BOSTON ÛÓ The
Boston Athletic Association (B.A.A.) announced today that Guy L. Morse, III
will become the Senior Director of External Affairs. He has served as the
organization’s Executive Director (since 2000) and Boston Marathon Race
Thomas S. Grilk has been named by the B.A.A.’s Board of
Governors to succeed Morse as Executive Director. Grilk has been
President of the B.A.A. Board of Governors since 2003 and will resign that
position to accept his new position at the B.A.A.
The expansion in leadership enables the B.A.A. to retain
Morse’s experience and relationships while transferring the
responsibility of the Association’s daily management to Grilk.
The new titles and positions for Morse and Grilk will be
effective January 1, 2011. The B.A.A. will select a new president this
month to succeed Grilk.
“This represents the perfect time for me to transition
into a new role for the B.A.A.,” said Morse. “After having rebounded
from health-related issues a couple of years ago, I realize my enthusiasm and
belief in the B.A.A.’s mission is as strong as ever. I’m looking forward to
creating even stronger community, industry and institutional relationships for
the Association where they are needed for the purpose of furthering the
B.A.A.’s positive impact and expanded reach. Serving the B.A.A. and its event
participants during the last 27 years has been an honor and a privilege, and I
look forward to continuing in my new capacity.”
Morse was diagnosed with cancer in 2008 and suffered
complications as part of the treatment, but he has recovered to lead a full and
Among Morse’s accomplishments for the B.A.A. are:
- obtaining major, long-term,
unprecedented corporate sponsorship agreements, including from John
Hancock Financial Services and adidas;
- providing the B.A.A. and Boston
Marathon financial security and positioning both the Association and event
- the institution of prize money
for the Boston Marathon;
- directing the historic
Centennial Boston Marathon in 1996, which was a milestone in the sporting
world and included the world’s largest field to date;
- developing the B.A.A.’s
year-round schedule of events and programming, such as the B.A.A. Half Marathon, youth initiatives, and clinics;
- bringing Boston into the formation of the World
Marathon Majors, along with London,
Berlin, Chicago and New York;
- playing host to the 2008 U.S.
Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon
- leading the B.A.A.’s charitable
efforts, including having exceeded $100 million in total funds raised
through 2010 through the B.A.A.’s Official Charity Program at the Boston
In 1985, Morse’s first full year with the B.A.A., the
organization had a deficit of $300,000 and the marathon had 5595 entrants. By
comparison, Morse’s current B.A.A. has an operating budget of approximately $9
million for 2011, the 2010 Boston Marathon included 26,790 entrants, the 2010
B.A.A. Half Marathon reached its field size limit in two hours, the 2011 Boston
Marathon filled its qualifying field in eight hours, the B.A.A. brand has never
been stronger, and the Boston Marathon has never been more popular or
experienced greater demand than it has in recent years.
The B.A.A. was established in 1887, and the inaugural B.A.A. Road
Race (later to be called the Boston Marathon) was held on April 19, 1897 and
had 15 entrants.
Morse, 59, who was recently appointed to the Association of International
Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) Board of Directors, becomes the B.A.A.’s
first Senior Director of External Affairs. The new position reflects the
Association’s commitment to its international, national and local
constituencies, including the eight cities and towns along the Boston Marathon
course and the cooperative departments and agencies from the Commonwealth
which assist in the organization of the B.A.A.’s main event. Morse will
preserve, renew and grow important long term relationships, both
institutionally and strategically, talents which have characterized his term as
Race Director and Executive Director.
In 2010, Boston Marathon weekend generated more than $122
million for the local economy, according to the Greater Boston Convention and
Visitors Bureau. The Boston Marathon is the area’s largest mass participatory
sporting event and is unrivaled in terms of its uniqueness and prestige.
Grilk, 63, has been a member of the B.A.A. since 1987, and
he has served as B.A.A. President since 2003. Grilk has been a longtime
“The B.A.A. is a vibrant, engaged and committed
organization which is active in the community and strives to make lives
healthier and better through running, charitable and philanthropic
endeavors,” said Grilk. “We take very seriously our responsibility to
uphold the Boston Marathon as a source of local pride, while also remembering
that we are involved with a recreational activity which should be fun and
entertaining for participants and spectators alike. I look forward to the
B.A.A.’s growth and to creating additional opportunities open to anyone who
might wish to participate in a B.A.A. road race, event or program.”
In assuming the leadership position for the B.A.A., Grilk
will be responsible for everything from daily operations to the implementation
of strategic plans. He has a deep institutional knowledge of both the
B.A.A. and Boston Marathon, having served in many volunteer capacities and
committees during the last three decades. Besides providing his legal expertise
pro bono to the B.A.A. on matters
ranging from contracts to trademark, he serves frequently as master of
ceremonies for many B.A.A. events and is recognizable as the “Voice of the
Boston Marathon,” announcing from the finish line each Patriots’ Day since
Among Grilk’s first actions when he becomes executive
director in the new year will be collaborating to conclude the review —
together with Morse and the B.A.A.’s Boston Marathon Race Director, Dave McGillivray
— of the B.A.A.’s qualifying standards and entry procedure for the Boston
Marathon. McGillivray remains in the position of Race Director, a title he has
held since the 2001 Boston Marathon. McGillivray joined the B.A.A. as the
Boston Marathon’s start coordinator following the 1987 Boston Marathon.
During Grilk’s tenure as B.A.A. President, the
organization has sought to foster the development of American athletes and
placing an emphasis on youth athletics has been a hallmark of this period.
Since 2003, nearly all top U.S.
marathoners have run the Boston Marathon, have sometimes challenged for
victory, and have added to the race’s appeal.
Also during this period, the B.A.A. 5K, which launched in
2009, has provided an opportunity for many local runners to participate in
another event on marathon weekend while the B.A.A. Invitational and Scholastic
Miles (also on race weekend) have placed the spotlight on selected runners from
the race communities.
In addition during that time, the B.A.A. Board of Governors
has championed two other significant US efforts in recent years
ÛÓ the B.A.A. playing host to the 2007 USA Women’s Marathon
Championship and the 2008 US Olympic Team Trials ÛÓ Women’s Marathon.
All of these enterprises exemplify a common theme for the
B.A.A. with Grilk as President: advancing the Association through the creation
of innovative events while expanding and strengthening the B.A.A.’s name
and brand with particular attention to American development.
The 115th Boston Marathon, the world’s oldest annual
marathon and one of the world’s most prestigious road races, will be held on
Monday, April 18, 2011.
Guy L. Morse, III bio from B.A.A. web site:
Thomas S. Grilk bio from B.A.A. web site:
About the B.A.A.
Established in 1887, the Boston
Athletic Association is a non-profit organization with a mission of managing
athletic events and promoting a healthy lifestyle through sports, especially
running. Each year the Association manages a comprehensive schedule of
youth-running events, distance running training programs, and large-scale races
in the city of Boston. Most noteworthy
is the Boston Marathon, the world’s most prestigious and
oldest continually run marathon. Since the inaugural race in 1897, the Boston Marathon
has been the pinnacle for distance running worldwide, a position which was
reinforced in 1986 with the help of principal sponsor John Hancock Financial.
In 2006, the Boston Marathon joined the Bank of America
Chicago Marathon, the Berlin
Marathon, the Virgin London Marathon, and the ING
New York City Marathon to form the World Marathon