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April 2021 - Mike Idacavage

Congratulations to Mike Idacavage, our April Volunteer of the Month! Mike has been a volunteer with Atlanta Track Club for the past 24 years, and was named our 2019 Road Race Volunteer of the Year for his exceptional service and leadership. We are recognizing Mike once again for the relentless dedication and support he has provided to the Club through a difficult year. Most recently, Mike has helped us navigate our way through new waters, establishing new courses in new locations (two racetracks!) with new challenges in a COVID world. Having Mike's leadership on the course and his friendship off the course has certainly made Atlanta Track Club a better place to be!

How long have you been volunteering with Atlanta Track Club?

My first volunteer opportunity with the Atlanta Track Club was the 1997 Peachtree Road Race. I was a course monitor and loved every minute of the experience!

What is one of your best memories from volunteering at any race?

The 2015 Peachtree Road Race when one of our water delivery trucks broke down on the course at the half mile point. The water Delivery team and I threw our normal game plan out the window and managed to get every water stop set up and our trucks off the course right before the first runners came through. I lost track of how many changes we made during that morning, but our team was proud of not affecting the race. BTW, that Peachtree was the first one where I took over the fluid delivery duties, so it was a trial by fire!

What is your favorite thing about volunteering with Atlanta Track Club? What brings you back?

My most favorite part of volunteering with the Atlanta Track Club is clearly the people involved. From the outstanding staff to my fellow volunteers, you could not ask for a greater group to volunteer with.

What other organizations do you volunteer for?

In recent years, I have been a crew chief for 2019 Super Bowl LIII, the 2020 canceled College Basketball Final Four, the Peach Bowl and the SEC Football Championship. I also volunteer with a national technical organization as an advisor and mentor for students and young professionals in my field.

You have recently retired. Tell us how your retirement is going and what is keeping you busy!

I seem to be busier now than when I was working full time! In addition to the volunteering I am doing for the ATC, I started a consulting company which is keeping me more active than expected, I am on several company's Advisory Boards and am mentoring a few technical start-up companies. Oh yea, I am also in the final steps of authoring a chemistry textbook!

Do you have any advice or words of wisdom for any new Atlanta Track Club volunteers?

I sure do! My advice would be to enjoy every experience and get to know your fellow volunteers as you will make some great friends over the years. Also be open to trying new volunteer opportunities at the Atlanta Track Club events even though at first, they might not seem super interesting. You will be surprised as to the cool opportunities that they might lead to!

Tell us something interesting about yourself - an interesting fact or story that will help us get to know you…

A lot of people might not know that when I am not having fun at the Atlanta Track Club events, I am a scientist in real life. Although I have around 5 patents, I am most proud of coauthoring a book with the scientist who won the 2010 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.

You are the most positive person we know. How do you stay so positive and what sparks joy for you?

I have a saying that being positive sure beats the alternative! I have found over the years that in almost every situation that pops up in the Atlanta Track Club events and in daily life that there almost always a way out of any problem. Besides, it is always good to remember that any problem you are having now likely will not be a problem to you in 100 years! ☺

You are probably one of the only humans that has ever been course director on two of Atlanta's racetracks for two major events. Tell us about the unique experience of being in charge of a racetrack course? What were your challenges and what was the best part?

This is such a great question! Running an event out on a course that is on a racetrack is quite different than one which meanders through the community. Perhaps one of the biggest challenges was to keep the experience fun for the course monitors who are on or near the actual racetrack. For the Atlanta 10 Miler event in the fall, we had the added complexity of the runners going through a maze of cones, so we needed every course monitor to be on top of their game. We had outstanding volunteers for both racetrack events which helped things run smoothly. One of the coolest experiences that I had with Atlanta's Marathon Weekend was getting to see the runners faces as they exited out of the tunnel and saw the inside of the Atlanta Motor Speedway.

This past year with a pandemic has been quite challenging for all of us. Did you learn any new skills during the pandemic? What got you through this challenging year?

When I started out 2020 in January, I had no idea I would become so familiar with using Zoom to connect with people every day! I think by focusing on what needs to be done every week and looking for the fun aspect in whatever I do, then the hassles and occasional problems were manageable. Besides, in 100 years, I likely will not be so stressed with 2020 as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic!

Volunteer of the Month

Mizuno strives to be Atlanta's essential and reliable running brand. Since 2018 they have been committed to YOU, the essential and reliable volunteers who make our 30+ events and programs possible. They provide the Volunteer of the Month with seasonal apparel and discounted footwear to make all those hours spent on your feet more comfortable.

Previous Volunteers of the Month

"Volunteer of the Month" began in March of 2015 with the launch of our new website as a way to honor and recognize our amazing Atlanta Track Club volunteers who go above and beyond the call of duty. Congratulations to our Volunteers of the Month and thank you for all that you do!

March 2021 - Bob DeLorme

February 2021 - Jeanette Arroyo

January 2021 - Heather Lyons-Natt

December 2020 - Vanessa Bennett

November 2020 - Sabra Black

October 2020 - Nicole Lock

September 2020 - Samantha Andrews

August 2020 - Sue Landa

July 2020 - Taylor James

June 2020 - Chrystal Akor

May 2020 - Tiffany Addison

April 2020 - Courtney Strosnider

March 2020 - David Henry

February 2020 - Jane Burke

January 2020 - Bob Wells

December 2019 - Svetlana Dimova

November 2019 - Megan McGuigan

October 2019 - Jay Hallman

September 2019 - Komlan Tamatekou

August 2019 - Jamie Howard

July 2019 - Barbara Carroll

June 2019 - Larry McDaniel

May 2019 - Tim Parker

April 2019 - Deborah Wright

March 2019 - Shannon Parris

February 2019 - Lisa Obser

January 2019 - LaTashia Hill

December 2018 - Roberta McQuade

November 2018 - Susan Jones

October 2018 - Sylvia Chambless

September 2018 - Cartersville High School Wrestling Team

August 2018 - Cindy Patton

July 2018 - Dan and Mary Reed

June 2018 - James Bryant

May 2018 - Tomica Holmes

April 2018 - Linda Bode Phinney

March 2018 - Jess and Walter Kolis

February 2018 - Marylyn Sabol

January 2018 - Jennifer Grunbaum

December 2017 - Carol Dell

November 2017 -Nisa Sommers

October 2017 - Susan Porteous

September 2017 - Carol Gsell

August 2017 - Sandra Smith

July 2017 - Bill Royston

June 2017 - Shirlene Stafford

May 2017 - Lacey Phillips

April 2017 - Craig Sprinkle

March 2017 - Mike Cook

February 2017 - Virginia Harris

January 2017 - Bill and Dana Zavatky

December 2016 - Dr. Robert Albin

November 2016 - Kathryn Welden

October 2016 - Bill Strickland

September 2016 - Ann Bentsen

August 2016 - Dinnie Rogers

July 2016 - Betsey Kidwell

June 2016 - Diana Watson

May 2016 - Eileen Fannon

April 2016 - Roosevelt Thomas and Thomas Baker

March 2016 - Mike Idacavage

February 2016 - Dennis Burgess

January 2016 - TJ Hadley

December 2015 - Cee Cee and PJ Johnson

November 2015 - Sheila Ball

October 2015 - Alta Urtarte

September 2015 - Gary Hosmer

August 2015 - Joseph and Patricia Scruggs

July 2015 - Mike Toulouza

June 2015 - John Wallace

May 2015 - Amy Malcom

April 2015 - Sherri Madore

March 2015 - Vanessa Bennett