- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 29, 2004

Road Runners Club of America, the Alexandria-based nonprofit organization that promotes long distance running in America with more than 600 member clubs and 130,000 individual runners, is set to announce the hiring of Becky Lambros as its new executive director.

Lambros, a familiar face on the Washington running scene, said yesterday that she has not yet signed the letter of agreement but soon would be heading the embattled organization.

Lambros, a resident of Eldersburg in Carroll County, Md., would not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding her hiring but instead deferred to Bee Andrews, an RRCA director at large from Norfolk who headed the search committee. Andrews would not elaborate either but said a news release will go out tomorrow concerning the position.

Lambros is best known for her tireless work as volunteer coordinator of the Cherry Blossom 10-Miler. She said she has worked in some capacity on the race since 1979, six years after the event made its debut in West Potomac Park. She has served on the race board for the past 10 years.

“This is rough timing,” said Lambros, 50, currently in the throes of securing volunteers for the April4 race. “I would have to start with RRCA after Cherry Blossom.”

Lambros will take over from interim executive director Ed Demoney, who has served since David Dobrzynski resigned under pressure last summer.

Dobrzynski was hired to transform RRCA from a grass-roots organization into one with more of a corporate structure capable of attracting major sponsorship. During his tenure the RRCA board split and one faction started a competing organization, American Association of Running Clubs. One of the major issues separating the two organizations was how to assess membership fees.

There has been a movement afoot to merge RRCA and AARC, which would be one of Lambros’ major challenges. Financial issues also persist.

Lambros comes in with some management experience. After receiving her undergraduate degree in physical education from Youngstown State, she earned her MBA. She went on to posts at the YMCA and Epilepsy Foundation before taking a position eight years ago as manufacturer’s rep for several lines of jewelry so she could have the flexibility to raise her son, Adam.

She considered herself a part-time runner, competing in local 5Ks and 10Ks, including Pike’s Peek in Rockville. But now “it’s broken, I’m injured,” said Lambros. “I was a weekend runner. I wouldn’t call it a running career.”

Rising star — Much attention at the USA Indoor Championships in Boston is on Jen Toomey, who ran an American record 2 minutes, 34.19 seconds in the 1,000 and placed behind Great Britain’s Kelly Holmes in Birmingham, England. The previous American record of 2:35.29 was set in 2000 by Regina Jacobs in Boston.

But although Toomey’s feat was impressive, there was another story in that 1,000-meter race: 2000 Olympic gold 800-meter medalist Maria Mutola of Mozambique saw her 22-race winning streak end as she clipped the heels of Holmes, fell and did not finish the race.

Second chance — If you missed the clinic for officials in Alexandria a few weeks back and would like to get certified, there will be a new USATF Officials Certification Clinic next Sunday at Linganore High School in Frederick, Md., from 1 to 6p.m. Interested persons are advised to go online at usatf.org and become a USATF member before coming to the clinic. For more information: [email protected]

Marathon trials in New York? — The New York Road Runners Club will begin exploring various options in hopes of being host for the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials, NYRR president and CEO Allan Steinfeld recently told a gathering of New York Track Writers.

“There are several scenarios that could work, from holding the trials race as part of the 2007 New York City Marathon, as a separate race the day before on marathon weekend or even putting on the trials in the early spring of 2008,” said Steinfeld, who attended the U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials in Birmingham, Ala., earlier this month.

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