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Presidential Farewell Address
September 2007

My Fellow Trail Runners,

Joe Clapper
Joe Clapper being presidential

There comes a time when the old guard must stand aside and let the new generation screw things up. Otherwise, we old folks would truly have no joy. It is with a heavy heart that I will step down as your president at the end of my term in January (however, we will keep my fake beefcake picture on the web site.) If drafted, I will not run; if nominated, I will not accept; if elected, I will not serve.

I'm not saying good bye. I'm merely positioning myself to ridicule the new leadership. My responsibilities have been daunting: keeping up the quality of beer, responding only to female inquiries about the club, and serving as a moderating force that prevented radical change (through my inaction on all issues.) Be assured, all of my inactions were humbly focused on serving you - the trail runner. Who would have guessed in 1992 a handful of wacko runners with a crazy idea to put on a ultra trail run would become a movement today? I was honored when they chose me to be their leader as the true leader moved to California and the rest of the group had better things to do with their time. The vision thing may not have been my strong suit but I hope, my constant focus on the essentials- trail running, friendships, fun, and appreciation of nature's beauty will be my legacy.

As I hand over the rudder of the club to my successor and take my seat on deck next to the beer cooler, I want to thank you all for your confidence in me, however misplaced and mal-informed it may have been. It has truly been a pleasure to serve you, even if you did not see fit to give me an intern. I wish my successor all the pleasure I received and the ability to remember names of folks in VHTRC. However, like Eisenhower, I caution your new president against commercialism, bureaucracy and sobriety.

Your Humble Servant,

Joe Clapper
President 'Till New Year

Virginia Happy Trails Running Club
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