Las Vegas event fetes Olympian Kara Goucher, industry leaders from Chicago and Canada, up-and-comer from Ohio and top youth program from Texas


LAS VEGAS (Feb. 9, 2020) – The Running USA Industry Conference presented by Race Roster is underway this week at Caesars Palace, and Sunday night featured the event’s annual awards presentation.

Running USA is the non-profit trade organization for the sport of road running. Its annual conference this year has gathered a record 720 industry professionals from 17 countries around the world for education, networking, a major expo and more.

Industry standouts were recognized Sunday night for their efforts to lead, disrupt and improve the running industry in the U.S. and beyond.

“Our annual awards are a celebration of all that is great about the running industry,” said Rich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA. “This is a sport with a great deal of human spirit, and each of our 2020 award recipients shows that spirit in spades.”

The recipients were:

Hall of Champions – Two longtime contributors to the sport were inducted into the Hall of Champions. Michael Nishi, Executive Vice President of Operations for Chicago Event Management, and Alan Brookes, one of the most influential figures in Canadian road running and the founder of the Canada Running Series.

Rising Star Award – Brandon Hough, race director for the Air Force Marathon and the founder of the Advanced Running Project in Dayton, Ohio, was named an up-and-comer to watch in the sport.

Women’s Leadership Award – Kara Goucher, world class distance star and U.S. Olympian, as well as an advocate for a clean sport and women’s rights as athletes and mothers, was honored. Goucher is speaking at the event on a Monday morning panel about the evolution of the sport of road running.

Youth Program Award – The Cowtown CALF program, based in Fort Worth, Texas, received a $10,000 contribution towards its efforts to get kids active and moving. The CALF program includes shoe fittings for over 5,000 children each year and the opportunity to participate in after school training runs leading to the Cowtown Kids Race each year.

Follow the industry conference online using the hashtag #RUSA20 across your favorite social media platforms, and find Running USA on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


About the Industry Conference

Since its origins as a small gathering of Running USA’s founders in Southern California in 2004, the Running USA Conference presented by Race Roster has grown to becoming the best-attended, most esteemed gathering of running industry professionals from around the USA and the world. Now moving locations each year, the conference has been held in Los Angeles, San Diego, Savannah, Houston, San Antonio, Orlando, New Orleans, San Juan, Puerto Rico and now Las Vegas, Nevada. The 2021 event will be held in New Orleans from Feb. 14-16. Registration will be available soon.