Roger Robinson: Speaker

Roger Robinson's early-2016 Speaking Schedule

Roger Robinson has been called "an eloquent and entertaining speaker." He has informed, amused, and inspired hundreds of audiences, at sports events, literary festivals, academic conferences and corporate motivational seminars, and as the entertainment for large audiences at pre-race pasta dinners or Rotary conventions. He is also known as a classy MC, often called on for events like centenaries, awards ceremonies, and memorial celebrations. By special invitation, he has conducted four funerals and a wedding. Also a world-class stadium announcer and TV commentator, he is skilled at helping audiences big or small enjoy the significance of the occasion without intruding himself. Roger has been invited speaker in many countries - on every continent bar Antarctica. . 


Roger comments:
"Every audience deserves something special. It's your job as speaker or MC to help them remember the occasion positively, whether it's a club prize giving, a literary reading, a funeral, or the closing ceremony of a major Games."

Roger's speaking topics (which often overlap) include:

  • The story of running and the modern running movement
  • "We run because we like it:" Running in Literature
  • The True Origins of the Marathon
  • Special running celebrations, such as the 2500th anniversary of the Battle of Marathon 
  • "Never too old to run and race"
  • Speeches on writers and literature, most recently on Katherine Mansfield (Wellington, NZ) and Samuel Butler (Cambridge University)
All running and motivational presentations can be in "dynamic duo" with Roger's wife, Kathrine Switzer.

Some memorable recent speaking engagements (some jointly with Kathrine Switzer):

Major Running Events:

  • AIMS Congress
  • Anthem Richmond Marathon Pasta Dinner
  • Prague Celebration of Emil Zatopek
  • Boston Marathon "Runner's World" Legends Panel
  • Goodlife Fitness Toronto Marathon
  • Goodlife Fitness Victoria Marathon
  • Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon
  • Marine Corps Marathon
  • Athens Classic Marathon, 2500th anniversary, Marathon Tours group
  • BMO Vancouver Marathon
  • Virginia Ten-Miler, Lynchburg
  • Utica Boilermaker Runners' Forum (annual)

Running Corporations, Clubs and Stores (selection)

  • Nike Inc, Beaverton, OR - motivational speaker
  • Perrier Corporation - motivational speaker
  • Atlanta Track Club Annual Awards Dinner
  • Japan Society for the Study of Running, Miyasaki

Universities, conferences, etc (selection)

  • St John's College, Cambridge, closing speaker for the Samuel Butler Project
  • Williams College - Plenary Address, Samuel Butler Sesquicentennial
  • Newberry Library, Chicago - Convenor & Chair of Katherine Mansfield Centenary Symposium
  • New Zealand Rotary National Convention 

Stadium & Race Announcing, Broadcasting, Awards MC-ing (selection) 

  • Commonwealth Games Track & Field (twice)
  • New Zealand Track & Field Championships (many times)
  • World Cross-Country Championships 
  • Utica Boilermaker, WIBX Radio (annually)
  • Olympic Games, World Championship, & many other events - TV
  • Twin Cities, Grandma's, Stamford, & other marathons - TV
  • Marine Corps Historic Half, Hospital Hill Run, Great Raisin River Race, Virginia 10-miler, and many other US, Canadian and New Zealand races - finish line and Awards 

For upcoming events see 2016 Calendar


Brief notes for media releases, or for introducing Roger Robinson

1. Running events:

  • Roger Robinson was an elite runner for 30 years, representing England and his adopted New Zealand, and later winning world masters championships
  • He set an over-40 record at Boston (2:20:15 at age 44), and over-50 record at New York (2:28:01 at age 50). His best marathon was 2:18:44 at age 41, in Vancouver. He is now back to national class in his age-group at 5K to half-marathon, following a knee replacement. 
  • He is known as a world-class announcer and commentator. He has been TV commentator at Olympic and Commonwealth Games, and World Championship, and chief stadium announcer at two Commonwealth Games and many international meets.
  • As a writer on running, he has published five successful books, is one of the sport's best historians, and is senior writer for "Running Times," His columns, "Footsteps" and "Roger on Running" have big followings.  He won the George Sheehan Award for Running Journalism in 2006, the RRCA Excellence in Journalism Award in 2010, and the Les Diven Media Award (Utica, NY) in 2011. He wrote a TV documentary on the marathon and appears in the feature film "Spirit of the Marathon," the BBC docudrama on the 1908 Olympics, and others.

2. Literary & educational events

  • Roger Robinson PhD (Cambridge) is Emeritus Professor of English at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, where he served as Head of Department, Dean, and Academic Vice-Chancellor.
  • His publications include the definitive Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature, the acclaimed Robert Louis Stevenson: His Best Pacific Writings and books, editions and essays on writers such as Thomas Hardy, Samuel Butler, H.G. Wells, Katherine Mansfield, Anthony Burgess, and the new literatures of New Zealand and the Pacific island nations.
  • Among many varied contributions, he was responsible for the creation of the Journal of New Zealand Literature, for his University's program in Tourism, for introducing Journalism, and for leading the revision of the English curriculum in New Zealand's schools, including a period as adviser to the Minister of Education.

Roger Robinson's 2015-16 Schedule

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