GWTC Male Runner of the Year – Kevin SullivanPresented by David Yon
One of my earliest encounters with our next award winner left me unsure whether to be really excited or think – maybe he suffered from Oxygen Debt a little too often.
I parked my car and entered a room that wasn’t fit for much of anything. The walls were barren and multi-colored as they were partially painted. Looking around the room I wondered “Will this place be here in November?”
After a number of years hauling boxes up and down stairs and elevators and having to beg for space at Governors Square Mall, the idea of having a place that welcomed us for Turkey Trot registration seemed wonderful. But it took a little trust to believe all would be ready to go come November.
Turn the clock forward to October of 2011 and there was no doubt about year 2. The first year with Capital City Runners was a huge success and the store owners and employees gave of their time and space to make Turkey Trot registration run as smooth as possible. All the walls had shelves and paint and the store was going strong. It was great to be able to leave the store at night without having to break down tables and carry boxes of shirts down to storage.
But now there was a bigger question before we could declare someone there Runner of the Year. Anyone can run a 3:50 mile (can’t they). But what happens when they have to climb the hill to the Beadle house at Tall Timbers during the Pine Run 20K. Can they run past the finish line for another mile, climbing another giant hill? The answer of course was yes (or he would not be receiving the award) – just ask Dana Stetson as our winner went blasting by Dana who became the “following bike” instead of the lead bike.
Our winner undoubtedly has the best life time credentials of any male or female to win this award. He was a sub 4:00 minute miler in high school. And he was an Olympic finalist (5th) in the 1500 in 2000. He also made the World Championship team for Canada 8 straight years. His personal bests include 1500m: 3:31.71, Mile: 3:50.26, 3000m: 7:40.17, 5000m: 13:19.27 and 10k: 28:13.
In addition to the Pine Run our winner competed in 9 grand prix races to win the overall title he won the top grand prix spot in the Run for the Cookies 5K, TRBC 5K, Springtime 10K, Tails and Trails, BOT, Miller Landing Madness, WDF, Boston Mini Marathon. He also won each of these races out right except for Springtime and Turkey Trot.
But runner of the year is about much more than running fast. We all appreciate the chance to watch our 2011 Runner of the Year run fast. But far more than that, we appreciate not having to lug boxes around. We appreciate the support of our running community with sponsorships, advice and gift certificates. We appreciate an Olympian who doesn’t think he is too good to run in our races. And most of all we appreciate him bringing us a running store we can call home.
Please join me in congratulating Kevin Sullivan, our 2011 GWTC Runner of the Year.