TRACY SUNDLUN currently lives outside of San Diego, CA and is best known as the co-founder of the precedent-setting Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, but before that there was New York and the Metropolitan Athletics Congress, now known as USA Track & Field New York. Both are major chapters of the life of this seasoned professional with over 40 years of involvement in virtually every facet of the sports of track and field, road racing, cross country running, and race walking.
His experience includes everything from coaching to sports administration to event creation, planning, and production; officiating to athlete representation; sponsorship sales to charity fundraising; contract negotiation to television production; event marketing to government relations to budgeting and finance.
Tracy is a visionary who is not afraid “to take a chance on being great,” and who has been at the forefront of a number of the sports’ innovations and advances over the past 40+ years. A proven consensus-builder and problem-solver, he is a team player who understands that success has many parents, and does not seek the limelight, but does not run from responsibility.
His actions, events, and programs have always epitomized his core belief that the sport should impact all of society; be greater than the sum of its parts; is only as strong as its weakest link; and look to include as opposed to exclude, involving all constituencies and athletes of all ages and abilities.
What most of us can relate to warmly was Tracy’s career here in New York from 1980 to 1997 when he volunteered and eventually commandeered the leadership and energy of the Metropolitan Athletics Congress (MAC), the Metropolitan Association of the Athletics Congress of the USA, and then later USA Track & Field.
In 1980 he came on as the volunteer Chair of Women’s Track and Field. By 1982, he became MAC’s first Executive Director and used the organization and his sheer energies as a vehicle to execute his vision for the sport here in the New York Metropolitan area. MAC went from a clubhouse attitude to a “we can be the best in the business” attitude very quickly. Herewith is a summary of what he accomplished in those 17 years before heading West.
This is what he did while here in New York. We all know of his many accomplishments since then, but especially notable was his contributions as the head Men’s Team Manager for Team USA from 2008 to 2018, including three World Championships, two Pan-American Championships, several NACAC Regional events, and the 2008 and 2016 Olympic Games in Beijing and Rio De Janeiro.
Having some occasional involvement in International Track & Field Championships myself, it was always very comforting to bump into Tracy in faraway places like Instanbul and Beijing. While I may have been starting races for the IAAF, seeing Tracy always made me remember where I got my best formative experiences in learning that job -- right here in New York working at Tracy’s marathon MAC meets. There are literally hundreds of great “Tracy stories” to share (The Syracuse conference call – Mario, Bruce, Tracy, and the Chancellor), but we have some time constraints here, so let’s cut to the chase.
Tracy Sundlun, it is indeed our great honor to welcome you into our USATF New York Officials’ Hall of Fame. Although Southern California may claim you now, to we all here you are still a “New Yawkah” through and through! Thank you for all you have given us.