Atlanta Track Club Announces Common Ground Initiative
Club to Facilitate, Encourage and Provide Space for Conversations on Race
ATLANTA – July 21, 2020 −Atlanta Track Club, a non-profit with a mission of improving the health of Atlanta through running and walking, is asking Atlantans to slow down, pause their stopwatches and take a seat for a conversation on race. The Club on Tuesday announced its Common Ground initiative, a program designed to educate and inform its staff, leadership and members on issues of social justice and anti-racism.
Atlanta Track Club will give benches made from recycled water bottles used at the 50th Running of the AJC Peachtree Road Race to local non-profits, schools, parks, public institutions and partner corporations throughout the Metro Atlanta area. The benches – part of the Club’s existing efforts on environmental stewardship − will be used as a designated space for learning about the history and impact of systemic racism in the United States and listening to ways in which it might be dismantled.
“Following the murder of Ahmaud Arbery and far too many others, silence and complacency is unacceptable,” said Rich Kenah, Atlanta Track Club’s Executive Director. “As runners ourselves, Arbery’s death here in Georgia undermines our core belief that no one should fear for their life when they step out the door for run. Today, we commit to being an anti-racist voice and that begins with listening.”
Kenah and other members of the Club’s Diversity & Inclusion Commission are embarking on a listening tour, engaging in conversations with leaders who run with a focus on Black members of the running community. These conversations will be posted on YouTube and offered as podcasts. The first conversation, with Bob Holmes, longtime Georgia legislator and founding member of the South Fulton Running Partners, was released today. Holmes told Kenah that running as a sport can lead the way in making the world a better place.
“I’ve never really had any problem with anybody that I have been running with that is a different color than I am,” said Holmes. “I don’t know what it is about runners, but it creates a neat feeling among people. We are all interested in health. We are all interested in sisterhood and brotherhood. And we are all interested in achieving the same goal of keeping us healthy and safe.”
Founded in 1979, the South Fulton Running Partners is the nation’s oldest Black running club. Atlanta Track Club hosts a 12K road race in conjunction with the organization each January.
You can watch the complete interview with Holmes here or listen to on Atlanta Track Club’s Soundcloud page or on iTunes or Google Play.
Atlanta Track Club will be contacting organizations and groups to offer the opportunity to place one of the benches on their properties. Organizations interested in receiving a bench can also email firstname.lastname@example.org. In total, the Club hopes to place more than 20 benches as part of its Common Ground initiative.
Atlanta Track Club has also announced updates to its diversity and inclusion statement, which can be found here.
About Atlanta Track Club
Atlanta Track Club is a nonprofit committed to creating an active and healthy Atlanta. Through running and walking, Atlanta Track Club motivates, inspires and engages the community to enjoy a healthier lifestyle.
With more than 30,000 members, Atlanta Track Club is the second largest running organization in the United States. In addition to the AJC Peachtree Road Race (peachtreeroadrace.org) – the largest 10K in the world, the Publix Atlanta Marathon, PNC Atlanta 10 Miler and Invesco QQQ Thanksgiving Day Half Marathon, Atlanta Track Club directs more than 30 events per year. Through the support of its members and volunteers, Atlanta Track Club also maintains a number of community initiatives including organizing and promoting the Kilometer Kids youth running program to metro Atlanta youth, honoring high school cross country and track and field athletes through Atlanta Track Club’s All-Metro Banquets and supporting the Grady Bicycle EMT program. For more information on Atlanta Track Club, visit atlantatrackclub.org.
MESSAGE FROM ELLIOTT DENMAN
I love track and field.
I love its total inclusiveness – there’s something in it for everybody.
It’s been that way seemingly forever.
It’s been the most democratic of pastimes in our nation virtually from Day One.
And I’m oh-so-proud to remind you that our own Shore Athletic Club has been doing it all so-very-well dating back to its own origins in the early 1930s.
While others – other sports, other athletic clubs – were brainlessly drawing ethnic boundaries and imposing participation limitations of one thoughtless kind or other, Shore AC was always there to take the opposite route, as a great shining example of what America really-truly/ oh-so-surely should be.
If ever there was an All-American track and field team, that was Shore AC then and that is what Shore AC is now.
That make me very-very-very proud and I hope it makes all of us just as
very-very-very proud as I am right now and will forever continue to be.
These, of course, are doubly challenging days.
We’ve been self-contained since mid-March. We still have no clear idea when we’ll be able to resume all our great activities – staging meets and races that provide huge opportunities to the whole world; fielding and supporting Varsity and Masters and Age-Group teams and then sending them out to compete against all their contemporaries, and setting one tremendous example to all of our communities.
We certainly hope you’ve been “hanging in there” best you can – one way or another.
We know how anxious you surely are to return to a degree of normalcy.
But until that great day comes, and our nation truly embraces the one-for-all, all-for-one view of all things, that our club and our sport represent so very well, let’s just continue doing all we can to weather the storm.
Yes, yes, yes, let's hope that the rest of the nation can do it as well as we have been doing all along.
