe award or be advertised more than another model? Oh, no, choices again! But really, it is not easy and we all appreciate the choices he makes because he does it with your best interest at heart. Recently we brought in a new line of sandals called Olukai and they are not only super stylish, they have a fantastic arch support. Our son, Chris, has worn them for years and now we are all hooked! I’ve been having great success running in a brand of shoes I haven’t tried in 20 years, Saucony. However, when you see me at the store, I’ll be working in my favorite New Balance shoes. We were so excited in November when our New Balance rep chose to donate $5.00 for each pair we sold on Saturdays, throughout the month, to Track Shack Foundation! That certainly helped our board of directors grant even more funds to area children’s fitness programs during their last meeting in 2014. This partnership makes my heart smile! 

Last June, our Track Shack Event staff got together to plan our events through 2015. At the time, it was hard to say, 2015; now it just rolls off the tongue…We spent many hours choosing dates, themes, colors, even age group breakdowns. A lot goes into planning our  various events and thankfully Jon and I have surrounded ourselves with incredibly talented people to produce and manage what we consider, the best events in Florida! Our Central Florida running/walking community has so many choices in choosing what events to do and we put much effort into making ours the number one choice. I know it’s obvious that Lady Track Shack 5k is a special one for me, but it seems like our Seasons 52 Park Avenue 5.2k event is the one most folks gear up for right after the new year! That event shows how well your training went over the holidays! February brings us to the challenge of the year at the Run Around the Pines 5k; Olympians Keith Brantly and Rowdy Gaines will both be swimming and then running to see who is the fastest of all, while raising funds for YMCA Cady Way Pool. I know Keith is gearing up for it! Who is faster; the runner or swimmer? Don’t miss the fun on February 14, 2015. So what’s your favorite? I must admit, I like M & M’s better.  

See you on the roads!


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