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Rob Taerum Presents The 2020 OTA To Don Lee

Hello everyone. My name is Rob Taerum and I’ll be announcing this year’s recipient of the Orange Toque Award.

First, let me tell you about the origin and purpose of the award.

The orange toque award was created to celebrate the memory of Jim Clampett who passed away in February 2014. Jim was a great friend of many and an avid runner who was known throughout the local running community for his outstanding volunteer work. A tireless Calgary Roadrunner board member and volunteer, he was most often seen operating the finish line equipment and tabulating race results. At the fall and winter races, Jim was easily recognized by his bright orange toque.

Since 2015, the award has been presented annually during the Calgary Roadrunners AGM to a club member who has provided outstanding volunteer service to the Calgary Roadrunners and the running community.

Past recipients of the award include Kathy Taerum, Derek Wilkinson, Melody Switzer, Mardy Roberts and last year, yours truly. Tradition requires that last year’s recipient introduce this year’s winner.

Before I announce the name of this year’s Orange Toque Award recipient, let me give you a little background about this person.
I’ve known this Calgary Roadrunner member fairly well for about a dozen years, mostly through our participation in the cross-country Grand Prix series. We’re both in the same age category and he is always ahead of me in a race.

Kathy has captured many photos of him over the years, starting with the Moose Mountain 29K he ran in September 2006.

I probably met him for the first time when we ran the Edworthy Cross-country race in 2006.

By 2011, he was hooked on the cross country series. In the past decade, he has qualified in the Grand Prix Series, completed one Iron Person, and has finished in the top 3 in his age category in eight of the past ten years.

He has run in track events with the club and in cross country and road races of all distances: from the Nose Hill parkruns to the St Patrick’s Day and Glencoe Icebreaker 10Ks, to the Robert Hamilton 10 miler, and the Police Half Marathon. Most significantly, he is a veteran Marathon and Ultra runner. He has completed the Frozen Ass 50 a handful of times. I don’t have the exact number but I believe he’s bagged well over 50 marathons and may yet reach Jim Clampett’s lifetime total of 99.

This year’s Orange Toque Award winner has volunteered for many of the CRR race events throughout the past dozen years. He’s been the lead cyclist for the Women’s Race many times. He was the finish line manager for the St. Patrick’s Road Race for several years. He’s been a very successful coach for the club’s marathon group for the past decade. This individual has served on the board of the Calgary Roadrunners club for several years, serving as Club President for an eye-watering 4 years.

He is currently the co-director of the Cross Country Grand Prix organizing committee, along with Derek Wilkinson. An advocate for the running community, he also appeared on Global Calgary’s morning news show in January of 2017 to promote the Calgary Roadrunners Club and running as a way to achieve New Year’s resolutions to improve personal fitness.

This year’s Orange Toque award recipient has tackled many leadership roles within the club. His success lies in his positive outlook and ability to infect others with his enthusiasm. It must be working, as he has convinced many of us to participate and volunteer in running events. He is an empathetic, patient listener and a well-spoken and engaging speaker.

It gives me great pleasure to announce this year’s Orange Toque Award recipient, Don Lee.