Track and field metaphors seem to deliver this message best. This is not a sprint but a marathon. There are high hurdles to clear. All bars must be set high. And we can’t possibly do it alone. Life is a relay race forever. The baton is in your hands, and mine.
Run strongly, run bravely, dear Shore AC teammates.
Written from home, June 3, 2020
To Our Illustrious Shore AC Teammates:
Let me say that I hope you've all been enduring these toughest of times as best you can and "hanging in there"
in true Shore AC spirit of optimism and enthusiasm for a much better immediate future.
Be well, be safe, be strong, be cheerful. be ready to resume full-fledged action when the all-clear message is sounded,
We know that lots of you are putting this "confinement time" to postive use by catching up on a whole lot of things around the house that have been in "delay mode" for quite a while.
That certainly is the case around the Denman home.
As you may have guessed, I have amassed a huge array of "great stuff" from track meets and road races and
ballgames and athletic events of all kind from all my travels, around the state, the nation, and locations far beyond for the past six decades and more.
It consists of books and programs and magazines and lots more. "Great stuff" from local and national events all the way up to the Olympic Games and World Championships. And that is why we are starting the Shore AC Library. Over 20 boxes of it have been brought to Harry Nolan's home in Middletown Township where Harry fortunately has room - for now - for this material in his office and garage.
We hope to get it collated and organized at some time not too far down the road. Harry also envisions this material having a more permanent home, and a more accessible home, in the future, perhaps at a Monmouth County Library facilty, which would be wonderful. Another thought would be to find a home for all this at a college or university facility. That would be an excellent idea, too.
If any of you out there are at all interested in any aspect of this project, please let us know. You would be perfectly welcome to borrow items or perhaps find another home for them. All reasonable suggestions would be welcomed.
So there we are. Please let us know if you are at all interested in any aspect of this Shore AC Library project!!
It was a great day, and a very competitive and thrilling relay right down to the last fifty yards. Good running with
social distancing showed that we can be safe and still run small events. The following are the splits from Mo,
and total team times: Out own Penn Relays.
Race: Shore A.C. Intramural 4 x 400 meter relay
Date: May 2, 11:30 am, CBA track
Temp: 60 degrees, slight wind
Team "A" Team "B"
Brian Hill - 65.35 Greg Calhoun - 62.17
Bob Andrews - 67:91 Hal Leddy - 74.79
Harry Nolan - 75.98 John Kilduff - 73.67
Scott Linnell - 75.73 Tony Plaster - 76.49
Team Times: 4:45.97 4:47.12
Big thanks to Hoyle "Mo" Mozee for taking the time to come and time the event with splits.
Looking forward to another relay perhaps in a few weeks either at 4 x 800 or even a
possible DM. Lot of fun with the club masters.
THANK YOU TO HARRY NOLAN FOR ORGANIZING!!
SANTEE, CALIFORNIA - When the going got tough in the quadrenially-staged USA Olympic Trials 50-Kilometer Racewalk, the five Shore AC entries truly got tough and got going.
The five entrants made Shore AC the best-represented club in the nation in this grueling
31.1-mile test of willpower and determination, efficiency and expert technique, staged over
a loop course on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020 in this Southern California community.
All five finished the race - directed by the celebrated Mr. Tracy Sundlun - wIth honor and distinction. The performances of all five, 3000 miles away from the club's East Coast base, brought immense pride to all their Shore AC teammates, who are well aware of the club's historic role of racewalking leadership over the past five and a half decades.
Anthony J. "A.J." Gruttadauro, a recent graduate of West Virginia Tech, was first Shore ACwalker over the line, placing fourth in four hours, 42 minutes and 31 seconds.
Immediately behind A.J. with a 4:47.00 clocking in the concurrently staged Women's USATF National
Championship, was Shore AC teammate Erin Taylor-Taylor, second placer in the women's event.
For the past half-decade, and more, Erin has been a ceaseless advocate for the staging of the 50K as a
standard event for women - as well as men - in global and hemisphere championship meets. Her stirring efforts - surely helped along by attorney Paul DeMeester, led to the women's 50K being included in the World Championships of London (2017) and Doha (2019) but - most disppointingly - no success yet in getting the 50K onto the Tokyo/Sapporo program for August 2020.
Placing sixth of the men in a gallant 5:02:01 was USAF Airman Michael Mannozzi of Shore AC. Hugely busy in his meteorolgical studies, the new airman has had little time to train properly. He nevertheless "hung in there" for a top-six finish.
One place behind in seventh was Shore AC veteran Dave Talcott, whose 5:06:51 performance also won the Masters 55-59 divisional title.
"Anchoring" the Shore AC delegation, with a 6:26:48 finish, was club veteran star Barry Blake, who set a personal 30K record en route. Now a retired engineer, Blake has found more training time, resulting in improving performances and technique at all distances from one mile up.
Over-all winners were Andreas Gustafsson (4:12:11) for the men and Robyn Stevens (4:37:31) for the women.
All these 50K people ask the rest of the track and field world to remember this: their event is nearly five miles further than the marathon distance of 26.2 miles. They are the grittiest of the gritty, the
toughest-minded of all in their sport.
