USATF News & Notes: 1/5/2005

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    USATF hires Estes as LDR Programs Manager

    Former USATF Men’s Long Distance Running Chair Jim Estes has been hired by USA Track & Field to serve in the newly created position of Long Distance Running Manager.

    Estes will work closely with USATF’s LDR Sport Committees, as well as the Elite Athlete, Marketing, Events and Communications departments on LDR community outreach, LDR Championships promotion and service, and USA Running Circuit programs. Estes will contribute to marketing proposals and sponsor fulfillment related to LDR events and programs, and he will spearhead USATF’s LDR communications efforts, providing relevant information on the organization’s web site,

    Estes and his wife Camille have run their own running/walking specialty store, Fleet Feet Sports in Louisville, Kentucky, since June 1999. Estes has 12 years experience in event management and marketing, having directed several large road races in the Louisville area, including the 2003 and 2004 USA 10 Mile Championships.

    As USATF’s Men’s LDR Chair beginning in December 2003, Estes oversaw U.S. men’s distance running programs at the highest level, consulting with elite development programs, as well as grass roots association club programs, to further develop U.S. men’s distance running. Estes will begin his new duties on January 10.

    RRCA & AARC complete merger

    The Road Runners Club of America has announced the merger of the American Association of Running Clubs (AARC) and the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) effective January 1, 2005. The merger of the two organizations brings together more than 600 running clubs throughout the nation, dedicated to promoting and encouraging long distance running. Due to its wealth of history and excellent name recognition, the combined organization will be called the Road Runners Club of America.

    Throughout its 48 year history the RRCA has supported the sport of running through programs such as the Roads Scholar© effort directed at developing athletes, the Women’s Distance Festival, National Championships, children’s fitness programs and much more. The RRCA’s many publications on running are used by running enthusiasts throughout the United States. The merger with the AARC sets the stage for the RRCA, a revitalized national organization, to continue to support the sport of long distance running throughout the country.

    The Road Runners Club of America is a non-profit organization of more than 670 running clubs and 160,000 members across the United States. The RRCA member chapters organize races and training runs, provide safety guidelines, promote children’s and masters’ fitness running programs and offer social activities.

    Prep star & collegiate All-American Wright killed in Afghanistan

    A cross country and long-distance running star as both a prep and collegiate athlete, U.S. Army Sgt. Jeremy Robert Wright was killed Monday in Afghanistan when the Humvee vehicle he was riding in hit a roadside bomb near Kabul. He was 31.

    A graduate of Southwestern High School in Shelby, Indiana, Wright was the state high school boys 3,200m champion in 1992 and was a two-time All-American in cross country at Wabash College, where he won seven Indiana Collegiate Athletic Conference distance- running championships and is a member of the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. Wright attended Wabash on a four-year academic scholarship and graduated with honors with a degree in chemistry.

    The 1998 and 1999 winner of the Pikes Peak Ascent, a 13.32-mile race near Colorado Springs, up to an elevation of more than 14,000 feet, Wright also became an avid snowshoe racer, competing in 5 km and 10 km races.

    A member of the 1st Special Forces Group based in Fort Lewis, Wash., Wright enlisted in the Army 2 ½ years ago and had been stationed in Afghanistan for eight weeks. While in Afghanistan, Wright was allowed to go off-post to run in the mountains. Funeral services are pending.

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