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2024 Board

President

Jowenne (Jojo) Herrera has been a member of Longboat Roadrunners since 2016, but has been running with many club members for many years. Having trained individually for years, he officially joined Longboat to gain a better sense of community and be part of an awesome running family. Formerly a track and racquet athlete in high school, Jojo discovered his passion for running in his twenties as a means to find balance with his busy work schedule. He thrives in every athlete’s quest for personal challenge. Other sports always has a winner and a loser, but with running one can always be a winner depending on what she/he defines as success. His PBs include 17:32 5K, 37:11 10K, 1:19:34 21.1K, and a 2:59:02 in the Boston Marathon. For over a decade, Jojo has been a pace bunny for the the Scotiabank Half Marathon, consistently pacing the 1:30 Half. Besides running, he is a visual artist, graphic designer, strategy consultant for the public service, and an avid traveler. He is thrilled to serve again as this year’s club President and is motivated to bring a recognizable voice on behalf of the club.

Vice President

Sadie Werner started running during university and continued after. When she moved back to Toronto, she was looking for a community of runners and found that at Longboat Roadrunners. Aside from running, she enjoys reading and long walks with her dog, Rico. 

Treasurer

Bill Prest joined Longboat as a member in the summer of 1995. He had run his first race, Around the Bay in March 1994 and a few weeks later, the Shopper’s Drug Mart Toronto Marathon. Feeling his legs turning to concrete towards the end of both races convinced him that he needed better training. Bill realized that he had a lot to learn about running long distance, including the fact that there were shorter races. He decided that he needed to find a running club to get peer support and advice and decided to try Longboat after meeting a couple of the members at a 5K race in Mississauga. Bill discovered Longboat’s Island Race in the fall of 1994 and his t-shirt from that race is a prized possession. He has not so fond memories of bag check (as it was then) when he was stationed there as a crew member during the race the following year. Bill has served in the past as club secretary and became club treasurer in 2016. In 2023 he served as captain of the Island Race course set-up crew. When Bill isn’t keeping the club finances in order or running, he is working in community theatre or helping his wife Claire in their accounting firm. Bill also enjoys the odd spring and fall camping weekends. In his former life, Bill was a computer programmer and still does the IT for his wife’s firm. Bill looks forward to continuing in his position as club treasurer for another year in 2024. Contact him at treasurer@longboatroadrunners.com.

Secretary

Erin Merkley: I’m a former university cross country runner and distance triathlete. When I’m not running exclusively, I play soccer, hockey, softball and Gaelic football. I’m a mechanical design engineer in my 9-5 grind to pay for all my races.

Social Coordinator

Stephen Word is happy to be back as Social Coordinator, all the way from the Yukon. Since joining Longboat in 2016, Stephen has surpassed all but one of his running goals.  All that remains is the household record in the half marathon over his partner and fellow Longboater Juliana.

Race Coordinator

George Hubbard has been coaching, mentoring and pacing athletes since 1984. Over the last 35 years, he has provided over 275 programs for events from 5k to the marathon. While serving as one of our club coaches, five (5) of his athletes qualified for the 2019 Boston Marathon – in age groups from 30-34 to 50-54. George served as the Coaching Coordinator from 2007 to 2009. He has held other Longboat Executive roles as well – newsletter editor, Secretary and Vice President. George joined Longboat in 2000, and has raced track, cross-country and road races in Club colours.

Coaching Coordinator

Jonathan Karpetz is a late Ph.D. Candidate in Communications at McGill University. He has extensive non-profit working and board experience, including time at the Terry Fox Foundation and various arts organizations in Alberta. His running journey began in 2010 when he ran his first half marathon alongside his uncle, who inspired him to train. He is honoured to run under the Longboat banner and excited to give back to the club and the running community more broadly in 2024!

Past President

Bert de Vries: In high school and university I was a pudgy bookworm. I studied Latin and Greek at Queen’s University and Princeton University, but it wasn’t until I was an ESL teacher in Rimouski, Quebec, that I decided to lose weight. I started running to keep off the 45 pounds I had lost by dieting, and found I liked it. My first race was a cross country harrier when I was in Teacher’s College in Kingston. In my first teaching job at Oakwood Collegiate in Toronto my colleague Harry Braaksma told me to run 10 miles every day for four months to prepare for the Ottawa Marathon. I followed that lunatic advice and ran 2:55. To improve I joined the U of T Track Club where Timo Uuksulainen became my coach. Under his guidance I ran 2:49 at Boston. A year later in 1981 I attended the meeting at which the Longboat Roadrunners was born. Timo was also a founding member and remained my coach. By doing everything he told me to do I ran under 2:40 eight times over the following years, with a PB of 2:33:13. I won the Prince Edward Island Marathon when I was 38. Timo was a strong believer in track work, and I ran a lot of track races, setting some times that still stand as club records. I edited the club newsletter for seven or eight years (an issue every month before the age of word processors!), and have been Communications Coordinator, Coaching Coordinator, Vice President, and President. I took over the Sunset Shuffle when the Last Call Club could no longer manage it, and it is now a Longboat fixture. Along with Richard Bailey I do a great deal of record-keeping for the Club. Now that I have greatly slowed down, I lead the “no runner left behind” Wednesday night group that runs at a slower pace, i.e. a pace I can manage! A spectator once said to Timo at a race, “You’ve got some really good fast runners in this race!” Timo replied “They’re all good; some are just faster than others.” That sums up my feelings about running.

Prior Boards can be found here

Interested in serving on the Longboat Executive Board? (Including new members! We think this is a great way to get involved, learn more about the club & get to know your fellow club members!)

Below is a brief description of each role –

President: Serves as the chief executive officer of the club; leads the overall strategic and operational club requirements
Vice-President: Supports the overall strategic and operational club requirements, and act acts on behalf of the President as needed; VP also manages club uniforms
Secretary: Leads club documentation and executive board minutes; maintains and updates membership roster
Treasurer: Leads fiscal oversight and financial matters; prepares financial documents
Communications Coordinator: Leads club communications for online and social media
Social Coordinator: Organizes club social and engagement activities, volunteer engagement and events
Race Coordinator: Leads planning for Longboat’s Island Run and Sunset Shuffle
Coaching Coordinator: Leads the club’s training plan and manages coaches

(A full description of duties can be found on the Club Constitution)