Your running club, S.W.F.T.R., was chartered February 18, 1990 at Stevens Park in Garden City although the founding members had been running together for over five years by then. A group of us ran from 11:45 December 31, 1989 to 12:10 January 1, 1990 starting at Stevens Park going north to Mary Street and then returning. One particularly memorable run in those early days was after dark on a 12 degree night. There had just been a blizzard and drifts of over two feet were along the dark northern lane of Valley View Cemetery. Four of us ran and fell and laughed together that January 28th in 1990. Issue #1, February 1, 1990 S.W.F.T.R. Newsletter, "Our run this Monday night went up through the darkness of the cemetery reminding us of the life and vitality of our chosen sport. Our conversation drifted to the unclear north dark road with unknown footing. Will you join us next time?"

     That same joy we experienced then continues now. Right now, don't your juices flow at the thought of a Saturday morning group run along Talley Trail? Abandon your normal sensibilities this Saturday and join us at 10:00 AM for some play. Your reasons for running are personal and individual. Maybe you wanted to control weight and discovered the added benefits of clearer thinking, greater stamina and endurance, improvement in self image, and fewer overall health problems. I would enjoy reading your reasons for running and personal experiences in upcoming editions of the S.W.F.T.R. newsletter.

     Even before there was a club known as SWFTR, there was a newsletter that shared information on upcoming runs. A runner by the name of T.V. Haganah self-published his own "Running Shorts" which he distributed to anyone interested. That became another important thread in the tapestry of the history of SWFTR running club. The segment named "SWFTR Shorts" is so named in honor of that pioneering effort. Issue #2 of the newsletter, dated March 1, 1990, tells of the charter of the club and election of officers ..

 It also lists seven goals to instill purpose into the new organization.

1. Provide notice of racing events.

2. Establish a system of carpooling to races.

3. Receive reduced entry fees at racing events.

4. Promote the social aspects of running.

5. Be the originator of additional running events.

6. Help sedentary people enjoy running.

7. Help Race Directors avoid duplicate scheduling dates.

     The bottom line with this whole deal seems to be longevity and perseverance. If we exercise self-discipline in running regularly, we can apply self-discipline to other areas of our lives more effectively also. Can being a better runner make a person be a better spouse and parent, a better friend, and a better Christian? Can we improve one area of our lives without it spilling onto the other areas as well? And if one area of our lives deteriorates, can we isolate that from affecting the rest of our lives? A key factor in running consistently is to go for a run. It's that simple; go for a run. If you do that around friends, you develop accountability. They reinforce your own determination and regularity.

     That is why the Saturday morning group runs are the heart and soul of our running club..

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