Andy Holland – Spirit of the Equinox 2018

The winner of the Spirit of the Equinox Award for 2018 is Andy Holland. Following is the presentation by Jim Brader (absent the ad hoc editorializing!).

Every year at the finish of the Equinox, we give out the Spirit of the Equinox Award. This award was established in 1986 in memory of long time Equinox runner George Bloom. The award is to exemplify what Georgie stood for in the running community–someone who was always willing to lend a hand, organize a race, offer an encouraging word, and was quick with a smile and a wave.

The award recipients are selected by a committee based on these criteria:

  • Contribution to the running community
  • How inspirational the recipient is to others
  • Overall attitude and enthusiasm toward others

Contribution to Running

The person selected has contributed to running in Fairbanks by serving on the RCN Board of Directors, directing races for decades, and assisting at track meets and races throughout the year. This person is always willing to lend a hand, and has even delayed their finish to help others in need.

So you are thinking who could this be: Keith Pollock, no already won it. George Berry, Steve Bainbridge, Kevin Brinegar, Matthias Saari. No they have all won this award. What about Bob Baker, I mean he and his wife Sharon already won this award too, but with Bad Bob living many lives in the span most of us live one, shouldn’t he be able to win it a second time?

Inspiration to Others

This person has inspired many of Fairbanks runners to run faster, longer and to just keep on running. They have trained through summer smoke and winter snow, pushing their running buddies to long sets of hard intervals or long runs when the couch was so much more inviting. This person loves to run the Equinox, loves to run on trails, and loves running marathons. This person has run 34 Equinox Marathons, finished in top 10 on a number of occasions. The things that really set this person apart for inspiration is their 30 Equinox Marathons run at sub 4 hours. This still sound like it could be Bad Bob Baker!

Attitude and Enthusiasm

This person is always encouraging others to run fast, but is that cant happen then to just run. An if running wont happen then to just get out and walk or partake in some way. They have taken numerous runners under their wing and mentored them in running technique and training. They have taken oddball characters who ran in pants, people who saw space aliens in the forest, and others who just wanted to be able to keep up with their Kids and helped them to become great runners. I know what you are thinking, this still sounds like Bob Baker. Well, sorry to say but its not Bob Baker. I still think Bob deserves a second Spirit or the Equinox, but the thousand new orange shirts in Fairbanks kind of make this Bad Bob Bakers marathon anyways.

In addition to the mentoring, this person encourages everyone with their humorous stories. This person tells stories that last hours. You would think they had run the EQ 80 times. But by the time the story is over, you have covered 6 miles in a blink and laughed your tummy off.

This person also listens to people and everyone wants to talk to them. One time at the finish of a marathon, this person was lying on the ground gasping for air. Another runner whom we will call tomatoes, came over to gab about this race to this person, who is still on the ground. I should have intervened, but this person remained on the ground with Tomatoes standing above them giving the details of Tomatoes entire race. Even though Tomatoes was too much for the rest of us, This person listened, even while gasping for breath.

This person has always encouraged people to run marathons, and has gotten their family into it to. They somehow talked their brother George into hosting Fairbanksans for the Boston Marathon, and this is for the past 25 years. So if you don’t yet know:

Please let me introduce the 2018 Spirit of the Equinox award to Andy Holland.