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Marine Corps Marathon’s Rick Nealis is Named Race Director of the Year
QUANTICO, VA (Nov. 16, 2010) - Marine Corps Marathon (MCM) Race Director Rick Nealis has been named Race Director of the Year, receiving one of the most prestigious honors in the sport of running. The award was presented by MarathonFoto and Road Race Management during a Nov. 11 reception held at Road Race Management’s Race Directors annual meeting in Coral Gables, FL.
“As director of the Marine Corps Marathon it is even more meaningful to have received this award on Veterans Day and to share it with the 40,000 Marines and Sailors who have volunteered since 1976, organizing the MCM with the precision of a military operation,” says Nealis.
For the past 18 years, Nealis has directed the MCM steering its growth to become the fourth largest marathon in the United States and the eighth largest in the world. On Oct. 31, the 35th MCM hosted its largest race field to date including 21,942 finishers from all 50 states and 54 countries.
“We had our usual impressive field of well-qualified candidates, but Rick emerged as a consensus winner,” says Road Race Management President Phil Stewart.
“As race director of the Marine Corps Marathon, Rick Nealis has done it all - from coordinating eight separate law enforcement agencies through whose jurisdictions the event passes, to keeping the paparazzi away from Oprah Winfrey for over four-and-a-half hours. His boyish exuberance for the event belies his abilities as a master tactician who makes the Marine Corps proud of the race that serves as the organization’s single largest public relations event,” Stewart said while presenting the award.