VHTRC Board Candidate Statement of John Fitz

Happy Trails, friends! I have found a very special place in this club and I would like to up my involvement and would be proud to serve as one of the members of the board, if selected.  

There are many reasons why I feel so connected to the VHTRC, but ultimately it’s the people.  I have made strong friendships with people through running and more specifically the VHTRC. These experiences have been so positive such as celebrating each other’s successes at a race, sharing supplies on a training run, helping each other at aid stations or during mid-race as “competitors” and by pacing each other toward a successful finish. I always enjoy sharing some trail time with you all and I look to more in the future. 


I do not have suggestions for any sweeping changes as I do believe the club is already pretty great.  Instead, I would strive to continue to make the club inclusive and accessible to all who want to run on dirt (or rocks) and play outside.  I would also emphasize maintaining the traditions and history of what makes our club so awesome.  I love the low key aspects and old school feel to many of the great events the club has to offer and would do my best to preserve that.  As a board member, I promise that my focus would always be with the best interest of the runners.


I have been a member of VHTRC since 2014 and plan to be one for life. I have completed 45 ultras in a pretty short amount of time, ranging from my favorite low-key fat ass races (VHTRC ones, of course) to more formal fancy-smancy ones like JFK50 and North Face Endurance Events.  I have completed seven 100 milers, five of which were completed in Virginia (four Old Dominion races and one MMT race). I have just signed up for the 2020 BRR, a favorite 50 miler and I am excited to be going for my 7th consecutive finish, perhaps I will finally have a good race there, maybe even securing a point for my side in battle. I am a Master of the Ring (completed the Ring in 2016 and then the Reverse in 2017) and those finishes will go down as some of my best running accomplishments of my life, for anyone getting around those loops and staying on orange for that long should be seriously proud, that’s so darn tough. Like so many others in the club, I truly enjoy helping others at races.  I try to volunteer as much as I can at local races, but I know I can do more and plan to do so. Probably my proudest VHTRC-related accomplishment so far would have to be that one year when I was the co-champion in the College Football Bowl Contest, you read that correctly, I was THE best (aside from that other guy, who also won). This was much better than the weekly football contest, where I regularly finish mid-pack, just like my ultra races.


I am a proud VHTRCer and I enjoy traveling to other races around the country (mostly the East Coast so far) and I regularly represent our great club by wearing my VHTRC shirts and sharing stories promoting the club. It’s always great to hear “Happy Trails” on the trail when someone has recognized our Furbutt emblem.  Our people get around and this recognition is a true reflection of our club’s world dominance.


I also believe I could bring unique perspective as the only candidate from Maryland. I am involved with the MoCo Road Runners, but my heart is definitely in trail running. I will be serving as a volunteer coach in the MCRRC’s winter trail program for the upcoming season. I also served as a Co-RD for the Stone Mill 50 miler, but that partnership was short-lived, sadly. I am connected with many runners from Maryland and this could benefit the club in several ways such as possibly expanding into MD for future events and by recruiting others from across the American Legion Bridge.


As part of the leadership of the club, I feel like I could contribute a lot to the board.  I have served in leadership positions throughout my life, in the Navy and more recently as a high school science educator - I mean I routinely am able to get unwilling and unmotivated teenagers to do well in my classes and to increase their GRIT so they can learn vital skills for their future, while also shaping their minds with critical thinking science skills.  My leadership style is one that is based on the best interests of others and I would continue to do that as a member of the VHTRC board.


Happy Trails and I hope to see you on a trail soon!


John Fitz

PS: Also, if elected, I will guarantee that there will be vending machines installed in every hallway in the school and we shall have NO homework ever again.  Also free health care for all and strong border security along the Mason-Dixon Line.  I am John Fitz and I approved this message.