Joe Dixon is in for the long run at helm of running society

Joe Dixon, a former race director for Ironman Canada, has been named race manager and executive director of the Victoria International Running Society.

Dixon succeeds Cathy Noel at the society, which hosts the annual Times Colonist 10K and Victoria International Track Classic.

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The 10K attracts thousands of participants each year, while the track classic brings in an impressive roster of international-calibre athletes. Dixon said he hopes to build on the rich tradition of both events, and is charged with overseeing their “execution and advancement.”

The profile of the TC 10K is one of the things that attracted him to his new job, he said.

Dixon is looking forward to the 30th anniversary of the TC 10K in 2019. He said the TC 10K is already in the top five or six such runs in the country for overall attendance, while the track classic adds another dimension to his job.

“I’m excited to be involved with that event,” he said. “I come from a track background, so it’s going to be interesting to get back into track.”

The 10K and the track classic are virtually full-time pursuits, said Dixon, who has lived in Victoria for three years. “As we mention to athletes, our year usually starts up again within weeks of an event ending.”

Part of that is trying to stand out among the many other events from which people can choose, Dixon said.

“It’s much more full-time than it might have been 10 or 15 years ago.”

Getting involved in events like the TC 10K on the organizational side can be an eye-opener, he said. “The triathletes and runners I know, until they join boards or start volunteering at a level past just being there on race day, don’t appreciate all of the moving parts involved as events get bigger.”

Stepping in as a volunteer while competing is how Dixon, started as an event organizer.

“I was involved with the triathlon club in Kelowna in 1999 and volunteered to become the club president.”

That instantly led to heading up the local triathlon society.

“A few years later, I decided to start producing my own events because I saw a hole in the schedule for triathletes.”

Dixon’s athletic background includes running and doing high jump at high school in New Westminster, and competing in triathlons and running events for many years. He continues to organize triathlons on Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland and in the south Okanagan through Dynamic Race Events.

Victoria International Running Society president Chris Siver said Dixon is an “ideal fit” because of his extensive background in event management and his connection to both the running and walking communities.

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