November 7, 2014
Contact: Jeff Darman
MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Lifetime Achievement Award Honors Fred
As a highlight of the Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting, past New York Road Runners Club President and New York City Marathon race director
Fred Lebow was announced as the MarathonFoto/Road Race Management Lifetime Achievement Award winner for 2014. The award was made for contributions to the sport of long distance road running over the course of a lifetime. Scores of nominations were received that read like a Who’s Who of running. The 10-member committee had the difficult task of reviewing the nominees and reducing the field to four finalists. In addition to Lebow, the finalists were: Dave McGillivray, Director of the Boston Marathon and many other events; Gar Williams, former RRCA and DC Road Runners President who founded the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Race and reinvigorated the RRCA; and Ted Corbitt, the father of accurate course measurement, an RRCA founder, 1952 U.S. Olympic marathoner and world-record setting ultra-marathoner.
“Tonight we honor a significant ‘game changer’--a person who really made a difference,” said Phil Stewart, editor and publisher of Road Race Management. “Fred Lebow is a most worthy winner of Road Race Management’s Lifetime Achievement award because his vision for a city-wide marathon changed distance running forever,” he added. Lebow led the NYRRC for over 20 years before succumbing to brain cancer in 1994.
The award was presented at the annual Road Race Management Race Directors’ Meeting at the keynote dinner November 7, in Hollywood, FL.
In presenting the award, Jeff Darman, a former RRCA President, past USATF board member and long-time race director said, “Fred Lebow created the stage for the masses
-- and the elites -- to perform. Prior to 1976, the New York City Marathon was a pretty typical running event with four loops inside Central Park
-- an unobtrusive venue for a few hundred hard-core participants. Lebow took the event out of the park and into all five boroughs in full view of the world’s greatest media market. His vision led to the birth of big city marathons worldwide. Under Fred's guidance, the New York Road Runners became the largest running club in the world and a leader in major event technology and organization. An uncanny marketer, when elite athletes complained of bloody feet when crossing the grating on the bridges in the marathon, Lebow went out and sold a sponsorship to a carpet company to place the world’s largest carpet over the grating on the 59th Street Bridge. Fred was a visionary and entrepreneur and was relentless in his quest to make New York the best it could be.”
Accepting the posthumous award on behalf of the Lebow family was his long-time friend and former New York Road Runner’s Director of Administration and Board Member, Brian Crawford.
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.