Jean Tolchinsky

I have been in the running community for about 25 years and during most of those I have been a member of the Striders and a participant in the Gold Cup Series. I have always been a back of pack runner. This is why during my tenure as president of the Striders I tried to emphasize the importance of all runners/walkers feeling comfortable participating in the Gold Cup. The very competitive runners and the rest of us should all be able to go out there and have a great time. During my tenure we moved into the 21st Century with the establishment of our Strider website. We also established the Jim Cox Scholarship Fund and the Bob Stevens Disabled Runner Fund.

After 39 years in education, I retired June '06 from the East Chicago schools. As a physical education teacher, dean, and finally as a counselor I was fortunate to meet and work with so many great kids and adults. I coached basketball, tennis, and volleyball on the high school level. By the time they asked me to coach cross country I was way too tired to devote the necessary time. I did work with junior high students at one time to introduce cross country running to them and brought students to some of the races.

Although I can tell you about running marathons, 1/2 marathons, Zoys, and River to River races, what is really important about my years of running are the people. The wonderful, open, caring people I have met through the years are what have made running so special to me. I have had the great fortune to call people like Shirle Kowalisyn, Ida Hey, Jim Cox and so many more my friend. And the best part is new people keep coming in to our running community to expand this wonderful family.

Now that I have retired, I am devoting more time to my running. However, if you are looking for me I will still be at the back of the pack.

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