This week we begin a new feature called Five Questions. We’ll use this space to interview not only our own staff but also other interesting personalities who have a relationship to marathons and our event. Who better to kick off this feature than our President, Russ Pillar.
1. Tell us about your role here at the LA Marathon.
I’m President of the Marathon, which means I’m responsible for hiring the smartest folks I can find, working with them to develop a strategy and plan that “inspires athletes and connects communities,” and then delivering on that plan.
2. I know you have an interesting background—what did you do before this?
I’ve spent most of the last twenty years running a bunch of consumer brands—Prodigy, Virgin, CBS’ online sites, Viacom’s digital businesses, and more—all of which used media (especially digital media) to connect folks with things they’re passionate about.
3. What’s been the most gratifying part of your job here?
Working with a smart and dedicated team to help tens of thousands of people change their lives through what my colleagues and I call “the transformative power of sport.”
4. What’s been the biggest surprise about managing this event?
That it takes 365 days of preparation and hard work to put on a one-day-a-year event.
5. Do you have any marathons on your running calendar in the next year?
I do—I’m planning to run the New York City Marathon for the second time in two years, and hope to set a PR there. After that, I’m flirting with my first ultramarathon (50K) in the Spring.
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