A committee made up of race directors, athletes, media, corporate executives and club officials has named Flying Pig Marathon Director Iris Simpson Bush the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year.
Bush was honored at a reception at the Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting in St. Petersburg, FL on November 9. Electric City Printing presents this award.
“Once again we had a remarkable group of nominees, and Iris emerged as the winner,” said Road Race Management President Phil Stewart. Described by Bill Rodgers as “the Gold Medal of race directing,” the award is one of the most prestigious honors in the sport of road racing. “Anyone nominated should be proud of their accomplishments,” said Stewart.
In presenting the award Stewart said, “Let’s harken back for a moment to Fred Lebow, our first winner in 1987. Working with the tableau of arguably the world’s most famous city, he took the New York City Marathon out of Central Park and put it on display for the entire city to see. His passion and single-mindedness for New York City and the marathon were legendary. Others who followed in his footsteps took his model and molded it to their own communities. That is the key. Around the world Big City Marathons became expressions of the flavor of the cities that embraced them. They were not cookie cutter versions of New York; they were – and are – reflections of their unique urban environments.”
Our winner this year definitely fits this mold. A native of her event’s city, she was walking two miles on the streets from home to school at age six, was working in a local department store at 17. A decade later she was selling ads for a local radio station. Her passion for sales and her city made her a natural to take the helm of the city’s marathon in 1999 at a time when it attracted about 9,000 entrants. Then she went to work.
“Over the past 19 years, the event has grown to over 40,000 participants in a variety of events, has raised more than $17 million for charities – locally and nationally by supporting more than 300 charities each year, and, perhaps most satisfying given her local roots, it generates a $12 million annual economic impact in her community.
“It takes a true visionary and enthusiast to take an event branded with ‘swine’ (a nod to the city’s past moniker of ‘porkopolis’) and have it be recognized as one the best-named brands in the country, along with creating a true hometown celebration which also happens to attract participants from all 50 states. For these accomplishments, it gives me great pleasure to bestow the 2017 MarathonFoto/RRM Race Director of the Year Award, Presented by Electric City Printing, to Iris Simpson Bush, director of the Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon.”
The MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year award (presented by Electric City Printing) is made annually to recognize and promote excellence in race directing. Nominees were judged on several factors, including overall ability, reputation of race, creativity and organizational ability. For a list of previous recipients, visithttp://www.rrm.com/act/rdm/ rdypast.asp.
Road Race Management (www.rrm.com) is a member-based organization that publishes a newsletter and many other publications designed for race and industry professionals, and conducts a prestigious annual national race directors’ meeting and trade show in Florida. MarathonFoto (www.marathonfoto.com) is the world’s largest race photography company. Electric City Printing (www.eprint.com) is an FSC certified printer known for high quality, quick turnaround, race numbers and commercial/digital printing.