Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mike Hosang, race director

 I have started, deleted, restarted, redeleted several profiles of Mike Hosang on this blog.  If I were a better writer, I would be able to capture his dynamic personality, wit and ability to inspire others.  But I will need to settle for simply describing him in terms of a race he has directed for 5 years, Trashmore Cross.  Here is Mike's diagram for the set up crew this morning for this year's edition of the race.  Several of the 102 participants today commented on how much they enjoyed the course which is a tweaked revision of the previous course on Virginia Beach's only "mountain" at Mt. Trashmore city park.

Though the source is obscure, the last words of a fictional Sam Byck, "And a man is only remembered for his work," come to mind when I think of Mike.  John Blazszack once commented that Mike had done much to inspire cooperation amongst all 757 teams to organize cross training and racing.  Indeed, this year, of the 9 Virginia series races, 4 have happened in Hampton Roads compared with only one (Trashmore) from Hampton Roads in the series as late as 2008.  

Born in Spain and transplanted to Virginia Beach, Mike carries the tradition of introducing European- born cyclocross to his hometown reminiscent of how the late Peter Teeuwen brought road racing here from the Netherlands.  In fact, Mike received the annual Teeuwen award in 2009 partly for his leadership in cross.  It is no coincidence that Mike's childhood home is right down the street from Trashmore, in clear view of a fledgling Town Center (pictured left) that has grown up to parallel his dreams of bike racing events in his city. 
He makes it a point to race in the events he promotes--a monumental task any organizer would say.  Most promoters are happy just to serve as pack fill with a lackluster finish to burn up the remaining fumes left after a week of nursing event details.  However, Mike solidly won the masters 35+ event today after no warm up.  What I noticed about Mike as he spoke with a newspaper reporter  is that publicity for the race is important to him, but what is most important is the sport itself, in isolation to any notoriety it may bring him.  Interacting with the course on his bike is where he was most grounded today, in spite of his great job at organizing it.

(2 bottom photos by BJ Samuel.  See her gallery of photos from the race today!)

No comments: