Bob Shor

I was planning that my next post would be shots from a Healdsburg tennis match or a XC meet. Unfortunately, Bob Shor passed away. Bob was an icon in Sonoma County Track and XC. He has been battling cancer for the last 6 months. Check out Jim Crowhurst's blog, Redwood Empire Running for a number of remembrances from folks who knew and loved Bob. I will miss Bob very much. For me, there was a rhythm to the fall and spring that began with the first meets ... I'd show up ... check out the track or starting area ... I'd see the coaches talking to their athletes ... see the kids warming up ... and I'd see Bob setting up his equipment, preparing for the event. He was a part of the fabric of track and XC for me. 

Bob could be gruff. Some might remember him as the stater who yelled at the kids. And yes, that was a part of who Bob was. But he was so much more. Three stories from my own experience ...

Story 1: I was getting ready to referee a winter league soccer match at Santa Rosa High's field. I noticed Bob walking around the track ... cleaning stuff up ... pulling weeds. I knew who he was from the meets I'd attended to watch my son Phil compete. So, I jogged over to him and introduced myself. I said I was a parent of a track athlete and I appreciated his contribution to track in our area. He was quiet ... maybe a little embarrassed. He asked who my son was. He remembered Phil. Again I thanked him ... 

Story 2: It was at a Big Cat meet. Bob was starting the 200m. I was hanging out near the timers area, waiting to shoot the kids coming down the final straight. I heard Bob yell ... "Guy with the camera! Get down or out of the way!" I was mortified. I prided myself in staying out of the way ... being aware ... knowing where to stand! I had been caught out. Two kids (the Johnson twins) ran up to me and asked, "was Bob yelling at you?" I sheepishly said "yes." They hugged me and said, "you are one of us now!" Bob Shor was a right of passage for many kids. Phil talked about him ... complained about him ... ran his best times when Bob was the starter ... See the stories shared by athletes and coaches at Redwood Empire Running to see Bob's impact and to understand all he contributed.

Story 3: I was shooting a 1600m race at the Viking Track Classic. I was standing in lane 3 as the kids came down to the finishing line. It was a sprint finish. Several runners swung wide into the 3rd lane. I saw the kids swing out and started to back up and move out to lane 4. I felt a hand on my shoulder moving me back and wide. I kept shooting. After the kids ran past me, I turned and there was Bob. He said, "I was concerned you'd get in the way. Make sure you stay back." I said, "I saw them and was backing up and out. I knew I needed to move. Thanks." Now, I think Bob didn't yell at me cause he was worried about distracting the kids sprinting to the finish. He wouldn't want to interfere ... and, I like to think he'd gotten to know me a little ... and was being gentle with me. He was like that. Going to miss you Bob.