Where do you start a note like this? One of recognition, admiration, inspiration, and simple thanks. Those are just a few of the emotions that members of the Lincoln running, and fitness world, might feel toward this 2020 Lincoln Track Club honoree. Every group needs an ambassador, a leader, to promote and be the person that people look to. Maybe they want this role and maybe they do not. But for runners in Lincoln, Nebraska, that person has been Ann Ringlein.
Great leaders know they are one small piece of a much bigger picture. Great leaders also recognize that the picture would not be the same without their presence. It is no great exaggeration to say that the running culture of Lincoln, Nebraska, would be vastly different without Ann’s presence. You would have to crack open some reference books to find the appropriate phrasing to describe what Ann has done around and for Lincoln. Competition and relationships might be a good starting point though.
Ann’s commitment to the pursuit of an ideal competition has taken her through several avenues. First, as a national-level runner in her own right. Then, as a college coach at Nebraska Wesleyan. Next, as a coach, both informally and formally, of numerous local athletes. But the biggest contribution Ann Ringlein has provided to our community in this regard might be her role as race director (and advisor to race directors) in many Lincoln Track Club events. Organizing three races each year: the Lincoln Running Company Mile, Buffalo Run (Lincoln’s oldest race), and the Holiday Run benefiting the Capital Humane Society. For those who have never taken on the responsibility of race leadership, it is an incredible task of leadership to organize the moving pieces and pull an event off. With two of these three races being the only live LTC events to happen in 2020, Ann also has proven her leadership skills in how to hold an event during a pandemic. Simply incredible.
In her role as race director, athlete, coach, Lincoln Track Club vice president, and store manager, Ann has had the opportunity to encounter, work with, and engage with many different individuals and organizations. Working in connection with all these stakeholders, Ann has been instrumental in increasing access to and expanding fitness-based opportunities in Lincoln. Jumping at any chance to promote running, when it would be easy to say enough is enough, it is safe to say that no single individual has had the impact on endurance pursuits in the city, and possibly the state of Nebraska. Ann Ringlein has shaped distance running in Lincoln for at least two generations. Her influence on so many different people will be felt around here for years to come.
Please join the Lincoln Track Club in recognizing Ann Ringlein’s efforts and contributions in this presentation of the 2020 President’s Award for Above and Beyond Community Service.