FAMILY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT
Tuscaloosa Track Club has a lot of individual members, but we also have a lot of family memberships. Sometimes you have a husband and wife that actually enjoys running together. TTC has been lucky enough to have a couple that has been members for many years, and they don’t even reside in Tuscaloosa.
I’d like you to meet Allen and Wanda Rowland from Jasper, Alabama. Allen and Wanda have been married for 45 years. They met at the University of Alabama in 1969. Even though they reside in Jasper, they keep a tailgate apartment in Tuscaloosa, which allows them to run in many of our races, as well as volunteer for some too.
While defending the public, one of our seasoned Tuscaloosa Track Club Members, uses running as a de-stressor! Eric Snow, a TTC member for more than 8 years, is the Chief Assistant Public Defender for Tuscaloosa County. Eric has worked as a lawyer in Tuscaloosa County for over 20 years.
After two (2) years practicing law, he was blessed with his first son, and realized between the stress of the job and wanting to be there for his son throughout his life, Eric took up running. He started out slow by walking on a treadmill. After a while, he wanted more, so by the time his second son came along, he started to run. He knew he was hooked when he was out running one day and realized he had run way longer than he had ever run before, yet he felt different. Eric remembers having friends that were runners that had always described to him the feeling of relaxation you get from a long run, but he never knew what that meant until that day. After that, he was hooked.
Tuscaloosa Track Club loves to spotlight our members. One of our newest members Roy Meeks is new to TTC, but isn’t new to running. He started running in 1984 once he decided he wasn’t going to continue to play football after high school. So, as a student at the University of Alabama he chose running as a health choice. Roy went against everyone’s suggestion to start small, and made his first race a 50 miler at Oak Mountain Park. He was hooked after that, and looked for races he could travel to. His running resume includes over 300 races (he has the bib numbers to prove it), including 5Ks to Ultras. Roy completed his first Boston Marathon in 1993, which today is one of his favorite race experiences of all time.
There are certain people you “run” across in life that you instantly admire and know that they will be a constant and be consistent with who they are as long as you know them. Tammy Denson is one of those wonderful folks. She is who she is and you just know you can always
count on her, whether it is showing up for a workout or as director of one of the largest running events in Tuscaloosa. Tammy always has a supportive word for the slowest to the swiftest runners at a gathering, probably more so for the slowest of us. The running community in Tuscaloosa is very fortunate to have Tammy as an avid supporter, resource, role model and
organizer. It takes a strong person to be the backbone of a community and my friend Tammy is one of the strongest I have ever met.
I asked her to capsulize her running career and give some advice from her vast experience which can help us all train better and enjoy our running to the utmost.
Started running competitively at 9 years old, when my father entered me in a citywide track meet in Gadsden, Alabama.
Ran my first Marathon (for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society) in April 2004 in Nashville. Since
that time, I’ve completed 13 marathons in Nashville, Connecticut, Missouri, Wisconsin,
Massachusetts, Ohio, North Dakota, Texas, Georgia, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington DC and
Completed 4 half marathons in Tuscaloosa, Gulf Shores, Talladega & Starkville MS. And in
October of this year, will run the Lake Powell Half Marathon in Arizona/Utah.
Completed 3 Ragnar Team Races.
Served as Race Director for numerous 5K and 8K races, as well as the Tuscaloosa Half Marathon.
Proudest Running Accomplishment: Set a PR in my marathon in Eugene, Oregon. Needed a
to qualify for the Boston Marathon, and I ran a . I guess I should be disappointed that I
missed qualifying by 51 seconds, but I was totally stoked with that time. I did the best I could do
on that day!
Best training tip: Add strength training to your weekly training schedule. It’s so important to equally
train your leg muscles in order to prevent injuries.
Advice for beginners: Join a running club. They become your second family and you form lasting friendships.
Take in all the advice you get from all runners, but find what works best for you.
Tips for fitting workouts into a busy daily schedule: Make your training part of your work day,
whether it’s early in the morning before work, or after you get off. If you form the habit of training
(running and gym work) as a daily routine, you’ll stick to it. I always do all my long runs on the
weekend, EARLY in the morning. I have this quote on my computer - “The person who really wants
to do something, finds a way; The other finds an excuse.”
Thank you Tammy for being all that you are and for how you affect your fellow runners.
Ed Freeman, President Tuscaloosa Track Club