Joe Ryan has put together a remarkable running career that covered more than 40 years and is overflowing with achievements and contributions. He has certainly established himself as one of the very best distance runners the province has produced while working extremely well as a builder within the sport.
Going into 2010, he has run 37 Telegram Ten-mile events, winning in 1969 and recording under-60 minute times 21 times and earned a medal in his age category in 2008. He won the 1975 marathon and was twice judged Most Valuable Player for 1970 and 1971 Memorial University cross-country running teams which he captained.
His 48 marathons include eight Boston Marathons for which he qualified for 2009 and 2010. His personal best Marathon is 2:33.49. In addition to long distance races, he has won and competed in numerous five, ten and 20 K events.
He has a played a major role in the great expansion and success that the Tely Ten has experienced, serving extremely well as its committee chair through the late 1970s and early 80s, and again from 1997-2007. He facilitated the growth of this historic race into a premiere Newfoundland summer event.
He wrote the Tely 10 into the history books with his publication of “The History of the Tely 10”. Even in his retirement, he still takes the time to maintain the Tely 10 runner’s database for the NLAA, and to consult on race organizational issues from year to year. In addition to spearheading the Tely 10 organizing committee, over the decades, Joe has lent his time and talent to many “behind the scenes” activities, vital to Newfoundland athletics. These volunteer activities include being chair of the Road Race Committee (NLAA), serving on the Board of Run Canada, participating as a Level 3 finish line judge for the 1977 Canada Summer Games, a level 4 off-track meet director, and a level 1 race walking judge, and being a certified course measurement official.
Although he was one of the top runners of his day, his contributions as a facilitator and coach have made the most meaningful and lasting influence. He has run training programs through the Running Room (2005-2006), he was the “Joints In Motion” Coordinator for 4 years, bringing teams to Dublin, Honolulu and Athens, and he is the founder of “Friends On The Run” where he conducted running clinics for the Tely 10, Cape To Cabot, and the Marathon.
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