(21-Jan) -- RunSignup.com, America's largest running race registration platform, has named Mary Anderson of Anderson Race Management in Eagan, Minn., as the 2021 recipient of the Alan Jones Timer Award. The award "recognizes an individual race timer who has shown exceptional efforts and who has had a significant positive impact on the endurance race industry," said RunSignup's official announcement.
PHOTO: Mary Anderson with her Anderson Race Management crew (front row, left to right, Jennifer Williams, Mary Anderson, Kathleen Steed; back row, left to right, Rick Kostohryz, Kevin Boblitt, Mark Anderson, Steve Ernst); photo courtesy of Anderson Race Management.
"I am thrilled and very honored to be given this award," Anderson told Race Results Weekly via e-mail. "This is my 25th year in business but I have actually been timing for 27+ years."
Anderson works on over 100 events per year in the Midwestern United States and offers comprehensive race management services in addition to race timing. Among the races Anderson will organize in 2022 are the Brookings Marathon, Mankato Marathon, Remember the Fallen 5-K, and the ALS Superhero 5-K/10-K Dash. In 2021 Anderson timed over 100 in-person and virtual events, according to her website.
There are very few women working in race timing, and when Anderson started her business there were only a handful at best, like Alice Schneider at New York Road Runners a pioneer in the computerization of road race timing. Anderson worked hard to establish herself.
"When I started there were very, very few women in the industry and I kind of just became 'one of the guys' for the most part," Anderson reflected. "I had to do a lot of proving to the guys before I was part of the official timing gang, but for the most part I don't really think of that unless it's blatantly put in front of me. I just love what I do and blessed that I have been able to make a career out of doing what I love! If you love what you do, you never work a day in your life!"
The award is named after Alan Jones the inventor of the Jones Counter, a bicycle-mounted measuring device used by course measurers, and RunScore, the first widely-available road race timing software package, which Jones created in 1985. RunScore was acquired by Race Roster, another event registration platform, in 2019.
"We created the Alan Jones Timer Award to recognize the foundational importance and influence timers provide to the endurance community and races," said RunSignup founder and CEO Bob Bickel through a statement. "Mary's longevity and success in the industry is an inspiration for other timers. She provides an example of how important it is to embrace change and innovation as a method for improving one's timing business and for ensuring customers and races they serve are successful. I'm very pleased we are able to recognize her with this award."
Jones, himself, is an Anderson fan.
"I've known Mary for many years and remember our both attending conferences back in the 90's," said Jones through a blog post. "She has helped drive many of the progressive changes the industry has faced since its early days with tagging participants and has been a long-time RunScore timer. I'm very honored we are able to recognize her dedication and positive impact she has had on the industry."
RunSignup was founded in 2010, and since then has processed $1.5 billion in customer transactions. In 2021 they processed $311 million in transactions.