John and Mary Carter

John and Mary Carter

48th Annual Woodbury Relays Dedication

John and Mary Carter

In 2008, a group of friends, running enthusiasts, and City and school officials, including Jim Mohan and Grant Shivers, gathered in John and Mary Carter’s living room. At the time, the Woodbury High School Stadium had been condemned, the Woodbury Relays had moved to West Deptford, and a bitter referendum on school spending had divided City residents.

The goal of the meeting was to discuss how Woodbury’s proud running tradition could play a part in bringing the City together again. The result was the formation of the Road Runners Club of Woodbury, formed in honor of Woodbury Olympian Browning Ross, and a resolve to bring the Relays home in style.

The 2009 Relays returned with spectacular success. Blessed with perfect weather, the support of Willingboro Olympic legend Carl Lewis, and powered by RRCW volunteers, records fell throughout the day, and the Relays were once again, “Truly a Spectator’s Event.”

Since then, RRCW has supported the Relays, hosted the George Benjamin, Jr. & Browning Ross Memorial 5K and the Race Down Broad Street 5K, and developed a thriving local running community focused around a weekly fun run.

John Carter founded and served as Executive Director of RRCW until 2019. Prior to stepping down, he along with RRCW’s first President, Terry Dennen, and current RRCW President and Vice President Vic Miclasavage and Ron Riskie, Jr., presented WHS with a check for $43,000 to fund scholarships in the names of Benjamin and Ross in perpetuity. Mary Carter has been an RRCW volunteer from the start, including supervising Relays concessions for many years.

John, WHS Class of 77, ran on winning teams throughout high school, taking home Woodbury Relays gold watches in 1975, 1976, and 1977, including anchoring the Herd’s 1977 DM team to a Group I record that stood for 40 years. He was a County, Colonial Conference, and South Jersey Group I All-Star in X-Country and Track & Field and ran varsity X-Country and Track for Ursinus College and Temple University. He has worked for SLACK Incorporated/The Wyanoke Group in Thorofare for 40 years and is currently Chief Operating Officer.

Mary, WHS Class of 77, has been a volunteer for many organizations, ranging from the PTA and Girl Scouts to WHS Band and Soccer Parents. But her passion has been Main Street Woodbury. She is currently Vice President, after serving as a volunteer, board member, treasurer, president, and executive director over the past 20 years. She is beloved by Woodbury’s merchants. Mary is a graduate of the Restaurant School of Philadelphia.

John and Mary have been married for 44 years. They have four children, three of whom ran for WHS; John Patrick 96, Matthew 99, Alix 01, Peter 08, who won a Relays gold watch with a spectacular SM anchor. They have four grandchildren – Jack, Madeline, Olivia, and Mia.

Mary’s father, Dr. Francis O’Connor, served as Woodbury Schools physician for many years. The Relays were dedicated to him in 1987 and 1995. John’s parents, Marge and Jim, were founding members of the Woodbury Track Parents Association and Relays volunteers. An even dozen Carter and O’Connor siblings of that generation graduated WHS, including Bill Carter, who won a gold watch in the inaugural Relays. John’s siblings Margie, MaryAnn, and Joyce continue to staff the awards tent.

The Carters are grateful for the contributions of Terry and Lynn, Tom and Heidi, Mo, Grant, Geoff and Keira, Dan, Vic and Maria, Ron, Skep, and every RRCW volunteer, sponsor, and City and School official who help make the Relays special.

For their support and service, the 2022 Woodbury Relays are dedicated to John and Mary Carter, WHS Class of 77.