Dick Patrick Wins George Hirsch Journalism Award, by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder

Finally, an award that recognizes the immense influence that George Hirsch has had on running journalism!  In my garage, I have a box with all of the issues from The Runner, one of the major reasons why I decided to get involved in running publishing. By the time George launched The Runner in 1979, I believe, he was considered one of the most innovative publishers in the big Apple. By the time I started working at Runners World in 1981-82, The Runner was taking a huge bit out of the advertising buys of Runners' World. With writers like Merrell Noden, Marc Bloom, Craig Masback, Kenny Moore and James Dunaway,  The Runner, championed by George Hirsch, changed the way the sport of running was viewed, written about and discussed. As the publisher of The Runner, then Runner's World, George mentored two generations of media professionals. He also took the combined books, under the RW mantle to heights never imagined. From 1986-2003, George published Runners World for Rodale Press. I am not sure that they truly appreciated that he took a challenging investment for Rodale and turned RW into an icon.

That the award recognizes Dick Patrick shows that some real thought went into the award. Since 1986, Dick Patrick, through his column in USA Today, and since 2004, with his column in American Track & Field has been the most read voice in our sport. Patrick is the archtyple journalist, a reporter who stays on the story until is properly covered. Dick Patrick is pretty
modest, but, in reading anything by Patrick it is obvious of two things: he loves the sport and
he takes his position as a mandate--for the sport to change, transparency is key.

I worked for George Hirsch for about two years, as RW and The Runner were fused. In retrospect, I must have drove George stark raving crazy. To his credit, he would always
keep his cool and found a way to help me focus my ADD driven days. Our conversations now
are fun, and his thoughtful notes make my day.

Kudos to the New York Road Runners for presenting this award at the ING New York
City Marathon. It adds another star onto the already star studded ING NYCM marathon
weekend. The George Hirsch Journalism Award will be given to Dick Patrick on November
5, 2010.


SYDNEY (AUS, Sep 15): All Stars meet in Sydney Olympic Park saw athletes arriving in hot-pink stretch Hummers, walking "the red carpet" and were given the full celebrity treatment as athletics met Hollywood. Australian media are writing. The night belonged to Olympic and World Champion Usain Bolt, who arrived in a Rolls Royce to the tune of "There Goes My Hero". Bolt was unable to compete in a truly-run 100m due to a recent back injury, but still anchored his team to victory in the celebrity 4 x 100m relay. World champion in discus Dani Samuels won her event with 61.90. Second US Olympic winner Stephanie Brown-Trafton (59.48) and third New Zealand's former world champion Beatrice Faumina (59.32). 17-year-old sprinter Nicholas Hough dazzled the crowd with a blistering 10.63 to take out the David Baxter Memorial men's 100 m. The women's event honoured the former glamour girl of Australian athletics, Melinda Gainsford-Taylor. Fabrice Lapierre didn't record a legitimate jump on his first three tries, but had a leap of 742 on his fourth leap. Dale Stevenson displayed good form going into the Commonwealth Games and improved his best to 19.99 m in shot put. World indoor champion Tamsyn Lewis finished first in the 400 m (53.50).Wallaby winger Lachie Turner is officially the fastest footballer across the Tasman after running the Gatorade Bolt 100m in 11.10 seconds to beat a quality field of NRL and A-League rivals.







NEW YORK (USA): Former USA Today Olympic sports writer Dick Patrick (59) became the first recipient of the George Hirsch Journalism Award, presented by the New York Road Runners. The newly created annual award is named after former Runner's World magazine publisher George Hirsch who is now the president of the New York Road Runners board of directors. Patrick will be presented with a special award created by Tiffany & Company here on Friday, Nov. 5, two days ahead of the 41st running of the ING New York City Marathon. It's ironic that Patrick was let go by USA Today last year, a casualty of a larger cost reduction program. He had worked for the paper since 1986 where he wrote on five summer Olympics, nine world outdoor championships, two world indoor championships, two world cross country championships, and more than 60 major marathons. He is presently a co-author of „Born to Overcome," a biography of 2004 Olympic silver medalist Meb Keflezighi, to be published this fall. Writes Race Results Weekly.


BANSKA BYSTRICA (SVK): Army sports center Dukla Banska Bystrica will end its cooperation with hammer thrower Miloslav Konopka. He did not fulfilled the goals set by the center (finals in Barcelona) and will no longer belong to the body from begin of November. That also means he will not have the previous financial support for his preparation. Center has currently 10 representatives of athletics with headliners walker Matej Toth, hammer thrower Martina Hrasnova (after birth of the child is back in training for 2011) and jumping twins Dana and Jana Veldakova.


