Monday, March 29, 2010

Mary Hanson interviews Roy Griak

In many ways, it seems inevitable that Mary Hanson would one day interview Roy Griak.

As host of The Mary Hanson Show, the longest-running program on cable in the United States (it's been on the air regularly since 1980), Hanson has tackled health and social issues for three decades. [photo courtesy The Mary Hanson Show.]

And as a long-time Minnesota track & field and cross country coach, fan and participant, Griak is the very definition of longevity. [photo courtesy of MN.]

It's no exaggeration to say Roy Griak and Mary Hanson are two of my favorite people. I first met Roy in 1986 when I was a freshman on the U of M women's track & field team. I loved how all the members of the women's track & field and cross country teams called this lovely man 'coach' as a wonderful term of endearment.

Mary Hanson and I became acquainted a few years later in the early 1990s when her daughter, Jennifer, was a member of the U of M women's track & field and cross country teams. By then I was volunteering at meets and met Mary, Jennifer and Mary's husband at the time, Ron Daws.

My personal and professional lives would intersect with both Hanson and Griak for years to come.

Because I was just finishing up a broadcast journalism degree from the U of M's Journalism School at the time, Hanson allowed me to tag along while she hosted a closed-circuit show for sick children at a local hospital.

Around the same time, Roy was generous enough to invite me to be his co-race director for a new event coming to town. It was a little event known as Race for the Cure. He and I worked together on that event–one of the biggest walk/run events in Minnesota–for 9+ years.

Griak has the perfect temperment and personality to work with the group of strong, determined women who brought this wonderful event to the Twin Cities in 1993. He remains the race director to this day. Jan Guenther, owner of Gear West, is now his very capable co-director.

And tonight those world's intersect again when Roy appears on The Mary Hanson Show.

"An interview I recently did with Roy Griak is going to be broadcast Monday night, March 29, at 9:00 p.m. on MCN, the Metro Cable Network, channel 6," says Hanson. "This channel reaches the entire seven county area."

The interview will be seen on cable multiple times and then on public television for the Twin Cities Public Television Minnesota Leaders with Mary Hanson series in a few months.

I will post information about additional cable broadcasts and the TPT showing when the dates are set.

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