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  • ALV Welcomes Elite Athletes to 2017 Program

    Posted on May 27th, 2017 ninarussin

    October 20 event includes extended off-road driving opportunities

    By Nina Russin

    Paul Thomas

    Paul Thomas

    On Friday October 20, a group of 20 elite athletes will join journalists to test drive and evaluate vehicle entries in the fourteenth annual Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year program. ALV is the nation’s only car of the year competition to combine the input of athletes with nationally recognized automotive journalists in determining which cars and trucks best meet the needs of buyers with active lifestyles.

    Leading up the elite athletes is Paul Thomas, professional Masters cyclist who has been a World Duathlon champion and USA national track champion. Thomas is vice president of Maxim Sports Nutrition USA.: supplying nutrition to Olympic athletes, European Cycling Tour teams and Ironman triathletes. Thomas will be joined by a group of professional Masters cyclists who reside and train in Tucson, Arizona.

    ALV co-founder, Jim Woodman, was a Division 1 water polo player in college and is best known as founder of The Active Network ( Woodman has finished over 50 triathlons including Kona Ironman in 1982, and frequently wins age group awards at swimming events in San Diego, California.

    David Allison, president of Marathon Coaching Consultants, is an internationally ranked distance runner with a 2:30 marathon PR. In 2015, Allison ran a 4:27 mile at the USTAF Distance Classic in Boston, Massachusetts. Allison’s coaching company welcomes runners of all ages, from school kids to Masters competitors.

    For the fifth year, ALV welcomes Arizona Legends, retired NFL players of Arizona: a group that raises money for school football leagues and assists retired players with medical expenses. Representing Arizona Legends will be former Arizona Cardinal Jay Taylor, Mark Walczak whose NFL career included time with the Indianapolis Colts, Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers, and Rodney Thomas, formerly of the Arizona Cardinals.

    “Athletes continue to be the heart and soul of ALV,” said president and co-founder, Nina Russin. “In addition to being a car of the year competition, the program offers OEMs the opportunity to converse with individuals whose careers center around active lifestyles.”

    This year’s ALV ride-and-drive takes place on Friday, October 20, featuring on and off-road routes throughout Phoenix, Arizona’s east valley and the Tonto National Forest recreation areas. For additional information contact Sam Haymart:

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