Lloyd Schmidt’s career includes a strong legacy of community building through running. Today, Run Waterloo is pleased to have its founder inducted into the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.
Although his running career started as a talented athlete, Lloyd is inducted in the builder category for his profound work in developing a community around the sport he loves. When asked what this honour means to him, he shares his perspective. “Our running community has been transforming for so many people on many levels. I’m proud to be one of those people.”
Lloyd started running as a scrawny teenager in 1975. He can be talked into revealing nostalgic stories of his youth, including his high school successes, rivalries, and records from the 1970s when he averaged 84 miles (!) per week during high school.
At 17, Lloyd suffered a knee injury in a steeplechase event that permanently disrupted his ability. Although his career-best 30:15 10k came after the injury, he was never satisfied with the constant injuries and what he considers to be sub-optimal performances. He retired from competitive running before his 20th birthday.
A Classic opportunity
Within a few years, he was able to turn a bitterness into a force for good. “I wanted to give back to a sport and a community that gave so much to me.” Unsure about the options to work in retail or to coach, a chance opportunity in 1986 led to his inheriting the Waterloo 10 KM Classic Road Race from the collapsing Waterloo Amateur Athletic Association.
Together with his wife Julie and young children, there was no going back on this stewardship. The rest is history…
Run Waterloo today
As the community grew around the Waterloo 10 KM Classic – which celebrates its 40th year in 2017 – the appetite also grew for more opportunities. Formally renamed Run Waterloo in 2016, this organization has developed events and programs that reach into all corners of Waterloo Region that benefit individual health, community spirit, and charitable organizations.
Over one million KMs run and over $1.5 million raised later, the Run Waterloo footprint is as large as it has ever been.
More about the WRHOF
Since 1972, the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame has honored more than 400 individuals and groups for their significant contributions to our community, including pioneers and community builders. It is located at the Waterloo Region Museum.
Lloyd was nominated for this award by Bernie Burnett, a longtime Run Waterloo volunteer. The complete list of 2017 nominees includes:
- Harry Greenan, tennis player and coach
- Helen Koepke and Margaret Dickson, educators
- Abner Martin, choral musician and cattleman
- Margot Page, World Champion hockey player and Olympic coach
- Lloyd Schmidt, running community builder
- Donald Allan Snyder, food safety expert
- Waterloo 4-H Association, Ontario’s first 4-H club
- Kelly VanderBeek, Olympic skier