Joe Connelly, Director of Race Operations, Ascends to Leadership Role Effective June 2022.
RunVermont announces that Joe Connelly will become the organization’s new Executive Director, effective June 2022. Connelly has served as Director of Race Operations at RunVermont since 2004. He takes over the helm from Peter Delaney, who served as RunVermont’s Executive Director from 2010 to 2022. Connelly brings more than 30 years of experience in race directing and production to the role with more than 150 races under his belt. Notably, he has been involved with RunVermont’s signature event, the M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon & Relay (VCM), since its inception in 1989.
“I’m excited to be able to continue to serve the running community and step into the Executive Director role with RunVermont,” Connelly said. “Peter Delaney, along with Andréa Sisino, John Scheer, and Gordon MacFarland — all our organization’s previous Directors— were mentors from whom I learned much. We’ve come a long way from a 1,000-runner marathon to a year-round production, including a vibrant youth running program and a handful of races that reach 10,000+ runners most years. Sunday marked a glorious return for the M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon after two years away, and I was proud to be a part of that. Today, we start the hard work to get to next year’s start line, and I’m excited to be able to lead us forward.”
Connelly was born in Washington and raised in upstate New York. He moved to the Burlington, Vermont, area nearly 40 years ago upon earning his Bachelor’s Degree in accounting at Saint Michael’s College. There, he was a member of the men’s cross country running and ski teams. He has remained an enthusiastic athlete since that time, having competed as a runner, triathlete, and skier with more than 500 race finishes.
Professionally, Connelly held accounting roles with Vermont-based firms Marlin Management and American Health Care Software Enterprises for nearly 15 years. He has also coached athletes and athletic teams: In 2001, he joined RunVermont as a seasonal contractor and started coaching men’s cross country running and skiing at his alma mater.
His connection to RunVermont goes back to a momentous day – November 6, 1988, six months before the inaugural Vermont City Marathon was run in 1989. That day, Connelly completed a training run with Gordon MacFarland, the VCM’s first Race Director, on what was to become the original course. Connelly then raced that first VCM, establishing his marathon personal record. After that first VCM, he moved into a volunteer role with RunVermont, charting a trajectory from volunteer to seasonal staff to part-time staff and, eventually, to a full-time role as Director of Race Operations.
“Joe is the ideal next leader of RunVermont,” said Sam Davis, chair of RunVermont’s Board of Directors. “He understands the Vermont City Marathon and our other events from the inside out due to his vast experience in just about every detail of every race. You name it, Joe has done it. More so, as a coach and athlete, he understands the unique needs and goals of our participants. Joe also recognizes that the hundreds of volunteers and spectators who engage every year with RunVermont are key ingredients to the organization’s success. We can’t wait to see what Joe brings to this role.”
“We wish to congratulate Joe Connelly as he takes on the Executive Director role with RunVermont. He has a long history with RunVermont and a very good understanding of our partnership. The planning begins soon for 2023 and we are excited to see the expertise Joe brings as we plan for another great event,“ said Michael Seaver, Vermont President, M&T Bank.
RunVermont is a non-profit 501(c)(3) whose mission is to foster a lifelong love for the sport of running through year-round race events, coaching services, and youth engagement programs. It is home to New England’s 2nd largest marathon and Vermont’s largest sporting event, the M&T Bank Vermont City Marathon & Relay.