Friday March 18, 2016 at the 58th Annual Road Runners Club of America Convention in Dallas, Texas, Ann Arbor Track Club President, Mitch Garner, was unanimously voted President of the RRCA.
“It was a proud moment for the Ann Arbor Track Club,” applauds Club Secretary, Ellen Nitz.
It was also an important milestone for the future of running. RRCA is the oldest and largest national association of running organizations dedicated to growing the sport; it strives to advance the development of community-based running clubs and events that serve runners of all ages and abilities in pursuit of health and competition.
As RRCA broadens its force in communities widespread, never has the need for Garner’s passion, leadership and authentic humble approach been so valuable.
“Mitch is the right man for the job,” professes Olympic Gold Medalist, Frank Shorter.
“Consistent and diplomatic, Mitch has the ability to get along with everyone; he knows what he wants and is so transparent, people want and are willing to do things for him.”
The perfect storm to be “the driving force of the RRCA.”
Further validating Shorter’s conviction, Garner has precise clarity on the needs of the RRCA and direction he plans to take, citing “three specific areas of improvement – outreach; stature; youth.
“We will continue to recruit clubs and organizations in each state to become RRCA members.
“We will continue to raise RRCA’s national stature as the leading voice of running in the USA, attend national running events and gain exposure on national media.
“We will continue to build relationships with young runners through Kids Run the Nation and ProCamp, while engaging running pioneers in serving as role models for youth runners.
“And underpinning these goals is the need for fundraising – the life blood of not-for-profit organizations.”
Yet despite the quiet confidence and intelligence Garner exudes, presidency was never his intention.
“I never dreamed this would happen to me. Unlike training for a big race, I never made a plan and said to myself, ‘If I do this, I might get elected to that.’ I never set out to get elected to anything. It just happened and I feel very blessed.”
Ellen Keefe-Garner, “First Lady of the RRCA,” substantiates, “Ever since I have known Mitch, he has been very, very passionate about running; his complete devotion has caused him to get involved in everything running.”
Passion, dedication, transparency, intelligence, modesty, experience – our White House should one day be so lucky.
But in the meantime, we can take comfort in our new First Lady’s insight –
“If it were up to Mitch, everyone would be involved in running. Mitch will definitely serve the RRCA well since the RRCA is going to allow Mitch to draw more people into the great sport of running!”
So one day, the band of happy, healthy runners Garner will continue to develop just might run our world.