by Christine Bishop
Frank Myers is a familiar face to runners throughout the Capital District. His contributions are legion and his devotion to running is unquestioned. He was the founder and director of the Dynamic Duo race which ran for 40 years until 2018. Frank was the Assistant Race Director, Tawasentha XC Series for 25 years and his Colonie high School teams that he has coached for decades have volunteered at water stops for many years at the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon/Half Marathon and the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge. His crowning achievement is the Colonie Tuesday Summer Track Series that began in 1969 and 55 years later is still going strong promoting participation and competition for all ages and abilities. It begins this year on June 27. The meets end with the annual “Ribbon Night” where first place winners, no matter how young their age, receive a ribbon in the 50 meter dash, the 100 meter dash, the 200 meter dash and the 400 meter dash. It is sponsored by the HMRRC and encourages younger children and families to attend.
The first HMRRC Colonie Summer Track program was held on July 8, 1969, with the original track coach Frank Myers still calling the shots! Lisa Chase wrote this about the early history:
“We owe it all to a pair of local brothers. Frank Myers, the long-time coach of Colonie track and field (currently in his 53rd year), and his brother Don, a retired superintendent of the Colonie Recreation Department, held the first meet on July 8, 1969, just days before man first landed on the moon. A total of 18 male competitors participated in the inaugural event.”
Frank Myers was contacted about this article and he added the following:
We are "super" successful today (over 200 participants on Ribbon Night) in part because of the many people involved in volunteering to help out. There has never been an entry fee for our meets, and nobody gets paid to help out in the field events and running events or anything else.
In 2022, the Colonie Mile was held on July 12. It was the first in a series of 3 races. Bill Meehan, the Pace Setter Graphics Editor took pictures that totally capture the energy and joy of the race for those who ran the mile. You can practically feel them sweat. We encourage you to view these extraordinary pictures by clicking here. As a footnote, three of the competitors ran 4-minute miles!
In 2021 Frank Myers was inducted into the Greater Capital District Track, Field and Cross Country Hall of Fame. These achievements were cited:
Frank Myers (Colonie ‘63, Albany State University ‘68 )
Coached all levels of boys and girls track and cross country at Colonie High School uninterrupted for 51 years, amassing a total of 353 dual meet and 82 invitational meet victories
Led 1986 and 1999 girls’ cross country teams to state championships, and has coached numerous individual and relay state champions
Charter member of the Capital District Track Officials (47 years), longest-tenured President of the Tri-Country Indoor Track league (19 years), created and directed Colonie Tuesday night Community track meets, 51 years.
In more than 50 years at Colonie, Myers-coached teams have won 353 dual meets and 82 championship meets. He led the girls to state cross country championships in 1986 and 1999 and has also had numerous individuals and relay teams earn state titles. Myers is a longtime track official who founded the popular Colonie Community Track Meets.
Fun Facts About the Summer Colonie Track Meets
Olympians who competed
National Champions – Between 15 and 20
State Champions – Over 100
As of July 10, 2018 – 428 Meets (We’ve kept the results of 420 of them)
On June 25, 2018 – We timed 240 people in the Mile
Since the “Running Boom” is way over, we generally get a huge number of “kids” and not as many adults as past years.
THE PROGRAM HAS BEEN “FREE” SINCE ITS INCEPTION
Tim Layden, now one of the head writers at Sports Illustrated, was a fledgling area sportswriter and his main assignment was covering the Saratoga Race Track. Tim was a 4:20 miler but couldn’t race on Monday because Saratoga was open. The track was “dark” on Tuesdays, so Monday Nite Track Meets became Tuesday Nite Track meets.
We celebrated our 200th meet in 1994. Five competitors from the inaugural meet in 1969 competed---Charlie Shrader, Bernie Gansle, Jeff Green, Don Myers and Frank Myers.
The Hudson Mohawk Road Runners Club took over sponsorship from the Colonie Recreation Department in 2010.
As is obvious, Frank Myers is an outstanding volunteer who has work selflessly to share his knowledge and love of running throughout the Greater Albany District. The HMRRC is honored to give the Distinguished Service Award to such a unique hero of running who is a philanthropist not in money, but something more important, his time. Bravo, Frank!