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It’s time for the Scena Awards again! I’ve been trying to think of a kind of silver-tongued way of describing what these are all about. When I started Scena the main motivation was to see the best in people. Running or any outdoor challenge for that matter brings out the best in people. They’re taking on some bigger goal, usually deeply involved in what they’re doing. And their joyous, by and large, whether you’re at the end of Skyline 50k, or at Girls on the Run Sonoma talking to a 6-year old.

In any event, the idea of the awards was to identify people that really give back to the support to make all that happiness and self-fulfillment happen. Something like ‘the best of us and the best among us.’ I don’t know.

What I do know is that there are two awards. The Frenchie is named after my good friend Christine Chapon, who is truly one of the best people in the sport. A great runner and a totally self-less one. A dogged volunteer and volunteer coordinator, but also you never know where you’re going to see her. Maybe she’ll be racing. Maybe she’ll be at that high school cross country track meet. Maybe she’ll be there with the megaphone directing the race, in the case of Woodmonster. Last year, we gave the Frenchie to Penny MacPhail, who, like Christine, seems to be everywhere.

In 2018, we’re giving the Frenchie to two people, a man and a woman. It’s a new thing, but we realized that it made sense. In 2018, those recipients are William Dai and Kelly Haston. Both William and Kelly are great runners, that’s important to point out. They’re in the thick of their running career. And yet, through Pamakids and on their own, they find a huge amount of time to support runners and events. They’ve certainly helped Scena out a lot. They have much more to do! But before they do, let’s take a moment to appreciate them!

The other award is The Legend, named for Stan Jensen. Stan recently said, ‘Wait, are you saying that this award is for old people?’ in a kind of despair. And it’s not exactly that, but it IS meant to recognize a long record of service to the community. Like Christine, Stan has a great record of running and volunteering. But if you asked Christine, she’d say, “Stan’s the one I go to learn from.” Stan is the one I’ve learned from. He’s supported Skyline 50k since I took the race over and always, ALWAYS patiently given me notes about how I can be better. Last year, we gave The Legend to Stan because that’s the deal. You have to receive it the first year, then you can victimize your friends by giving it to them.

In 2018, we’re giving The Legend to Bob Agazzi. As with Stan, not many runners in the East Bay don’t know Bob. The BARF run every weekend is a key jumping off points for almost every runner here at some point. And with that, it’s a community of runner, one that’s always there every weekend. Without a lot of fanfare, Bob goes on an on, because he loves running mostly. Always putting in more than he takes out of our running community. Bob, thank you!

We’re having a party for all of this at Sports Basement Berkeley on Thursday, December 6, starting at 6. If you’re in the neighborhood, stop by!