MONTREAL (CAN): Hicham El Guerrouj will visit Montreal to speak and educate for the Bruny Surin Foundation. The foundation, founded by world class sprinter Bruny Surin, wants to encourage people of all ages to become more physically active. El Guerrouj will talk to the local media, give a series of sports based seminars in elementary schools, conduct a meet and greet in a sports store and will feature in a conference at the University of Concordia. All events will be free of charge confirms trackalerts.com.


SYNDEY (AUS): Athletics Australia still plans to send a team to the Commonwealth Games after the Australian department of foreign affairs and trade was forced to issue a new travel bulletin after Indian police had warned on Saturday of terrorist attacks in Mumbai writes The Courier Mail. The travel bulletin stated that there is a high risk of terrorist attacks in Delhi and that the Commonwealth Games are an environment of high risk. Athletics Australia has sent out an email to all athletes advising to be increasingly cautious but stating that there is an acceptable level of risk. Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti said the team was taking constant advice from the government and also advised the athletes to take precautions for the Dengue fever while in Delhi. Commonwealth Games organisers have dismissed warnings of terrorism risks at the sporting event and will bring Delhi into security lockdown this week, well ahead of the Games, with 175,000 paramilitary and 80,000 police on guard.


BRUSSELS (BEL): Belgian European bronze medalist Svetlana Bolshakova has signed a book deal to publish her life story ahead, or during the 2012 Olympic Games. The triple jumper was born in Russia but married a Belgian athlete, following her success in Barcelona Dutch crime author Reinold Vallinga will work on a book describing her athletics career, her love affair with her Belgian husband and she will speak up about the struggles she had with injuries and the federation, confirms Belgian media.


LEIPZIG (GER): German hurdler Thomas Blaschek (29) is ending his career and will try in bob-sleight sport. He had two calf injuries in 2008 and early in 2010. „I m missing motivation for more hurdles training until 2012 and need new challenges," said Blaschek. His best result was from European Championships 2006 in Goteborg where he won the silver medal.


LONDON (GBR): Sebastian Coe wants to model the 2012 Olympic Games volunteer recruitment campaign after the successful campaign of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Coe has to recruit 70,000 volunteers and claimed to be very inspired by the Sydney Games. „Volunteering with us will be challenging but the rewards are life-long as our London 2012 Games Makers will literally make history happen" Coe said at a breakfast in Sydney where he is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Sydney Games, writes insidethegames.


DENVER (USA): Former high school distance star Melody Fairchild will attempt a comeback to the sport after a hiatus of over 10 years in which she did not compete. Fairchild, a high school sensation in the early nineties, never fulfilled her promise in college due to personal and family related issues and dropped out of the sport after the 2000 Olympic Trials. The athlete is now 37 and plans her comeback in the Houston Marathon on January 30th. She has her eyes set on making the 2012 Olympic team for the marathon.


KASSEL (GER): City of Kassel wants back the Askina Meeting (EA Classic) in 2011. That was said by city representatives. In last two years the meet was held in Baunatal due to reconstructions of Aue Stadium in Kassel. The final decision is with meet director Heinz Husselmann and regional athletics federation of „Hessen".







TRNAVA (SVK, Sep 15): Spartak Dubnica dominated again Slovak Club Championships. Men of this club won for 7th time in a row and women got their fourth title without interruption. Europan hammer champion Libor Charfreitag who comes from Trnava won on his home ground with solid 76.65 m. He also competed in shot put and was fourth (15.55). Czech guest Jakub Vadlejch was the best in javelin (77.79). Interesting in women shot put Ivana Kristoficova (23) improved the slovak leading mark of the season to 14.51 but not only that. It is also world record for deaf athletes, previous mark by Russian Olga Kalina was 14.49 from 1973.


SAO PAULO (BRA, Sep 15): During first day of Trofeu Brasil in long jump qualification new Brazilian U17 record by Caio Cezar. The 17 years old jumper who was 4th in Moncton at World Juniors leaped to 784 (+0.1). Second best was Rogerio Bispo with windy 781 (+2.9).







BUDAPEST (HUN): Former fast sprinter Ferenc Kiss died at the end of August after a long illness. He set Hungarian records in 100m (10.33 '80 & 10.26 '83) and in 200m (21.04 '80 & 20.99 '80). He competed at the 1980 Olympics (sf 200m, ht 4x100m), 1983 World Champs (qf 100m, sf 4x100) and 1983 European Indoor Champs (sf 60m, 5th 200m). 28 internationals 1977-84. HUN 100m champion (1980 & 83), 200m (1981). Writes Gyorgy Csiki.


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