November 10, 2011
Contact: Jeff Darman 
              (610.299.4436 Cell)

Don Kardong Named 2011 MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year

A review committee made up of race directors, athletes, media, corporate executives and club officials charged with selecting the 2011 MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year has named Don Kardong, Director of the Lilac Bloomsday Run (Spokane, WA) as the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Race Director of the Year.

Kardong was honored at a reception at the Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting in Hollywood, FL on November 10.  The award is presented by Electric City Printing.

“We had a large and very impressive field of well-qualified candidates from around the world, the most impressive group of nominees in many years, and Don 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,” added Stewart.

In making the presentation Stewart said, “for all of our 24 previous honorees, being a race director was their badge of membership in the long distance running community.  Our 2011 Race Director of the Year is a little bit different – he cut his teeth in the sport as a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic team in the marathon, finishing 4th (three seconds out of third) in Montreal.”

After the Olympics Kardong went back to his hometown community and decided to share his love of the sport by founding a race in the spring of 1977.  He left the directing to others (although remaining a board member) and the event rapidly grew.   

With his attention to detail, creativity, knowledge of the event, roots in the running culture, and inter-personal and communications skills, he re-ignited enthusiasm for the event in Spokane, the country and around the world and in 2011 entries were nearly 57,000 in a city of 200,000.

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.  Previous recipients have included: Rafael Acosta (World’s Best 10K), Steve Bosley (Bolder Boulder), John Conley (LIVESTRONG Austin Marathon), Julia Emmons (AJC Peachtree Road Race), Ed Froehlich (Quad-City Times Bix 7), Chuck Galford (Cascade Run Off), Susan Harmeling (Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic), Jon Hughes (Disney Marathon), Bob Ingalls (Utica Boilermaker), Scott Keenan (Grandma’s Marathon), Fred Lebow (ING New York City Marathon), Philip Lockwood (Steamboat Classic), Jim Marino (Blue Cross Broad Street Run), Dave McGillivray (Boston Marathon), Rick Nealis (Marine Corps Marathon), Jeanette Parke (Publix Gasparilla Distance Classic), Carey Pinkowski (Bank of America Chicago Marathon), Earle Reed (Utica Boilermaker), Bill Reef (Bolder Boulder), George Regan (Freihofer’s Run for Women), Tracey Russell (Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K), Kathleen Sherman (New Balance Falmouth Road Race) Steve Shostrom (Steamboat Classic), Allan Steinfeld (ING New York City Marathon) and Harold and Louise Tinsley (Rocket City Marathon).

Road Race Management ( 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 ( is the world’s largest race photography company).  Electric City Printing, , ( a Consolidated Graphics company, is an FSC certified printer.  Event managers from around the world depend on Electric City for high quality, quick turnaround, race numbers and commercial/digital printing.

Road Race Management Race Directors' Meeting