The Akron Marathon is proud to recognize individuals who have demonstrated superior service and dedication to the running industry or who have earned respect within their community for their exceptional accomplishments.
Criteria for appointing an Ambassador:
- Candidate’s sustained contributions (meant for an entire body of work, not just a single achievement) have been significant toward the advancement of the sport of running and its positive impact on society.
- Candidate’s extraordinary efforts have been made on a local, national and/or international level.
- Candidate’s contributions include, and are not limited to, sporting endeavors, community leadership, health & fitness, service, etc.
Kathrine Switzer will always be best known as the woman who challenged the all-male tradition of the Boston Marathon and became the first woman to officially enter and run the event. Kathrine’s career has included creating programs in 27 countries for over 1 million women that led to the inclusion of the women’s marathon as an official event in the Olympic Games, changing forever the face of sports, health and opportunities for women around the world.
Bill Rodgers is one of the most celebrated men’s distance runners in history. He is a four-time winner of the Boston and New York City marathons, and is widely regarded as one of the great marathoners of all time. Bill is a member of the National Track & Field Hall of Fame and the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and was a member of the 1976 U.S. Olympic marathon team. He is a two-time RRCA Masters Runner of the Year and has won numerous awards in the running industry.
Amby Burfoot has been a lifelong runner who now combines his knowledge and love of running with his writing and editing skills. He is the executive editor of Runner’s World magazine. Amby won the Boston Marathon in 1968. He is an advocate of healthy living and successful author of many blogs, articles, and books.
Hal Higdon is a Contributing Editor for Runner’s World and author of numerous books, including the best-selling Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide. He ran eight times in the Olympic Trials and won four world masters championships. He has served as a trainer and coach for runners of all ages.
Craig Masback From 1997 to 2008, Masback was the Chief Executive Officer of USA Track & Field (USATF), the national governing body for track and field, long distance running and race walking. Before USATF, Masback was a senior associate at Wilmer, Cutler, and Pickering, a law firm in Washington, D.C., specializing in communications and sports law. In addition, he has provided network television commentary on various track and field events for NBC, CBS, ESPN and ABC over a 30-year broadcasting career. Masback also co-founded Inclyne Sports, a New York-based sports marketing and sports television production company.
As an athlete, Masback represented Team USA 10 times in international competition at the 1500 meters or mile distance. He was the 1980 U.S. indoor mile champion and is the former American record holder at 2,000 meters. Masback ran 30 sub-four-minute miles, including a best of 3:52.02.
Craig has been seen on NBC at the 2012 Olympic Games in London as an analyst on the middle and long distance running events (1500 meters, 3000m Steeplechase, 5000 meters, 10,000 meters and marathon). The London Games marks his fourth Olympic broadcast with NBC; he previously worked for NBC at the 1992 Barcelona Games, the 1996 Atlanta Games, and the 2008 Beijing Games, providing analysis for track and field events.
Masback has a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University and a law degree from Yale Law School. He and his wife, Sarah, have a daughter, Grace, and a son, Britton.