By Simone Adair, RRCA Northern California State Rep
It was the year of the Chia Pet. Everyone was watching Roots on TV, and ABBA was on the radio. Star Wars premiered on just 32 screens. And the Oakland Raiders were the Super Bowl XI champs. Another East Bay California team also formed in 1977.
"A core group of club founders were sufficiently motivated and organized to formally establish the club as a viable entity," reads the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders
That founding group included John and Claudia Notch (the first presidents), Bill Jenny, Mike Wheeler, and Dan Williams. The Notch's were joined by a handful of other past LMJS presidents and a raucous group of past and present members for evening of food and locally brewed beer, at Oakland eatery Platos Degree.
Members gathered for the 40th Anniversary of the oldest running club in the San Francisco East Bay area (Oakland). Not only were they celebrating their longevity, they were also reminded of their contributions to the community. LMJS has hosted almost 500 Fourth Sunday races with nearly 50,000 runners and walkers around Oakland's iconic Lake Merritt. LMJS also hosts the Tilden Tough Ten the same day of San Francisco's famous Bay to Breakers.
LMJS also has a long history with the RRCA winning a handful of awards over the years. These include Outstanding Youth Program, in 2001; Outstanding Club President, in 2006; Small Clubs Top Website, in 2008; and the Browning Ross Spirit Award, in 2012 presented to Len Goldman.
LMJS's many contributions to the local running community and the East Bay was put into perspective by the RRCA's Executive Director Jean Knaack, "I wish the Lake Merritt Joggers and Striders a very happy 40th Anniversary. The longevity of the club is a testament to the importance of organizations staying true to their mission and founding purpose. Staying true to its mission is a critical element of long-term success for an organziation. The dedication of volunteer leadership who embraces the club’s mission has clearly enabled the club grow and flourish over its 40 year history. To everyone that has helped make the Lake Merrit Joggers and Striders a success of the last 40 years, we say thank you, and the RRCA looks forward to celebrating your 60th Anniversary."