The Origins of the Shenandoah Valley Track Club. - Mike Guinn 2010.
Capt. Robert Stevens, Don Glick, Tom Lough and Ray Funkhouser held the first official meeting of the Shenandoah Valley Track club in March 13, 1978.
The club's purpose was to encourage participation in track and field events. The club stressed development of character, good sportsmanship, and promoted healthy, worthwhile physical exercise. Club membership was open to everyone who shared these goals, regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin.
Those first organizers were community men who felt that "an official club" was needed to fulfill the above objectives. Capt. Stevens, now 80 years old, retired from the active Navy, and once had a running streak of more than 40 consecutive years of daily runs.
One son, Shane, has been the track coach at Bridgewater for the past 27 years. Another son, Bob, was the athletic director at Turner Ashby for many years.
Don Glick (now deceased), taught and coached at Montevideo HS for almost 30 years. The team won five state championships in track and field.
Tom Lough, one of Glick’s students, attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and competed in the 1968 Olympics in the modern pentathlon.
Ray Funkhouser became an outstanding race walker and competed for a spot on the Olympic team.
Three others who have kept the club going for the past 30 years are local residents David Frye and Lynn Smith, and Maryland resident Mike Kidd.
Frye, who ran for the University of South Carolina, said “I ran my first 10K in a Lou Brock tennis shoe.” That race was a heart fundraiser; and the course went from what was then the John Wayland Elementary School, down Route 42 and ended at Godwin Hall at JMU. There he met other club members and joined the club. His finish time was 46 minutes. Though he doesn’t run now because of injuries, he is a head judge and head inspector for Spottswood High School at state meets. He also coached at Turner Ashby and is an assistant treasurer for SVTC.
Smith ran for University of Tennessee and in the Olympic Trials; and Kidd was an outstanding runner in Bridgewater in the early 70s.
I, Joe Rudmin, would add that Mike Kidd organized the Downtown 10K in Harrisonburg in the late 1970's, and the SVTC summer meets at the old Turner Ashby High School in Dayton. The meets included a 5km race over the nearby gravel country roads, and included some nice hills. When Mike Kidd left, local High School coaches such as Steven May and Gary Bugg kept the SVTC going, especially with the summer meets. In the late 1990's Joe Showker and Lynn Smith revived the SVTC, and preserved many of the races including the summer meets now at Eastern Mennonite University and the Turkey Run in Bridgewater, which offers frozen turkeys for awards. Joe Showker created the SVTC website www.valleytrack.org, and continues to maintain the information on high school races on this website. Joe Showker helped to create the Harrisonburg 10 Miler 2000-2002. At that time there were only a few races in the Harrisonburg area. Since then, the number of area races have multiplied until there is a race almost every weekend, and many summer weekends have multiple races. Shortly after the demise of the Harrisonburg 10 Miler, the SVTC was again revived under the leadership of long time member Mike Guinn and several new members, including Rich Ruozzi, Anieta McCracken, Butch Proctor, John Welsh, and Jeff Campbell. They created the Mountain Valley 10 Miler, and they assist with many local races. Jeff Campbell created a few races starting from his home near Elkton. Until 2011, these members were the officers of the SVTC. In 2012, David Law became vice president and and Mary Jo Saunders succeeded Anieta McCracken as Secretary. Through these changes in leadership, Mike Guinn and Dave Frye have provided continuity, service, and good advice over the many decades.
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