Thursday, December 12, 2013

A thank you note to the USA Track & Field Cross Country Council...

In the trenches interviewing
Blake Russell at 2006 IAAF World Cross
Country Champs (Patti Stirk photo)

I regret not being able to accept the award in person in Indianapolis last week; nonetheless, I am humbled and honored to accept this award.

Doris Heritage is a woman whose passion for cross country I've had the privilege of witnessing in person here in Seattle from the time I started in the sport in the early 1970s.  Through her work at Seattle Pacific as a competitor and coach, all the way to being a coach/team leader on various national squads, world cross country and Olympic teams, she has represented our sport well at all levels, and is a wonderful ambassador of the sport.

My association with the USA Track & Field Cross Country Council began in 1999 when I was the media relations director for the local organizing committee staging the USA championships in Tacoma, Washington, and also served stints doing media relations for the Vancouver (WA) local organizing committees.

I've been lucky enough to assist eleven USA national teams with media relations at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships wherever they've been contested, along with helping out in the trenches at the national championships.  

I'm honored to follow in the footsteps of those who have won the award before me, many of whom have done more for the sport and USA Track & Field than I have, including Dr. Ken Foreman, Anne Timmons, Lynn Jennings, Lance Harter, John Babington, Patrick Shane, Adam Goucher, Blake Russell, and Bill Roe.

Before signing off, I'd like to thank the various meet directors at the national championship meets for their help and feedback, along with the USA Track & Field staff, especially former staff members Tom Surber, Michael Cain and Aron McGuire, along with current staffers Jill Geer and Jim Estes for putting up with me for all these years.

I also want to thank the many men and women around the country and around the world who have covered Team USA and its athletes at various national and world championships.

Most of all, I'd like to thank the athletes and staff who have been cooperative whenever they've been asked to provide a quote or speak to the media, and to Cross Country Council chair Mike Scott and the entire committee for having faith in me.


PS--Have a great meet in Bend this weekend!

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