Thursday, January 10, 2008

Marne Smiley Takes the Handlebars at MMBA

The Michigan Mountain Biking Association has hired Marne Smiley as their Executive Director.

Smiley is the first woman to fill this role for the 3,000-member organization. The position is part time, and she wil retain her full-time job as an associate editor at Michigan Sports & Fitness.

Members had some initially nervous reactions when she was hired. But the 25-year-old athlete is calming their fears. Although her lifestyle is anything but calm.

In an average week she bikes 10 hours, runs 15-20 miles, and swims three days. In high school she excelled at cross-country running. She was an all-state athlete from Stevenson High in Sterlings Heights and attended Michigan State on a full athletic scholarship.

In college she sought a new challenge and found it in mountain biking. She's finished sixth in the pro/elite division of the Michigan Iceman race, competes in biking triathalons, even qualifying for the Nissan Xterra World Championships.

Her current love: cyclocross, a sport often described as steeplechase for cyclists.

"She's a fierce, competitive athlete, so that translates well to her job and bike racing," Bill Mayer, MMBA's president, said. "She just jumps in with both feet. When she sees a challenge she goes for it."

from the Grand Rapids Press, "New Mountain Biking boss ready to prove herself", by Barbara Beal Schmid, Jan 4, 2008
See Michigan Mountain Biking Association
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