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RRTC Ted Corbitt Award – 2015 Winners

This award is given in honor of Ted Corbitt to a person who has demonstrated a superior level of skill, consistency and competency in course measurement and certification over a sustained, extended period of years.

2015 Winners – Tom & Mary Anne McBrayer, Pete Riegel, Sally & Wayne Nicoll, Paul Hronjak

2015 award recipients
Award recipients at 2015 Annual Meeting. Left to right: Mike Wickiser (accepting for Pete Riegel), Tom McBrayer, Mary Anne McBrayer, Carol McLatchie (accepting for Sally and Wayne Nicoll).

Tom and Mary Anne McBrayer

    By 1984, Tom and Mary Anne weren’t able to run anymore, but wanted to stay involved with running. That’s when Tom began to measure courses, and bought his first Jones Counter for $20. Some time after that Mary Anne began to act as second measurer, and in 1986, when a biking accident broke all the bones in Tom’s pelvis, she measured, with the help of a friend, some courses on her own. It was sometime after that that she began to act as an escort, driving behind Tom as they measured between 2:30 and 4:30 a.m., covering his back every mile of the way. In that fashion, they measured all the Houston Marathon courses from 1984 to 2012.
    Between 1984 and 2012, Tom measured 648 courses, placing him third among all-time measurers.
    In June 1988, Tom became Texas State Certifier and between then and 2014 certified 3563 Texas courses. For a period in the 90’s, he was also certifier for Louisiana.
    Tom became RRTC Vice-Chair West in August 1992, turning it over to Gene Newman in summer 2004.
    In 1992, the Women’s Olympic Trials were held in Houston on a course Tom and Mary Anne had measured. They were also involved in the validation of that course, arranging for facilities for five women measurers to do the job. At that time Mary Anne also was race manager for the women competing in the Trials.
    Tom and Mary Anne published their first newsletter for Texas measurers in October 1988, based on Measurement News published by Pete Riegel. Measure Up is in its 28th year, with three issues each year.
    Tom and Mary Anne also produced two versions (January 1992 and 2001) of Measurement Video, a visual guide to the sport of course measuring, which is now available through rrtc.net.
    Their last Houston marathon course was measured to certain specifications for the 2012 Men’s and Women’s Olympic Trials. They worked on this three-loop course for over a year and it passed validation in September 2011.
    Tom and Mary Anne are also proud of the special relation they developed with Special Operations of the Houston Police Department. Every time they had a course validated, they were able to provide a police escort, which can be hard to come by in other cities.
    No longer “on the road,” Tom and Mary Anne plan to continue working with Texas measurers for some time yet.

Tom and Mary Anne McBrayer presented award
Tom and Mary Anne McBrayer receiving the award from RRTC Chairman Gene Newman (right).

Pete Riegel

    Pete Riegel’s education as a Mechanical Engineer led him to a love of numerical data. His love of running led him to a love of accurately measured road race courses. He first began measuring road race courses in 1982. By ’84 Pete was the Certifier for Ohio and several other states and was a member of the LA Olympic Marathon measurement team. In 1986 Pete was named Chairman of the Road Running Technical Council. Having written a measurement manual for Ohio regional measurers he contributed heavily to the original course measurement manual. An updated version is currently in use as the Bible for course measurement. In 1989 he was named IAAF/AIMS International Measurement Administrator for the Americas.
    Early on Pete saw the need for communication and started Measurement News, acting as creator and editor until 2006 when he founded the electronic version, the RRTC Course Measurement Bulletin Board.
    During Pete’s tenure, he measured 279 US courses and 38 foreign courses. He certified 1536 US courses, wrote one measurement book and co-wrote five measurement manuals.
    Following his commitment to open communication among measurers and the running community, Pete also conducted 23 seminars, bringing measurers and prospective measurers from all over the world together to learn from one another and share information. All in the continual effort to build an informed network of high performance measurers.
    Pete’s hard work in measurement and open sharing of measurement experience has built a USATF system of certified courses that eclipses anything else in the world. His workshops help share the calibrated bicycle method around the globe.
    As much a numbers guy as Pete is, his accomplishments in fostering course certification and providing information and inspiration to measurers and measurement around the world cannot be quantified.
    Truly one of the founding fathers of accurately measured “Certified Road Courses” along with Ted Corbitt, Pete Riegel is due the recognition that is the USATF/RRTC Ted Corbitt Award.

