Santee dad to receive `Father of the Year’ award from American Diabetes Association

2016ADAFOTYTracySundlunSantee resident Tracy Sundlun, senior VP of global events, Competitor Group, will be honored by the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) San Diego office with a 2016 Father of the Year award at a fundraising dinner on Thursday, June 16, at the Hyatt Regency La Jolla, 3777 La Jolla Village Dr., San Diego.

Sundlun, father of daughter Felicity, is co-founder of Competitor Group’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series, which began in 1998 and has grown to 30 events in 15 states, Washington D.C., and six countries, featuring more than 600,000 runners annually. He has been inducted into the Running USA Hall of Champions, and last year was named “One of the 50 Most Influential People in Running” by Runner’s World magazine.

Sundlun has seen success at guiding athletes at every level. In his more than 20 years of coaching, Sundlun helped guide more than 100 athletes from 15 different countries who represented their country in the Olympic Games and other major international competitions.

He is a seasoned professional with more than four decades of involvement in virtually every facet of the sports of track and field, including long distance running and race walking. His experience includes coaching at Georgetown University, University of Colorado, University of Southern California and in five Olympics, as well as sports administration overseeing the New York Metropolitan Association The Athletics Congress and USA Track & Field from 1982 to 1997. He also founded for high school athletes the National Scholastic Indoor and Outdoor Track & Field Championships, now called the New Balance Indoor and Outdoor Nationals. He was the youngest ever Olympic coach in 1972, and will serve as head manager of the United States Men’s Track & Field Team for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

At Competitor Group, Sundlun has been involved with every facet of the business, but now focuses the majority of his efforts on international expansion and the company’s elite athlete programs and charity endeavors.

Two other local fathers will be honored at the ADA’s 13th annual Father of the Year awards dinner. They include Jeffrey Martin, CEO, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Tum Vongsawad, chief operating officer, San Diego County Credit Union. Tickets start at $300 per person. ADA officials said the fundraiser on June 16 is expected to generate about $200,000 in donations for diabetes research and programs and services for people with diabetes. For event information and to RSVP, contact Nicole Eades, ADA director of development, at (619) 234-9897, ext. 7438, or visit

The ADA said its Father of the Year awards program honors fathers who have demonstrated the ability to balance their personal lives, serve as role models of strength, commitment and love for their children and help make positive contributions to their families and communities. The New York-based Father’s Day Council, which began the awards program in 1942, designated the ADA as its charity partner in 1999. In 2004, the San Diego ADA office began its Father of the Year awards program. Over the past 13 years in San Diego, the awards program has generated more than $2 million in donations.