Dwight was the first Striders’ President who came up through the Next Step Marathon training program. He had run off and on from the mid-90s through 2002, when he quit altogether for several years. Then in 2006, Coach Pat Wilkerson (a Hall of Fame member herself) provided the needed impetus for him to get serious. The Next Step training led to a Frederick Marathon time of 4:00:09 and the recognition that he actually enjoyed running. By 2012, he really had the “bug.” Dwight ran PRs at 2 miles, 5K, 5 miles, 10K, 10 miles, the half marathon, the marathon and the 50K distances, and in 2013 he improved every one of those PRs, topping them off with a 3:48 marathon at age 55. Dwight was named Striders’ Most Improved Runner in 2014.
Dwight’s achievements as a “volunteer” were substantial and what most distinguishes him. He started out by offering to help with a weekly series race at Swansfield Elementary School, and directed the leader off course. Undeterred, he continued to help out, learning very quickly. In 2008 he was certified as an RRCA coach, and the next year was elected Vice President of the club. He pioneered Next Step programs for 5K/10K and for 10K/10Miles, and added the half marathon distance to the marathon program. He is still coaching and coordinating these and other programs.
The period of 2009 through 2013 started somewhat tumultuously for the club, and Dwight was most responsible for “righting the ship.” He demonstrated his greatest strengths as an organizer and administrator. Over that five year period: he oversaw the club’s equipment inventory and secured the rental of a secure storage facility; he rationalized and restructured the club’s finances; he worked/directed special races and high school cross country events; he made the operations of the Striders far more transparent and understandable; he drove the improvements in communications and the website and social media; he reviewed and updated Board of Directors’ responsibilities, new Board committees, transition planning and revision of by-laws; and numerous other needed programs and services.
Dwight also found time to take on the job of Maryland State Representative for the Road Runners Clubs of America, again bringing his prodigious organizational and administrative talents to bear.
He summed up his perspective of his time with the Striders as follows: ”I have received way more than I have given to one of the Best running clubs in America.” We would only add that he certainly helped make it so.