Our speaker this month was Anne Williams. Anne is a GTC Hall of Famer, sub 3:10 marathoner, and instrumental in advancing women's running. Her talk was centered around women's running history in Greenville and brought back memories for many of the meeting's attendees, who also enjoyed some tasty pizza at World Piece on Stone Avenue.
Below is an excerpt from Anne's HOF Induction Bio.
Considered to be the female pioneer of the GTC, Anne was initiated into race directing when she and her sister, Mary Ross, took over the directorship of the Paris Mtn. Road Race. That continued for a number of years. She was an avid volunteer and director of many early races and the all-comers track meets for the GTC. She assisted with fundraising and other organizational aspects of the only indoor track meet ever held in Greenville, hosted by the GTC and Furman Track and Field. Liberty Life Insurance Company sponsored a women's only race called "Run Jane Run" and Anne assisted Lucy Foxworth, who directed that event.
A few years later Anne initiated and directed Women on the Run, for several years. Women on the Run averaged 1200 women in any given race and then, Governor Richard Riley, directed that the week of these races be deemed "Women's Race Week". Based on her GTC race directing experience she created a "how to" book for others to utilize and used this blueprint to put on races for women in 11 different cities around the U. S. One feature of her races included a six-week fitness clinic prior to each race, free to the public. Another key feature of races she directed brought world-class athletes into Greenville including the late Greta Waitz, Joan Benoit Samuelson, and Gabriella Anderson among others. She was the first GTC race director to insist on course certification under TAC and now USATF rules.
An avid runner herself, Anne was SC State marathon champion in 1982 with a time of 3:19. She also ran Boston in 3:09, 5K in 18:09 and 10K in 38:06. She has run more than 10 marathons including New York, London, Grandfather Mtn. (5 times) and Pikes Peak. Anne always competed wearing the GTC singlet. She is married to Art, who was a founding member of the GTC and past President