After the disruptions of 2020, the Lakeland Runners Club (LRC) board entered 2021 cautiously optimistic that the pandemic would soon be behind us. Instead, we got to test all that we had learned in 2020 and add in new challenges with COVID variants and supply chain disruptions. Just like in 2020, Lakeland rallied around the club to support our mission and adapted to the changes and challenges with us. Our annual report is a reflection of the impact of our work in the community, and I am incredibly proud of all that the LRC accomplished in 2021.
Every year we get to hold our oldest races feels like a celebration to me, and this year was 42 years of the Mayfaire 5k and 45 years for the Lake to Lake 10k. Now in its 26th year, the Summer Sunrise Watermelon 5k Series continued its 10-year streak of raising money for scholarships. Combined with the Aching Quad Challenge and Mean & Green Trail Run, and our training programs like the Kids Run Club, Spring Ahead 5k Program, and Speed Workouts welcomed over 5,000 runners and walkers to LRC activities.
The LRC has been an all-volunteer organization for 48 years, and this year we had 177 volunteers contribute almost 3,000 hours to carry out our mission. We appreciate every single person who steps up to help. I am incredibly grateful for the race planning, coaching, and member engagement teams that brought our programs to life. I want to recognize departing directors Chuck McDanal, James Hurst, Byrl Arnold, and Leonie Parker Zillner for their extraordinary service on the board. You can read more about their contributions here. We are thankful for the contributions of our corporate sponsors and individual donations to our scholarship fund and training programs. You can find the names of our volunteers, sponsors, and donors in the report.
At the annual member meeting on Dec. 4, the 2022 board of directors was elected. They are excited to serve and carry out our mission to promote and encourage running. Lynn King joins returning directors Betsy Slay, Sarah Kozul, Angi Griffin, Michell Hoffert, Roxanne Youngs, John Lancaster, Sharon Nance, Shannon Abitbol, Chris Baker, and Kim Baker. Read all director bios. Michelle Hoffert has been elected as president of the board for 2022 and we are thrilled to have someone with her depth of knowledge and passion for running leading the organization.
It has been very special to be part of the LRC’s legacy in Lakeland and an honor to serve as club president for the past three years. We invite you to join us in 2022 as a club member, volunteer, donor, and participant. Together, we will continue to make Lakeland a showcase for running and fitness.
2021 LRC President