ARA Staff

David Watt
Executive Director

Dave has been the Executive Director of the American Running Association (ARA) since March 2002. He has led the effort to create new events around the cause of improving youth fitness in America. The American Running Honors Gala was launched to honor the greats in the sport of running while focusing attention on physical activity in the form of running as a means to curb the epidemic of childhood obesity. The Honors Gala precipitated a high school cross country (XC) event modeled after Nike's "Border Clash" that pits Washington and Oregon in a post-season meet. ARA's new cross country post-season meet was dubbed, the "Battle of the Potomac: MD vs VA XC Championship." He also directs the professional division of ARA, the American Medical Athletic Association (AMAA), the leader of sports medicine for several sports most notably road racing and marathons.

Prior to taking the helm with the grass roots running organization, he was the marketing director for the Marine Corps Marathon, based in Quantico, VA. He helped grow the revenues of “The People’s Marathon®” by increasing corporate sponsorships and nontraditional income fourfold during a four year tenure.

Dave is a 1978 graduate in environmental sciences from the University of Virginia, which he attended on a Navy ROTC scholarship. He served the Navy from then until 1985 as a Naval Flight Officer. Afterward, he spent nine years as a program manager with a defense department contractor in Alexandria, VA. He set out on his own in 1995 to establish the BIG E, little e Directory, a resource directory for the events industry.

As a volunteer, he chaired the Alexandria Red Cross Waterfront Festival for two years in the early 90s. He established the highest net revenue in the 21 year history (1992) of the outdoor community fundraising event.

Dave is a lifelong runner and sports enthusiast. He resides in Springfield, VA, with his wife Debbie, daughter Alex (18) and son Jeffrey (14). His most recent memorable marathon was one where he was a race day companion of then Governor Mike Huckabee (Arkansas).

Barbara Baldwin, M.P.H.
Projects Consultant

Barbara worked for the American Running Association from 1994 to 2006; she now consults for the organization. Among her responsibilities are managing the Clinic program and the American Medical Athletic Association's Sports Medicine Symposium at the Marine Corps Marathon. She also serves as Managing Editor for the AMAA Journal.

Barbara has a Master's Degree in Public Health and an undergraduate degree in Health Education. She has numerous certifications for both group exercise and personal training, and is a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. She also certifies fellow instructors to teach cardio kick boxing and regularly teaches Spinning and kickbox exercise classes.

Barbara lives in Boyds, MD, with her husband Tom and two sons, Logan (8) and Trevor (4).

Jeff Venables
Editor, Running & FitNews

Jeff has been writing about running for eight years. His profile pieces, which have appeared in the AMAA Journal and in NY Runner, the oldest running publication in the U.S., include ultra-distance running legend Ted Corbitt, Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson, masters marathon champion Imme Dyson, New York City Marathon race director Allan Steinfeld, Sports Illustrated writer and author Frank Deford, Oklahoma Sooners team physician Randy Eichner, Boston Marathon medical director Christopher Troyanos, and Nike’s third-ever employee Geoff Hollister.

Jeff’s feature topics on running health and fitness include water intoxication, osteoarthritis, sudden cardiac death, running during pregnancy, the female athlete triad, running shoe selection, delayed onset muscle soreness, Achilles tendonitis, ACL injury, high-altitude training, lactic acid build-up, perceived exertion, deep water running, and guidelines for marathon spectators. These and articles on other topics have appeared in Sports Medicine Digest, Bone & Joint, Running & FitNews, NY Runner, and the AMAA Journal.

Jeff is the editor of Running & FitNews, the bi-monthly publication of the American Running Association. His editorial board members include renowned running coach and author Jack Daniels, PhD, Olympian and author Pete Pfitzinger, and Textbook of Running Medicine author Francis O’Connor, MD. In 2009, Jeff was submitted as the lead author in an ARA book proposal to Skyhorse Publishing.

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