CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. — Much like life, organizing races is a marathon, not a sprint.
On this week’s Pay It Forward, Bliss Zechman surprises one Chattanooga runner who always goes the extra mile to volunteer.
Crossing the finish line is certainly an accomplishment.
But before runners even tie their laces, Bill Brock is going the extra mile to make many scenic city races possible.
Chattanooga Track Club (CTC) president knows that better than most.
“There are few people in the world that I would give my wallet to. Bill is that person.”
For 53 years and counting, the CTC has been working to put a focus on fitness.
And, from (nearly) the beginning, bill has been working behind the scenes.
“If you go out Saturday morning from the Y, there are about 20 to 40 people running routes from 10-15 miles, he’s the one making sure the course stays hydrated. He’s the one behind the scenes working for decades.”
CTC puts on roughly 30 events, with roughly 10,000 finishes each year.
Bill wears many hats to keep things running.
“What you get with Bill is consistency.”
Bill started running cross-country as a kid.
He picked it back up in his 30s and hasn’t stopped since.
“When you run together for a period of time, you build relationships. You solve all of the world’s problems, because you run for hours together and you run for days in and out.”
It takes 500 plus volunteers to keep CTC on track.
Bill stands out in the crowd, always taking the extra steps.
One big motivator: bringing fitness into kid’s lives early on.
Every Thursday in September, he helps get 800 4th and 5th graders running at Camp Jordan.
“When you finish a strong event, a long event, or even a short event, it’s a challenge to you. You feel a lot of things, I think. Pride, fulfillment. Joy. Promoting fitness for all ages and all abilities is critical for life.”
At 66, he’s not slowing down anytime soon.
“I’ve seen runners lean over and cry and friends come up and wrap their arms around them.”
On top of holding down a full-time job, Bill has held several, volunteer leadership roles at The Chattanooga Track Club.
That includes VP of Races, VP of Membership, and organizing the Turkey Trot.