HOUSTON (December 9, 2015) – The Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) announced on Wednesday the election of former HMC and Foundation Board member Susan Poorman Blackie into the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame. Poorman Blackie will be honored by the Houston Marathon Committee on December 10, 2015 at the 2016 Hall of Fame Reception.
In a statement issued by Susan’s husband, Gary Blackie, and family, they said, “This is a poignant tribute to Susan’s passion for and dedication to the Houston Marathon and we are deeply grateful to the HMC. It’s a pleasure to accept this special honor on Susan’s behalf and in her memory. Susan was proud and inspired to play a role in helping the Houston Marathon develop into the world-class event it is today and to work alongside her cherished colleagues to launch the Houston Marathon Foundation. She would be thrilled and humbled by this welcome into the Hall of Fame.”
A long-time Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) Board Member and a founding member of the Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF), Susan embodied the generosity and volunteer spirit which exemplifies the community of people who make the event possible each year. She was responsible for venue operations at the George R. Brown Convention Center from 1998-2006 and was instrumental in organizing Trials Town and the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. She was an HMC Board member from 2004 to 2013. In 2007, Susan established the HMF with current President Maddie Bunch, Treasurer David Chester and Medical Director Dr. John Cianca.
“In the summer of 2004, Susan courageously volunteered to take charge of managing the entire GRB Convention Center when another longtime volunteer unexpectedly resigned,” remembered Board President and Race Director Brant Kotch. “The entire operation that had become her charge was transformed in hugely positive ways almost overnight. From there, it was an obvious choice for our organization to add her to our Board of Directors, where she served with distinction for nine years, always lending a calm and thoughtful voice to decisions both large and small. When our Committee won the bid for the 2012 Olympic Trials Marathons, she led our effort to introduce an opening ceremony to the weekend’s schedule, something that had never been attempted for an already groundbreaking event that incorporated both men’s and women’s races. Again, her efforts were efficient and her accomplishment magnificent.”
“Not long after the Trials, Susan was diagnosed with the disease that would ultimately claim her life. For the those two last years, she fought a remarkable personal battle but even more importantly, she fought a remarkable public battle by creating a foundation (the Susan Poorman Blackie Ovarian Cancer Foundation) to help others fight their own battle,” said Kotch. “The energy, the care and compassion, and the wisdom that she exhibited in that last challenge and throughout our Committee’s experience with her is sorely, sorely missed.”
Susan passed away on July 4, 2014 at the age of 64 and is survived by her husband Gary Blackie, son Buck Dodson and daughter Mindy White. She will be greatly missed but her legacy will continue on with the creation of an annual college scholarship in her name. Susan, who was born in Kingsville and raised in Bishop, embodied the leadership, generosity and volunteer spirit that exemplifies the Houston Marathon community of volunteers.
For more information on the HMC Hall of Fame and the Susan Poorman Blackie Scholarship, please visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com.