Twelfth Class (2015)
For over 40 years, Tracy Sundlun has been involved with the sports of track and field and road racing at some of the most influential of levels.
After a very successful period coaching some of the top athletes in the world, Sundlun became the first-ever paid executive director of the national governing body (TAC/USATF) when he became the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Athletics Congress. As the leader of the organization for 15 years, he was responsible for organizing the sport as a whole in the New York Metropolitan area, focusing on community engagement and event development.
The next step in Sundlun’s career led him to co-found the National Scholastic Indoor Track and Field Championship, as well as the Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon series at Elite Racing. As Executive Vice President at Elite Racing, Sundlun was in charge of numerous areas of the organization, including industry partnership, government and charity relations and elite athlete management.
When Elite Racing became Competitor Group in 2007, Sundlun stayed on as Senior Vice President of Events. Over the past seven years, he’s worked in roles managing special events, industry alliances, expo and merchandise organization and charity endeavors.
In addition to his success on the events and organization side of the sport, as mentioned, Sundlun is an accomplished coach. Having coached club, high school and collegiate levels, including time as the youngest ever Olympic coach in 1972, Sundlun has seen success guiding athletes at every level. Over 20+ years coaching, Sundlun helped guide over 100 athletes, from 15 different countries, to the Olympics and other major international competitions.
Actively involved with the Chevron Houston Marathon for nearly 30 years, Brant Kotch nevertheless describes himself as a "cheerleader" for the event.
The native Houstoner graduated from the University of Texas in 1978 and received his J.D. from the University of Houston Law School in 1981. During law school he started running, where he says he was developing "bad habits" and needed to relieve stress.
Ran Houston every year from 1986 to 1992, and owns a marathon best of 2:53 - when daughter Devon was born in 1992, he decided to "dial it back" and become a volunteer. He joined the Board of Directors in 96 and became the race director in '02 and continues to hold that role as well as President of the Houston Marathon Board of Directors today.
Outside of race directing, his professional life as an attorney saw Kotch practice in transactional law and is a shareholder of longtime firm Crain Craton and James.
His love for running balances well with his love for a good local beer, great music, and Kotch never hesitates at a travel opportunity.
In 1967, Kathrine Switzer became the first woman to compete in the Boston Marathon. Prior to her landmark entry, no women had run in the event, but registering as K.V. Switzer, Kathrine went on to break down a barrier, despite one of the race’s co-directors trying to physically run her off the course.
From the moment she crossed the finish line, Switzer decided to devote her life to creating opportunities for women through running. As a voice for a new wave of marathon competitors, Switzer has continued to be a leading voice in a movement that’s seen women become the majority of road runners.
Switzer’s Boston breakthrough encouraged her to continue to push her limits, as well. She went on to run Boston eight separate times, lowering her time eventually to 2:51 in 1975, a mark that ranked her top ten in the world. She won the New York City Marathon in 1974 and remains the last New York woman to win the NYC Marathon.
As a writer, Switzer has written a handful of books, including Marathon Woman. She’s an Emmy-award winning TV commentator and founder of the Avon Running Global Women’s Circuit.
Her success on the roads and as a leader have garnered her many distinctions. She was part of the first class of inductees into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, was named one of the Visionaries of the Century in 2000, earned Hero of Running and Runner of the Decade status and in 2011 was elected into the National Women’s Hall of Fame for creating positive social change on a global level.