2017 Male Runner of the Year – Charlie JohnsonTom Findley, January 14, 2018
It is a real honor for me to even present this award. I am not a guy of the stature of many of you in here. I don’t have the stories or statistics to stand up here and give this great award. So, I was wondering why I was selected to present this. And suddenly it came to me. I was given this award because of the fierce rivalry that the winner and I have had for the last few years. I looked at a few race statistics and I realized that in every race that this guy and I have entered together, either he or I had won every single one of them. True statistic!
It’s not hard to guess who the winner of this award is. If it were Triathlete of the Year, he’d be at the top. If it were biker of the year, he’d win. If it were swimmer of the year, he’d win. Heck, if there was a Mr. Congeniality, he’d win that, too.
If you haven’t guessed it by now, I can tell you that he had the most overall grand prix points in the track club and he had the most overall grand prix points in tri club. In addition, he kicked butt in the Boston Marathon. He ran a 2:47. I thought about that and I looked at my time from the Cleveland Mile (which is straight downhill to Proof Brewery, so I don’t think there is more incentive for me) and I multiplied it by 26 and that time still wouldn’t have beaten this guy’s marathon time in Boston.
And if that weren’t enough, he was off to the World Championships of Triathlon in Kona, Hawaii, where he again kicked butt with an amazing 9:47 time. And that’s 2.4 mile swim; 112 mile bike through lava fields; and a marathon at the end. Amazing!
If you still haven’t guessed it, I will tell you that he is also a prolific syrup maker. He is also a Georgia “Bulldawg.” Of course, I’m a Gator fan and after getting bludgeoned by Georgia in Jacksonville this year, I was barked at by every Georgia fan I saw. I think the Dawgs think it is flattering. So, instead of clapping, let’s congratulate Charlie Johnson with a round of barking, as we honor him with the Runner of the Year award. (barking applause).