Grand Poobah / Membership Director – Lou Karl
Background: I started running in college as a way to quit smoking. I like to say that the stronger addiction won, although there were several years of fits and starts along the way. As the years went by I got to meet many amazing people through the vagabond lifestyle of running and racing. These days, I am content with just trying to stay up with my fellow Irish on Thursday evenings and competing for the old guy awards at a few local races.
Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2018. I actually started running with the Flying Irish when I moved here late in 2017, but the season was already over so those runs were unofficial
Favorite Flying Irish Route: Any run that runs alongside of or crosses the awesome Spokane River in all its fury.
Running Shoes: I was a big advocate of Asics Gel Lytes and DS Trainers for years. Now with the need for more cushioning and stability I have gone to the Brooks Ravennas.
Running Highlights: Completing my first marathon back in, wait for it, 1980. Running my first sub-3 hour marathon in Chicago, completing a marathon in all 50 states with the Maui Marathon back in 2008, and running the Windermere Marathon on a whim a few years ago which just happened to be my first visit to the amazing City of Spokane.
Favorite Running Race: Boston Marathon. There are many great races, but there is nothing quite like the history, enthusiasm and honor of running the grand-daddy of them all.
Sponsor Liaison – Jim Palm
Background: I moved to Spokane in 2012 and did not know a single person. By pure serendipity, I heard about this running club – The Flying Irish, and decided to check it out. Clearly, one of the best decisions I have ever made. The amazing friendships and memories that have been formed will last forever.
Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2013
Favorite Flying Irish Route: The 7-bridges route as it highlights the most iconic symbol of this great city, the Spokane River.
Running Shoes: Asics GT-2000
Running Highlights: I am a native of Minnesota where winters can be brutally chilly. I used to love those cold weather below zero runs where icicles form on your face and your eyelids freeze shut. So much fun!
Favorite Running Race: I absolutely love the Spokane to Sandpoi nt200 mile Relay Race – such great commaraderie with our team ‘Geezers and Dolls’. But I think the race that is the most special is our annual Flying Irish Halloween Romp thru the streets of Spokane. Hundresds of costumed crzaies taking over the city and then dancing the night away to the sounds of DJ Marathon. Priceless!
Secretary – Jody Shapiro
Background: I love running … and I love running groups! I’ve been running with the Flying Irish for over a decade now. I also lead the Manito Running Club on Saturdays and enjoy running with the Lantern, Beers & Blisters, SoHi, and Highlanders. In addition to running, I love to DJ and am known around town as DJ Marathon.
Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2009 (I think)
Favorite Flying Irish Route: Zig Zag
Running Shoes: Mizuno, Hoka, and Saucony for training. Adidas and Nike for racing.
Running Highlights: Running all three of the major American Marathons (Boston, Chicago, New York) in under three hours.
Favorite Running Race: Bloomsday, of course!
Treasurer – Dawn Vidoni
Background: I ran my first mile in college, and my first marathon 15 years later. I love the people I meet and the places I get to see. All you need are shoes – no equipment to break down or maintain, no special trails you have to go on, rain or snow, it’s a year long way to get some exercise and be outside.
Year Joined: I probably did my First Flying Irish run in 2010, but it wasn’t until after the pandemic that it became a regular part of my routine.
Favorite Route = River run for the scenery and Stairmaster for the challenge
Running Highlights: Finishing the Windermere marathon 1.5 years after I had a huge accident, broke several bones in my leg and almost died.
Favorite Running Race – Race2Adventure! It’s a trail running group made up of runners from all over the country. We travel to foreign lands, run in out of the way places, experience new cultures and see amazing places; check it out! Locally, Bloomsday – it’s crowded and crazy and was one of the first things I did when I moved here from Phoenix.
Director of Merchandise – Bret Whitesides
Background: Fire fighter, Medic, ER Nurse (basic adrenaline junkie)… BA from Boise State University. Currently working in HR/ Payroll support for Hospitals.
Year Joined the Flying Irish: Circa mid 2006
Favorite Flying Irish Route: I always enjoy the 7 Bridges route… running around Riverfront. There are more than 7 bridges on that route by the way…
Highlights: Several Marathons, MANY half marathons, Spokane to Sandpoint x5, countless 5 and 10 K’s
Favorite race: Spokane to Sandpoint! Party on wheels!!
Director of Communications – Tony Proctor
Background: High school middle of the pack runner, and amateur status through my 20s and 30s. Now that I’m elbow deep in middle age, I intend to lean heavily on Thursday evening Flying Irish runs to lead me to gold in the next summer olympics.
Year Joined the Flying Irish: July 8th 2021, the first day of in-person running after the great COVID scare of the 21st century.
Favorite Flying Irish Route: H.I.M. (Howard Indiana Monroe), mostly because it joined the Flying Irish after me.
Running Shoes: Anything Altra
Running Highlights: If it’s a Spokane group run, it’s a great run.
Favorite Running Race: Whatever I’m training for next, be it Spokane to Sandpoint, the Sundae Sunday, the Spokane Marathon, or Bloomsday, the races keep me motivated to continue to train and run.
Director of IT – Rabbitt Starno
Background: Became a runner back in high school, gained a lifelong love of the sport, and lost about 100 pounds.
Year Joined the Flying Irish: 2007?
Favorite Flying Irish Route: Stair Master. Gotta get those buns, hun!
Running Shoes: Saloman Speedcross trail runners
Running Highlights: Party weekends at the BBFR
Favorite Running Race: Spokane to Sandpoint. Who doesn’t love 2 days in a van with stinky runners?
Runner Representative – Aric Trantum
Background: I ran for one year at Mead high school for the legendary Pat Tyson. I didn’t really get back into it until 2012 when I started training for Bloomsday. I have increased my mileage every year since then and have surpassed 2000 miles each of the last three years.
Favorite Flying Irish route: River run
Running shoes: I like a variety (Nike, Altra, Hoka, Adidas) but my favorite brand are Saucony.
Favorite races: Sundae Sunday 10 miler, Portland Marathon and of course Bloomsday.