Historical Perspective by West Marcus

Course Measurement by GPS: Why it isn’t as accurate as a certified course.

The Montgomery Track and Running Club

Circa 1980

My association with MTRC began in 1980, when I had begun The Presidents Physical Fitness Program. I ran the 2 mile ‘Lightning Route’ in 17:22. I could not understand the people who did the 10k. I went to my first MTRC meeting right after that and thus have begun a long saga of events, friendships and volunteering.

Jim DeBortoli was the president when I joined and he was also the race director for ‘The Jubilee 10k/ 2m Lighting Route”. Jim became a friend and also was the head of the club for about eight years as I recall, at least the Jubilee Run. Other race directors were ‘The Georges’, George Poulos and George Nelson. I know there were others but I don’t recall them and both Georges remained active for decades.

           When I worked my first Jubilee, we had almost 1200 finishers and about 500 in the 2 mile. We handed out finish cards, which were numbered and placed in wooden age division slots. (We still have the boxes) After the event, we all went to the Montgomery Advertiser/ Journal, sat a big table and sorted all 1700 numbered cards and arrived at an overall list, which was then printed in the Sunday edition. We all chipped in and did it in a timely manner. Maybe we were a little slower than a computer, chip system, but we had the ‘overalls’ ready in short order. Every runner looked forward with great anticipation, to read the overall results in the Montgomery Advertiser/ Journal Sunday edition.

           The newsletter was a hoot, compared to the current electronic edition, but none the less, anticipated or fussed over. All articles were hand typed upon the old ‘ditto’ papers and run on the ditto machine in the back of Jim DeBortoli’s drug store, ‘Country Club Rexall’. When all the pages were printed, (usually about ten), we had run off hundreds, which were place sequentially on a table and we marched around, till all pages were organized into a newsletter, stapled, folded and ready for mailing. We had about 500 active members at that time and bulk mail was a plus.

           This member was not actively involved in the timing and technical aspects of the club for a couple of years, but I learned a lot from George Poulos, George Nelson, and Jim DeBortoli. We did hand tabulation from cards, for years and even used a ‘tick’ sheet for timing, which has still come in handy a couple of times, over the years when the timer stopped. It was later that we started using pull tabs and at one time we used a bar code reader and a Zenith portable computer which weighed 15 lbs. or so. Mary Wisdom was our first computer tabulator and she was reluctant to let any of us learn the program. Bob Harrison was our first club course measurer, and wrote several articles about how to measure a course, leaving out no detail. Some courses still have his initials.

           Treasurers I recall were: Joan Dawson, Mike Carroll, Elwood Hintz, West Marcus, and Irene Tyner. One of the very first MTRC Sec. /Tres. Was Ted Kluz, who goes back to 1980. Hardwick Gregg was the first MTRC race director. Please find some of the certificates which we handed to finishers. I recall a run from Montgomery Mall area, where I paid $.50 to run.

           Some races I recall are: The Log run, The River Run 10k, Lion’s Run for Sight, Statue of Liberty Run Series, Tortoise and Hare, Lung Assoc. Run, Senior Olympics 10k/5k/ 1m, The Winter Run 10k/2m, Humana 5k/15k, Shakespeare Chase,  Friends of Youth 8k/1m  AUM ½ Marathon, Bell Rd. YMCA 5k/1m Run, Black Heritage Museum Labor day 5k/1m, MTRC Summer All-comers Series…….

           Presidents of the MTRC from 1980’s are: ( 1978-Don Andrews, Capitol City Pacers), ( Jim Magnum-USAF Central Alabama Road Runners) Jim DeBortoli, Bill Mack, George Poulos, Jim Larkins, John Hamilton, Mike Carroll, Clif Dixon, Peggy McLendon, Jimmy Armstrong, John Sneed, Pat Fossum, Alesa Ryals, Tom Barfield,( 2 weeks), Charles Holly( 1 month), David Funk, Larry Hooker, West Marcus, Pete Preston.

           Oldest continuous runner in the club is Cindy Dodd Cobb. She has the 1979 Jubilee shirt. The oldest active running member is Pat Fossum ( Jerry),currently the oldest active runner/ race director is West Marcus ( 1980). Rodney Burgess and Bill Barry were the only two runners/ members who completed all the Jubilee Runs. Bill died with cancer about the 27th run and Rodney received the only 30 year award. Jim Larkins has been the equipment manager longer than his wife would care to remember.  Currently Jim Larkins and West Marcus have worked more races than any other member, as well as having served as officers in the club. Other long term members are: Jeffrey Vinzant, Alesa Ryals-Hill, Charles Belfield, Donald Causey, Mike Novak, Joann Hlaverty, Charlotte Hopson, and Dick Vaughn.

Elwood Hintz was the oldest club member and also the club Treasurer for four years , before it was learned a Non-profit club treasurer is supposed to serve only two(2) years. Elwood was dedicated to his profession of Auditing for the state, and also to cycling, walking with the Volks March Club and the MTRC. Often Elwood would do several events in one weekend. Elwood had a van which he used to travel and sleep, waiting at times at the starting line, of some event to start. During a vacation trip, he slipped from the top , hit his head and never recovered. Elwood was one of the finest individual who ever lived and certainly was a positive influence in the club, not to mention individual friendships and family.

