Kara Goucher, Brandon Hough, Michael Nishi and Alan Brookes were among those honored at the Running USA Industry Conference’s annual awards presentation.

The conference was held last week in Caesars Palace with the awards ceremony taking place Sunday night. The awards recognized efforts to lead, disrupt and improve the running industry in the U.S. and beyond.

“Our annual awards are a celebration of all that is great about the running industry,” said Rich Harshbarger, CEO of Running USA. “This is a sport with a great deal of human spirit, and each of our 2020 award recipients shows that spirit in spades.”

The awards recipients were:

  • Hall of Champions – Two longtime contributors to the sport were inducted into the Hall of Champions. Michael Nishi, executive vice president of operations for Chicago Event Management, and Alan Brookes, one of the most influential figures in Canadian road running and the Founder of the Canada Running Series.
  • Rising Star Award – Brandon Hough, race director for the Air Force Marathon and the founder of the Advanced Running Project in Dayton, Ohio, was named an up-and-comer to watch in the sport.
  • Women’s Leadership Award – Kara Goucher, world-class distance runner and U.S. Olympian as well as an advocate for a clean sport and women’s rights as athletes and mothers. Goucher is speaking at the event on a Monday morning panel about the evolution of the sport of road running.
  • Youth Program Award – The Cowtown Calf program, based in Fort Worth, TX, received a $10,000 contribution towards its efforts to get kids active and moving. The Calf program includes shoe fittings for over 5,000 children each year and the opportunity to participate in after school training runs leading to the Cowtown Kids Race in December each year.

Running USA is the non-profit trade organization for the sport of road running. Its annual conference has gathered a record 720 industry professionals from 17 countries around the world for education, networking, a major expo and more.

Photo courtesy Running USA