Who is Bill and Why Does He Have a Race Named After Him?
Bill Menard is a successful, self-employed business man who went for his 1st run in 1986 at the ripe old age of 34. He also joined the Manasota Track Club that year and has been an active member ever since.
Twice during his running career, Bill has won what many consider to be the toughest race in the world – the “Badwater Ultra Marathon.” It’s a 135 mile running event held on the floor of Death Valley, California in the middle of the summer, and just for fun they make you climb to the top of Mt. Whitney to get to the finish line. According to Bill, competing in and winning a “killer race” such as this is all about fitness, endurance, blister control and hydration. One of Bill’s favorite ways to recover after any endurance event has always been to sip a cold beer and enjoy the laughter and camaraderie of his competitors and friends. Hence, Bill established “Bill’s Beer Run” 29 years ago.
Although the original race was a 15k, after 2 or 3 years the distance was changed to 5 miles to attract more runners. Bill was the MTC Race Director for the first 2 years of the event. Bill and his family also have a love for the costume part of BBR. The family is often in attendance in some sort of themed costume as a group. Nowadays, Bill can be seen running BBR with his son, William Jr. He also is frequently spotted running the Summer Beach Runs with his daughter, Asia.
Another one of the reasons that Bill Menard started the race was to help the Manasota Track Club raise money for its general operating fund. This race is the single event that the MTC puts on for its own purposes. The MTC is an official 501c3 non-profit organization, and through the MTC sanctioning process, the club provides the use of its finish line equipment and its volunteer base to help numerous other local non-profits host fitness events throughout the year.