Considered one of the hardest working, loyal and dedicated persons to the annual IJSBA World Finals, Blake Corning announced his retirement as the Event Operations Manager and Associate Competition Manager of the IJSBA yesterday.
Never one to take the limelight, Corning was satisfied to keep the attention on the athletes, choosing to rather remain behind the curtain making sure that the event could operate as best and fluidly as possible. Concluding a 22-year career with the event, Corning wrote in a Facebook post:
“This past Monday I retired from the IJSBA World Finals. I want to thank each and everyone of you that has been involved the past 22 years at the races. I can’t thank you all enough.
“In the next few weeks I will continue on the phone to support all my staff and preparing for the week-long race and weeks leading up to it. I’ve been doing it since 1997, [when I was] hired by Tim Trombley back then as a course marshal with my buddy, Jon Courier […] and then put right [in] the tower where all the riders have learned my style[,] my timing, and when the band is going to snap.
“I need to thank Steve Strick – thanks, dude! [To] Joe Lezay and David Gaskins: I learned a hell of a lot from your finger pointing and owning everyone on the line. (Enough said.) Scott Fraizer, thank you. I was made Event Operations Manager and Associate Competition Manager in 2006. Thank you for all your support.”
Corning went on to thank a huge list of family, friends and associates – a list far too long to cite here. (But you can read the original post here.) At the end, a grateful Corning signs off, “There’s one more bag of ice in the freezer and no more fuel left in the barrel. Good night, World Finals. Sweet dreams. I love you all, Blake.”