Members, past members and other runners are encouraged to submit historical data or memories to West Marcus:   westgrahare@aol.com




July Newsletter

Edited by West Marcus

Jim DeBortoli, Prez.                           Ken Brazzel, V.P.

Claudia Ellis, Sec.                              Ted Kluz, Trez.

Marvin Ellis, Newsletter Ed

Accomplishment And Needs

We are halfway through 1981. We have to pat ourselves on the back. We have held four very successful races. The Winter Run 10k, The Spring Run, The Jubilee- River Run 10k, and The Run for Muscular Dystrophy, and two All-Comers track runs at Lee HS .

Jubilee had almost 1000 runners. This is a new record, we are getting runners from all over the state. The races are profitable, which has allowed us to purchase an electric timer and coolers, allowing us to put on our own events without borrowing equipment.

These accomplishments were not easy. They are the result of many hard hours of volunteers, the race comm., Maxwell AFB, the Mayor, and the City Council.

WE are proud, but have pressing needs. WE desperately need a program comm. To organize programs, picnics and non-running activities. We need typist for race results, labels and the news letter. WE could use a telephone comm. To contact members. To volunteer contact Marvin or Claudia. We want to make this the best possible running club, and would like to make use of our wealth of talent in the club. Take an active part in the management of your club. It is ,after all, only what we make it.


Should an Award Salve the Void

Originally printed 1990

By West Marcus ( edited 2010)

The uncontrolled sobbing of the little boy attracted sympathetic onlookers and one particular stranger. The child clutched his mother tightly, burying his face in her neck and wrapping his arms tightly around her neck. His body convulsed as if by perpetual motion, slowing upon occasion , much like Sisyphus , as the rock approaches the summit, yet crashing once again. So did the boy. His mother held him tenderly, stroking his hair, murmuring lovingly , as only a mother can in a moment of infantile crisis.

The stranger spoke briefly with the mother and then approached the race director. He inquired, requesting a trophy. Both the boys sisters had placed in the same event, they had trophies, he was 4th, empty handed and heart broken. The stranger had sensed a ‘good’ deed.

The race director, for his own reasons, took a trophy to the mother, where the child refused the plastic token. The director, now fully involved, possibly feeling some uninvited guilt, did no worse than anyone, trying to appease a weeping, red eyed, distraut little boy with a quivering lower lip. Slowly he began to calm, still refusing to accept the 2nd place trophy, as it did not match his sisters. Eventually he reluctantly accepted his mothers arbitration.

Competitors, family and friends began exiting the ceremony. Some chatted gaily of their triumphs at having placed, others more subdued, perhaps caught up in thoughts of past successes, or lamenting a tactical error resulting in the loss of some cherished award or recognition.

The mother began ushering the girls from the room. They blended into the crowd as the two sisters carried their earned awards, and the young boy carried his, and his mother carried him. The empty handed stranger disappeared.


Rosie The Riveter 5k/1m Run

Maxwell AFB, March 17,1990

Edited by West Marcus

1 Gail Ogle 38                         19:21   1st

2 Terry Djuric 28                    19:41

3 Lana Hayden 29                 19:45

4 Amy King 32                      20:21

5 Mary Troja 30                      20:25

8 Cindy Dodd 33                    20:39

12 Alesa Ryals 34                  21:37

13 Kathy wine 38                   21:38

15 Marie Huff 30                   21:58

19 Laurie Martin 27                23;01

20 Ann DeBortoli 41              23:44 MF

23 Susan Emerson 49              24:10 Col. Ga.

32 Heidi Rutz 35                   25:38

72 Jackie Partridge 50             31:39

73 Loretta Bacon 55              31:40

77 Eleanor Smith 49              32:40


One Mile Results

1 Mary Troja 30                                  5:46

2 Terry Djuric 28                                5:52

3 Arlyne Malphurs 20                         5:57

6 Debbie Beno 27                               6:51

7 Susan Emerson 49                           7:16 Col.Ga.

27 Loretta Bacon 55                          9:10

Kristen Walker 3                                 15:11


Jubilee Run 1990

Montgomery Track & Running Club/ The Montgomery Advertiser

Jim DeBortoli – Director

Total Entry Fees       $9854

Reflects 119 Fire Dept. @ $6


Fruit                            $155

Award Plates             $116 – (for trophies)

Cups                           $87.50

Coke                           $36.35

Winner Cks                 $850

BTC Labels/inserts     $180

Port CP Labels           $17

Computer Work          $250

Total                          $1691.85


MTRC Expenses Paid

Computer                   $250

Sadie’s ( food)            $119


MTRC Fees                $3448.90

Advertiser Fees        $4713.25


Officers 1989-90

Prez-Alesa Ryals

VP – Joan Dawson

Sec – Dick Vaughn

Trez- Elwood Hintz



Race Comm. Chair     Mary Wisdom

Public Relations         Jim Debortoli, John Snead

Membership               Joe walker

Equipment                  James Larkins

Programs                     George Poulos

Marketing                    Tom Barfield

Historian                    West Marcus

Newsletter Ed            Kim Walker


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