OU Senior Helps the Atlanta Track Club Run Smoothly

Most people could only dream of having a job that is the perfect blend of business and pleasure, but this summer rising senior Beth Cleary ’12 got to experience just that.

Beth just finished a one-of-a-kind internship with the Atlanta Track Club, a job that seemed made for her. An avid distance runner, Beth worked at the ATC as an all-around intern, attending to hundreds of runners and helping to organize the ATC’s flagship event, the Peachtree Road Race.

It became obvious that this was a match made in heaven when, during the beginning of her internship, she witnessed people literally “running into work.”

“You have no idea how thrilled I was to find out that they had two full bathrooms with showers,…so you could run into work or run with your coworkers before the office opened and then just get showered up there,” recalled Beth. “I was immersed in a culture and group of people that lots of [others] look at like it’s crazy…but for me, it’s a dream.”

At this year’s Peachtree Road Race, Beth had the opportunity to meet some of the world’s most elite runners. She attended the pre-race press conference, picked up invited athletes from the airport, and readied the athletes for the post-race awards stage.

Because the ATC’s staff is fairly small, Beth was able to handle many other hands-on projects, like setting up for the All-Comers track meets at Emory University and writing blogs for the ATC website.

“The internship provided me with an inside look into the world of race planning and allowed me to see just how big a job it is,” said Beth, a member of the Oglethorpe track team. “There is so much more that goes into a race or a track meet than most people would imagine…It’s been the greatest internship experience I could ever ask for and I was able to run the Peachtree with a whole new appreciation for what it takes to make the largest 10K IN THE WORLD run smoothly—no pun intended.”

Though her internship is officially over, Beth is still working with ATC on an operations manual for the Peachtree Road Race, a fairly large project that will be helpful to future planning committees. In addition, she and her friends have started plans for the Oglethorpe Long Distance Running Club.

“My internships have all been with non-profits and I really enjoy that sector…it’s a constant stream of work usually, but it’s usually something exciting that feels worthwhile. I want to preserve that feeling in whatever job I have. But,..anything that has me surrounded by runners would keep me pretty happy.”

Photo:  Beth is surrounded by the Peachtree Road Race leaderboard: (from left) Peter Kamais, Men’s #3 overall; Alice Timbilili, Women’s # 2 overall; Matthew Kisori, Men’s #2 overall, and Sammy Kitwara, the winner of the 2011 Peachtree Road Race.

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