Tom Jensen and Al Waldron started The Classic Race back in 1984. They were both working at the Standard Examiner at the time. Tom and Al were avid runners and put together a plan to have the Standard Examiner sponsor an annual race. Bob Monson was the general manager at that time. The first race was planned and the course set. The race started up by Weber State and ended at the Standard Examiner. There was between 400-500 runners the first year and the small amount of proceeds went back to the Standard Examiner. Between the first and second race Bob Monson had a heart attack and died. It was then that Tom and Al decided from then on the race would be done in his memory and the profits given to the Utah Heart Association. This was the cause for the many years as it went forward. Eventually Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital also got involved and proceeds continued to go toward fighting heart disease as proceeds went to support heart services at McKay-Dee Hospital. The race location changed to its current location at Layton Commons Park and although it isn’t the screaming downhill course that it once was in Ogden, participants seem to find enjoyment in coming back year after year to see what they can accomplish on this course. In 2013, the Standard Examiner and Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital were ready to lighten their work load (race directing is a time-consuming endeavor) and approached KJR Classic Events, owned by Ken and Janae Richardson, to see if they would be interested in getting involved in The Classic Race. Since that time, KJR Classic Events, while working closely with Intermountain McKay-Dee Hospital and the Standard Examiner, has continued to keep the tradition of The Classic Race alive as 100’s of runners come together each year to fight heart disease.
HISTORY OF THE CLASSIC RACE
Meet Our Team
Ken is a wonderful husband and father, an entrepreneur, and a healthy lifestyles advocate. He enjoys running (a former Weber State Track steeple chaser and 5,000m runner) and still finds time in the early morning hours each day to run 60-70 miles a week. His passion for running has carried over into his work as he manages his own event management companies – Fundracer that goes all over the nation putting on The Color in Motion 5K and KJR Classic Events that owns and operates The Classic Race.
Janae is a mother of 3, a runner, a coach, and co-founder (along with her husband) of UtahRunning.com. She is a certified USA Track and Field Coach and recently finished a masters degree in Exercise Science at Utah State University. Janae enjoys sharing her passion for running through coaching, UtahRunning.com, and organizing The Classic Race.