Eighteen years ago, I left Albany to work at the University of Virginia as the sports nutritionist for the university's athletes. During my time there, I became friends with the owners of the Ragged Mountain Running Store. They asked me once to come give a talk to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Team in training, and as they were leading me up the stairs to the meeting room, they stopped midway to have me look at the pictures on the wall of famous runners — and wondered if I knew any of them, since so many were from Oregon.
Smack in the middle was Max White (right along with Pre and the rest). Of course! I’d been at the trials at Hayward in 1976 …and later we all knew of Max as the great track coach across town at South while our kids ran for West Albany High School! Imagine the glee as I opened up the paper last week to the familiar face on the front page! Max White had been selected to be the Oregon Substitute Teacher of the Year.
As I read the article and all he is accomplishing and with such amazing humility, I couldn’t help but think back to that picture hidden on the back wall of that little shop in Virginia. Max will likely never know the numbers of people he has inspired through the years — from athletes to students to parents and the public. After years of not running, I even put on my old ragged running shoes and headed out. Thanks, Max!
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Albany (Aug. 27)