One part of our upcoming 30th anniversary is something I have very much been looking forward to. On past anniversaries, I’ve spent some time digging through old results books looking for long (and not so long) lost names. Names, memories and lots of old experiences come to mind when I’m doing my research. The idea is to find some names of participants past who were into the QUAD for two, three or more years and then have faded away. I think to myself, “Time to put the call out,” and send them the QUAD Alumni letter. Basically, its just a note (wrapped around a registration form) saying, ‘Hey, remember back when…?”
I haven’t kept track of the success rate (I just dropped 40 QUAD Alumni letters in the mail last week and I’ll try and track it this time) but I must say, I’ve had some notable scores. I take great pride in sending one out to Jill Halmi Behm as we approached the 20th Highmark QUAD back in 2002. In 1983 Jill Halmi was a senior at Fairview High School, an outstanding track and field performer (she would go to college on a scholarship for her prowess throwing the javelin) and in that first year of the QUAD, was the girls Champion of the 16-19 age group.
Then life happened. Jill went to college, then med school, got married, had two children and became a doctor at the Erie Veterans Hospital. I sent Jill a QUAD Alumni letter and was very pleased to have her respond with a filled out registration for the 20th QUAD Games. I was just looking to see Jill back in the QUAD as a grownup. I did not expect what was to follow which was the unleashing of a bicycling force of nature. That first year back Dr. Jill took third place overall in the bike race with a time of 32 minutes. Pretty good, huh? Little did the QUAD world know she was just getting started and if you doubt my words check the QUAD Records link under women’s times for the bike. Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
But truthfully, even better was that Jill talked husband Dr. Tony Behm and their two boys Calvin and Carey into joining the QUAD. And THAT was the part I like best. It was great to see Jill discover the cyclist within but having her bring the family and see them get involved spoke to me once again the best part of the Highmark QUAD Games. I hope I get so lucky with this crop of QUAD Alumni letters.