In Memoriam: Terry McKinty
Retirement was such a fleeting moment for Terry McKinty, a pillar of Ottawa’s vibrant running and triathlon culture.
McKinty, who stepped down in November 2015 as a sport event manager after 35 years, died unexpectedly on Feb. 23 in hospital. He was 69.
“His passion was putting on events, giving platforms for athletes,” said Ottawa businessman Marc Roy, who along with his wife Isabelle Fradette acquired Sportstats race timing from McKinty in 1995 and developed it into a worldwide company. During his high school teaching career, McKinty produced formidable cross-country running and track programs at Lockerby Composite in Sudbury, Ont. He also created the Northland Athletic Club and TBM Sport and Fitness Events company, which triggered his 2014 Sudbury Sports Hall of Fame induction.
When he moved to Ottawa as technical director of the Canadian Track and Field Association (now Athletics Canada), he organized numerous national championships. But McKinty maintained his TBM business and brought in Christine McKinty, who he met when she was a volunteer and he was executive director of the 1988 World Junior Track and Field Championships in Sudbury.
For the past two decades, the McKintys were co-owners of Somersault Promotions, which became Somersault Event Series in 2010. The series stages road races, triathlons, duathlons and Iron-distance races for thousands of athletes of all abilities.
The engaging McKinty was a creative and efficient figure at Somersault, preferring to present finishline ribbons at the children’s races, which were named after sons Michael Ryan and Austin Wylie. But four years ago, health issues forced him to restrict his involvement to behind-the-scenes race issues.
“You could sit with the guy and he would take you to another place. He had a different way of approaching things,” Roy added.
A celebration of McKinty’s life was held March 12. For more details, visit somersault.ca/ terrytribute.html.–Martin Cleary