--- By ELLIOTT DENMAN,
As Shore AC "alumna" Ajee' Wilson was racing to the 11th - yes the 11th! - Senior
National title of her magnificent track career - and she's still just 25 years old - a parade
of Shore AC Varsity Team athletes was doing big things at the USA National
Indoor Track and Field Championships, the nationally-televised event (NBC and NBCSN)
at the Albuquerque Convention Center on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 14 and 15.
Ms. Wilson - the special pride of Neptune, NJ - and all of Shore AC, too - easily
vanquished her top rivals in the women's 800-meter final in 2:01.98. Even in ABQ's 5,000-foot
altitude, it seemed a breeze - a week after she'd lowered her American indoor record to 1:58.29 at the
Armory in NYC at the 113th edition of the NYRR Millrose Games.
Kaela Edwards was a not-close second in 2:02.41 and Monmouth University graduate
Allie Wilson - the former Shore AC intern now running for the Atlanta Track Club - claimed
third in 2:02.99, a major breakthrough into the National ranks.
From 2,000 miles away, we again cheered the great high jumping of Shore AC Varsity Team
star Amina Smith, the University of Maryland grad now training with SAC superb jumps mentor
Mike Pascuzzo. Only American record-holder/ World Outdoor medalist Vashti Cunningham, the
winner at 1.97 meters/ 6-5 1/2 could outleap our Amina, who went over the bar at 1.90 / 6-2 3/4 for
yet another National medal in her great career.
Shore AC veteran Brandon Roulhac once again proved he could triple jump with the very best
as he came through with a 16.49/ 54-1 1/4 hop-step-jump to claim sixth place, just 0.62 back of winner
Placing ninth in the women 's 3000-meter racewalk at 15:03.53 was Shore AC stalwart Chelsea Conway.
Making his debut as a Shore AC representative on the National scene was star shot putter Corey Martin,
the former multi-IC4A champion for Monmouth University. In a brilliant competition that saw Olympic champion
Ryan Crouser bomb it out to 22.60/ 74-1 3/4, number two mark on the all-time indoor list,
Murphy ranked 15th on the star-studded list with a toss of 18.93 /62- 1 3/4,
Also in the SP was SAC invitee Josh Awotunde, fifth-placer at 20.15-66-1 1/2.
The women's weight throw saw UCLA junior Alyssa Wilson's big breakthrough, all the way up to
second place with a superb throw of 22.80/ 74-9 3/4. The former Donovan Catholic HS of Toms River super star
also placed 10th in the SP at 16.65- 54-7 1/2.
Brianna Stratz, Allie Wilson's Monmouth U. teammate and still her teammate (with Atlanta Track Club) ran third
in her 800 heat at 2:09.80 and did not advance.
Indoor Nationals notes: This meet was held at Staten Island's Ocean Breeze in 2019 and was originally slated to return
there in 2020, only to see it moved away - for reasons never fully announced - and off to New Mexico...And with no
World Indoor Championships to aspire to - the World meet, booked for Nanjing, China, was cancelled after the
Coronavirus outbreak - this became a major focus for many heading into the Olympic Year 2020 outdoor season.
Great news from Annapolis!!! An impressive performance by Andrew Ghizzone this past weekend. "It was very thrilling to see the 1,000 meter run," stated long time Shore AC member and grandpa, Bill Richardson! This was the event to put Andrew in 5th place overall after taking 2nd in pole vault to bring him form 10th to 7th and then with the 1,000 to 5th. Excellent job, Andrew!! Keep up the great work and thank you representing the club so well!!
Dear Shore AC Athletes:
Your club whirled through the fabulous Ocean Breeze facility on Staten Island yesterday and piled up more points that there are grains of sand along the shore. OK, that’s a heap of hyperbole. We did, though, garner 26% of 1,796 points awarded in the meet. That towered over the second-place club’s 9% take.
Shore AC men ruled the beach. Our 381 points far outstripped the 104 points accumulated by the second-place men’s squad. We employed a wide range of talent, from fresh-faced surfers to ancient mariners. A summary of individual and relay team accomplishments appears below.
Meanwhile, a small contingent of Shore AC women created mighty waves. Their amazing 82 points notched third place within a tumultuous field of 14 clubs. You will find their shining accomplishments listed below as well.
Congratulations to every one of our athletes who contributed!
Team Captain, Shore AC LDR Progra
USATF-NJ/NY Dual Meet Results: Individual here; club here.
Shore AC Men: Individual events:
Name Age Event Time Points earned
TJ 8.02m 10
5000M 25:02.5 8
3000M 14:54.8 10
5000M 20:50.3 10
400M 1:09.5 10
LJ 4.08m 10
Shore AC Men: Relay events:
Shore AC Women: Individual events:
Name Age Event Time Points earned
Larry ramirez placed 1st in the 800M race at the gotham classic in 1:54.2. larry led from the start and ran strong!! way to go, larry!!!
abbott becomes a national champion this past weekend!!!! congrats Jess! kudos to teammate lilah gordon for a standout perofrmance too!