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Lizard Spotlight

My History as a Lizard

As I was sitting here thinking about the “next big thing” we needed to feature on the home page, I couldn’t decide whether it was talking about some of the upcoming group runs (including some of the winter trail runs, like Silver Falls this weekend or Purge & Splurge on New Years Eve), recapping the races at cross country nationals this past weekend, or focusing some attention on the upcoming TRL board elections. It was all too much to handle, so in true egocentric fashion, I decided to write about myself instead.

OK, bear with me. I promise that talking about my history with this amazing organization is the one way I know to talk about those 3 things in the same article. While my history is short compared to some (if you want a history back before TRL was a non-profit and before it was even called Team Red Lizard, chat with Markiemo after a Fulton Pub Run some Wednesday), it has now reached at least a decade. And it began the same way that it has for many of you. I showed up for a group run – the winter Goose route (and yes, that hill kicked my butt then, as it does any Thursday I can make it out to join this long-running staple of TRL’s group runs).

For a year or so, I would periodically show up for the Goose, and would also run into some of the Lizards I met at races. Angela and I even were asked to run on a Lizard Hood to Coast team back in those early days of club involvement. I can’t even remember the name of our team (I think it actually had “Lizard” in the name, although I believe that was also one of the years of the Naked Lizards – who were also a team of Lizards – although our team was going head to head with Joanna’s team – the Slugs… a team we ended up running for a couple years later, as well as running for the team it became – the Leaping Lizards). But enough about H2C… that wasn’t supposed to be part of this story.

Cross country is probably where my involvement with the club took on a whole new level. Nine years ago, I was asked by the club president to take on being the men’s XC team captain. Being the XC enthusiast that I am, that was not a problem. I recall that “season” was crazy, since there were 2 XC series going on at the same time. This was in the confusing years when the club’s founder, Kevin Foreman, was still putting on races as Red Lizard Events, which was separate from Team Red Lizard, the non-profit running club (although a year or 2 prior, they were indistinguishable from one another). Kevin changed the name of his event company to XDog later that year, although it took a long time for people in the running community to think of the 2 separately – and we Lizards still love to participate in Uncle Kevvy’s events. Anyhow, that first year of XC was crazy, since not only was Kevin putting on a 4-race series before the fledgling cyclocross bike races, but that was also the first year that Fit Right started putting on their own race series. 8 weekends of XC races was a LOT, but for this XC lover, I was in heaven.

Before I lose the XC connection, I will say that XC has long been a staple of this club. Fit Right put on a series for a few years, and I recall that one of those years they were going to give $1000 to the team that showed up with the most participants. We had a massive showing of Lizards that day, and we had already planned on buying a TRL tent with the money if we won (which we did). That was probably 7-8 years ago, and while that tent is still in use, we also have another one we have added into the mix. And when Fit Right decided to let their XC series fade away, it made perfect sense for TRL to create the Stumptown Cross series we all know and love.

After that first year of XC involvement, I was hooked. As part of my training, I would show up for other group runs (mainly the Fulton). And because Angela was then working at Mizuno and the partnership with Foot Traffic and Mizuno was set up 8 years ago, I was involved in that process before formally joining the board. But it was 8 years ago that my involvement went through the roof. Andrew Staab, the president who preceded me, asked me if I would be interested in the Presidency. I thought about it for a while, but knew that it was bound to happen. Sometimes it takes getting asked, although I was already thinking about it. And I would say that anyone “thinking about it” should do more than that. Please don’t wait for someone to ask.

And don’t think that being on the board means you can’t still make things happen or contribute. Before I was president or on the board, I took on publication of our printed newsletter, the Gazette. I also started putting together winter trail runs. I imagine that even if I am not on the board in the future, I might still help out with those tasks or take on whatever the board needs me to do. But board elections mean that the club is only electing 4 officers (president, VP, secretary and treasurer). They have the ability to name other directors to help out with tasks as they see fit. But this is a potential changing of the guard. This is the time for all of us to be thinking about the direction we want to see the club head in the next 2 years. I know I have been giving it a lot of thought. While I have always felt like a bit of a newbie in this organization (compared to Joanna, Markiemo, Sherpa, and Steve Sexton), I have probably set the record for number of years on the board. After 4 years as president, then thinking I would be able to “just be a member” but being asked to be the Communications Director for the next 2 years, and now having served as VP for 2 years, I have probably beaten Steve Sexton (who I would guess served in various capacities for at least 6 years) and Jeff Malmquist (who has also been on the board for 6 years) for number of years on the board. I don’t necessarily see that coming to an end, but it is election season and I am not throwing my name in the hat. It is time to see what energy and ideas others will bring to the table.

If you think you might have energy and ideas, and are even thinking about board service, do it. You still have time. You need to declare and send a candidate statement to me by Dec 27. Time is running out, but this could be your chance to help lead an organization that has been near and dear to my heart for the past decade.


5 Responses to “My History as a Lizard”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write this Torrey. Well done!

    Posted by Jeff Malmquist | December 19, 2013, 9:50 am
    • Thanks, Jeff. And I was thinking after I jotted this all down that I had also failed to mention you as part of this story. I think you and I both answered the “call to action” for new board members 8+ years ago. That next election resulted in me as Prez, but you were one of the 2 best VP’s I had the pleasure of having back me up. [For those who don't know, Jeff was VP from 2006-08, and Joe Dudman was VP from 2008-10]

      Posted by Torrey | December 19, 2013, 10:59 pm
  2. Nice article, Torrey! FYI, I have been involved with, and a member of the various factions of this club since I moved here in 1989. Starting with Kevin’s club out of FinishLine Sports in Lake Oswego, to the Rose Runners, to the modern day version that TRL is today. So almost as long as our great MarkieMo! :)

    Posted by Tim | December 19, 2013, 10:10 am
    • I was certainly not meaning to omit any of the active members who have been around and continue to still contribute to this organization. Tim – you have been and will continue to be one of the club’s biggest advocates and help make some of the key activities we are involved in (group runs, marathon pacing, etc) happen.

      Posted by Torrey | December 19, 2013, 10:50 pm
  3. And for the sake of history, since it is always hard to keep track of, the rough history of leadership in this club:
    2002 Aaron somebody (noone can remember much about him, and it sounds like he was short-lived)
    2002-2004 Sherpa
    2004-2006 Andrew Staab
    2006-2010 Torrey Lindbo
    2010 Steve Trautwein
    2010-2012 Jacob Buckmaster
    2012-2014 Kate Gigler
    2014-2016 I guess we will find out soon enough…

    Posted by Torrey | December 19, 2013, 11:04 pm

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