With the announcement today by the Western States Board of Directors that the search has begun for the successor to the retiring RD, Greg Soderlund, after the 2013 race, I thought it might be interesting to take a little stroll back in time and look at who the previous RDs and presidents of the board have been.
Recall that Gordy ran the trail for the first time in 1974 in conjunction with the Tevis Cup. In 75 and 76 only one runner ran with the horses each year and only Ken Cowman Shirk was able to get all the way to Auburn. In 1977 16 runners competed in the first Western States Endurance Run, and even though they ran with the horses, the runners had separate aid stations (3) and their own medical director (Dr. Bob Lind). Soon after the 1977 race, the independent Western States Endurance Run non-profit was founded and in 1978 the new board of trustees conducted the race a month before the horse race. We’ ve had an independent race every year except 2008 when fires resulted in the only cancellation.
Here is the list of RDs as found in old race programs, etc.
[updated December 2020]
74-76 Wendell Robie (Tevis Ride)
77 Gordy Ansleigh
78-81 Mo Livermore & Shannon Weil
82-83 Mo Livermore
84 Bob Suter & Shannon Weil
85 Jerry Holm, Curt Sproul, Bob Suter
86-94 Helen and Norm Klein
95-99 Norm Klein
00-12 Greg Soderlund
13-present Craig Thornley
And here are the presidents of the board of trustees.
78-86 Curt Sproul
87-91 Doug Latimer
92-96 Tony Rossmann
97-00 Charles Savage
01-05 John Medinger
06-10 Tim Twietmeyer
11-15 John Trent
16-19 John Medinger
20-present Diana Fitzpatrick
If you want to be the next RD you need to get your resume and letters in by December 1 of this year.
More history can be found at the WS site or the The History Of Western States by Norm Klein, originally written for Marathon and Beyond. Or you can read my Ten Best WS Races post for a more competitive angle.