3:32 AM PDT, April 17, 2013
Mike Spinnler, director of the JFK 50 Mile ultramarathon, will be the guest speaker for the annual True Grit Awards Ceremony that will be held Tuesday, May 14, starting at 6 p.m. at Fountain Head Country Club.
Tickets cost $25 and are available by calling the Hagerstown YMCA at 301-739-3990.
The event is sponsored by the Hagerstown YMCA, Washington County Public Schools, The Herald-Mail Co., Cumberland Valley Athletic Club and the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The True Grit Award is given to student-athletes who might not be the stars of their team, but have overcome an obstacle to remain a member of their team.
Spinnler, who is also director of the Cumberland Valley Athletic Club and head cross country coach at St. Maria Goretti High School, has been an outstanding athlete and is a member of the Washington County Sports Hall of Fame.
He has the fastest JFK 50 Mile time for a Washington County resident.
In 1982, he finished 123rd in the Boston Marathon and won the 20th annual JFK 50 Mile in a course-record 5 hours, 53 minutes and 5 seconds — a record that stood for 12 years. He successfully defended his JFK win in 1983.
He is a champion age-group bike racer, representing Antietam Velo Club/Team Hagerstown-Washington County Tourism.
He competed in cross country and track at North Hagerstown High School, Hagerstown Community College, King College and Frostburg State University.
He graduated from FSU in 1981 with school records in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and the indoor 5,000 meters and won a Mason-Dixon Conference title in the indoor two-mile run.
Spinnler earned National Junior College Athletic Association National Coach of the Year honors for women’s indoor track and field while coaching at HCC in 1997 and served on numerous USA National Team coaching staffs. He serves as the coach of Team USA at the IAU World 24 Hour Run Championships which are held in Europe. He is also coach of the U.S. national team at the 100K World Cup.