Mark May Extra Mile Award

THE MARK MAY EXTRA MILE AWARD

This award is to be given annually to that individual who has quietly dedicated themselves to the loving creation and meticulous care of the spectacular canvases we call cross country courses on which precious lifetime memories are painted for the cross-country runners, coaches, family and spectators who’s privilege it was to have been there.
Since 1997 YourTime+ has precision measured and certified over 60 cross-country courses in 18 states, covering over 250+ miles and seen almost every type of course imaginable. They are all different. Many of them are spectacularly beautiful. But almost all have a very noticeable characteristic. They have been lovingly and meticulously created and groomed to provide safe athletic experiences and vivid lifetime memories for runners and spectators. Often without notice or recognition, the unsung heroes who seed, mow, mark, drain, fill, trim, and otherwise make these great courses picture perfect and user friendly do so as a labor of love, not simply as their job. They truly go the extra mile for us. Mark May was such an individual. YourTime+ is honored to have met him and learn about his amazing life of service. We believe it entirely appropriate that this award is named after him and that he is its first recipient. It is also appropriate for many more of these unsung heroes to be recognized for their selfless contributions to the great sport of cross- country.

MARK HAMILTON MAY

Mark Hamilton May was born on August 18, 1961 in Charlottesville, Virginia and went home to be with Jesus on November 18, 2020. He was the son of the late Rudolph Wailand May and Barbara Haynes May, both from Charlottesville.
Mark was a lover of all animals and was a true outdoorsman and exceptional athlete. As a child in the 70’s he delivered the Daily Progress in his neighborhood. He graduated from Charlottesville High School in 1979 and throughout his time at CHS Mark ran track and in his senior year was the captain of his cross-country and indoor track teams and competed on the Spring track team. He was an avid golfer playing for years on his beloved Woodberry Forest School course where he encouraged and helped his brother Randy develop a love for the game. Part of Mark’s legacy will be the fact that he was a great role model for his two younger brothers. Mark’s work days were outside where he gained notoriety managing the athletic fields for Woodberry Forest School for well over 30 years. He also enjoyed taking care of his own lawn where he was legendary for making it look absolutely perfect.
Mark had a passion for his favorite preachers on TV, reading his Bible, watching old Westerns, especially John Wayne classics, talking to his neighbors and taking his little dog, Esther, for evening walks.
Mark is preceded in death by his brother Cameron Spencer May and survived by his wife of 26 years, Teresa Byram May, three step-children, Eric Harper and Tammy of Gordonsville, Jason Harper and Arline of Rapidan,and Kristen Breslin and Dave of Lake Monticello, his mother, three brothers, David Randolph May, Andrew Warren May, and Eric Whitney May (Bobbi Lynn),sister-in-law Elizabeth May, eight grandchildren, Hunter Harper, Kiersten Harper, Trenton Harper, Luke Breslin, Kayleigh May Breslin, Taylor Rupard, Tony Kratochvil, Joey Kratchvil and two nieces, Sarah and Whitney May and two nephews, Josh and Matthew May.
Mark loved children and they loved him back. Mark leaves a lasting legacy of wonderful memories with his grandkids which include talking about turf management, playing cards, pool and Backgammon, giving rides in the wheelbarrow, raking leaves, swinging on tree swings, and letting his treasured grandkids help fix water leaks and putting doll furniture together. He will truly be missed by many.
A private graveside service will be held at Graham Cemetery in Orange, Virginia.
Matt Blundin, Athletic Director Woodberry Forest School
Mark May infamous extra mile award coach

I hope, going forward, that I will remember all that Mark taught me.

Yesterday I saw an orange cone sitting on the middle of a field.  When I went to get it, I discovered that it was sitting atop a water-line access, and I smiled.  Mark put that there because runners pass that route and he’d worried that someone would trip. I’m constantly running into reminders of Mark’s care: a limb cut, a pothole filled, flagging tied to mark a danger. Faint traces of a quiet guardian angel moving head of us unasked, making no fuss, ever vigilant, always looking, noticing, thinking. Mark knew that his work was no mere job. 
He was a steward entrusted with the care of the cross country course and the football and soccer and lacrosse and baseball fields and the track—and he understood, in every small task, that his care of these places was care for the people who used them, care for the athletic program, his part of the work of the school. This is the reason he was as meticulous as a brain surgeon. His every measurement was exact to the smallest fraction, his every line, as straight as a ruler. Recently a group a came to hand measure our cross country course and index it to other well-known courses across the country, and they were flabbergasted to find that ours was within a couple of strides of being exactly 5K while the other courses they’d measured had been off by a hundred meters.  Mark sank steel spikes at the site of each flag and located them each year with a metal detector, so the course never changed. Of course he did. Of course we had the sturdiest, safest finishing chute and the only course in the state which followed the official guidelines for flags (red for left, yellow for right, blue for straight). When we’d run big meets at other places, I’d always notice that they did not have a Mark.
He was a loyal steward, as well, of so much that no one ever saw. He watched Woodberry’s money as if it were his own, using every can of paint down to the last fumes. His shop was a temple to order. Even the floor was spotless. He reminded me so much of the great Bobby Moubray in the way he took care of Woodberry’s things.  His successor (God help him for having to fill these boots) will be astonished at what he will find:  every tool cleaned and put away, every piece of equipment accounted for, every gear oiled, every blade sharpened, and notebooks filled with precise notes about each job he did.
Mark was a great teacher in the art of living and working with considered intention. A wise elder told me years ago that Woodberry had a way of educating the teachers as well as the boys if we stayed around long enough and paid attention. He was talking about what happens to you when you work among fine people who have noble values and disciplined habits, who show you, every day in every way, how to see and do your work.  I spent a lot of hours with Mark scouting routes for new cross country courses, brainstorming, measuring, talking, and I never got out of that cart without being a little better at my work. When I’d get in a hurry and start to cut a corner across the golf course or a hay field, Mark would say, “You probably ought to drive around. They might not like us cutting across,” or he’d gently remind me to slow down ask permission for some wild idea I was enthused about or remind me that the idea might made extra work for somebody who already had plenty to do.  He was reminding me, each time, that all we do here we do together, and that when we do our jobs well, we do them with a thought for others. 
 I hope, going forward, that I will remember all that Mark taught me.
By Ben Hale, Woodberry Forest Cross Country Coach

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