Pete Riegel presented award
Pete Riegel (left) receiving the award from Mike Wickiser.

Sally and Wayne Nicoll

    When Wayne retired in 1977 after 20 years in the Army he turned his attention to his long time favorite activity of road running. Together with Sally he opened a runners store and began building a running program in their adopted hometown of Augusta, GA. By the early 1980's he had formed a running club and developed a full schedule of events giving birth to his certification efforts which continued until 2007 when health issues necessitated his stopping. During those active years Wayne measured in excess of 500 courses. Wayne was selected as VC-East for RRTC in 1986 and served in that capacity until 1996. Over those years he temporarily filled the role of Regional Certifier for GA, AL, SC,TN, LA and later ME, NH, and VT as he trained and sought replacements to fill those roles.
    Wayne participated in numerous validations including the 1988 course for the Olympic Trials in Race Walk and the Marathon, the 1992 and 1996 Olympic Marathon Trials and oversaw the measurement for the 1996 Race Walk in Atlanta. His continuing efforts earned him an A rating as an AMS / IAAF measurer.
    Wayne was a communicator and as such conducted numerous measurement clinics for running clubs and spoke to civic and social clubs throughout the Southeast as well as Jamaica and Mexico on the merits of measurement. He also wrote regular columns for Running Journal (SC) and Running in Georgia magazines explaining and supporting certification. He contributed to the 1989 Course Measurement Manual and together with Sally to the 1985 Finish Line Manual.
    Sally Nicoll worked with Wayne on many of his measurements providing back-up safety, recording points, and assisting with landmarking. In June 1985 she accompanied the team measuring a new NYC Marathon course and the idea was born to form a team of all women to pre-validate the course for the 1988 Women's Olympic Marathon Trials in Pittsburgh. With approval from RRTC Sally took full responsibility for the project, selecting the participants and seeing they were trained and ready. She coordinated all aspects of the project from travel to final reporting. The effort was a great success. In 1992 she spearheaded a Women's Team once again for the Women's Olympic Trials in Houston which was hosted by the McBrayers. Four years later she passed the baton to Carol McLatchie for the Olympic Trials in Columbia, SC and again in 1996.
    In 1986 Sally was appointed Validations Chair where she served as the catalyst for the recognition of records through the validation process bringing about a successful experience for both athletes and sponsors. She retired from her role in 1992 to attend to family.

Sally and Wayne Nicoll
Sally and Wayne Nicoll.

Paul Hronjak

    Paul was a mainstay early on in the administration of the Road Running Technical Council in USATF (and TAC). He began measuring road race courses in 1980 and has 328 certified courses currently listed on the USATF database. In 1996, he was appointed NC Certifier where he oversaw the certification of more than 2,000 courses. He also served for a time as Validations Chair and was on the team that validated the Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials in 1996 and 2000. In 2002, he was appointed RRTC Vice-Chair East, a position he held until shortly before his passing in 2012. In addition to his RRTC service, Paul was President of USATF NC, was active in RRCA as record-keeper in Ohio and later in North Carolina. He was also a longtime active board member of the organization that sponsors the Southeastern US Masters Track and Field Meet in Raleigh, where the Horizontal Jump award has been named in his honor. A lifelong participant and supporter of the sport, Paul served as a certified masters level official in collegiate track and field meets and volunteered at countless road racing events.

Paul Hronjak
Paul Hronjak.
Rowena Hronjak receiving award
Rowena Hronjak, Paul’s widow (right), receiving the award from Dick Forbis.

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