John Caldwell Award: One of NENSA’s finest traditions is presenting the John Caldwell Award. This award annually recognizes a single individual, or entity, which embodies the spirit, dedication, innovation, and pride of John Caldwell.
NENSA is thrilled to honor John Ogden and Ed Despard, from Bullitt Timing, with the John Caldwell Award this year, as they truly embody the spirit of this annual award.
Ed and John, and the company they created – Bullitt Timing – has not only raised the bar for timing races – but surpassed it in all they have done to make timing fair, consistent, reliable, and accessible.
“It is with great pleasure that I can share a few ‘insider’ thoughts about Bullitt Timing, a very small company with a huge heart, endless energy and constant innovation.” says Mary Ann Levins, long-time NENSA event & timing support and race secretary. “For decades, New England Nordic skiing has been well aware of John Ogden’s passion and enthusiasm for the sport, but what simmered under those wild wigs at the NEBKL Festivals was a man determined to solve some of the problems that plagued the quality of our events.”
Thus, Bullitt timing was born! John’s ‘CAN DO’ energy now teamed with Ed Despard’s casually stunning abilities with computer software, hardware and basically anything to do with the tech aspects of event timing, put this little company on the fast track to becoming an indispensable part of New England Nordic ski racing.
These two men are the epitome of growth mindsets. Spend five minutes in their Snap On tool truck retrofitted to be a timing brain trust and you will find that they are not resting on their accomplishments but rather talking about how they can be better; how they can offer more to the racers. Always thinking, they brought on a third tech/timing savvy assistant, Steve Burt. Steve brings a calm capability that really shines when things get ‘lively’. If you have spent any time in a timing building (or truck), things can get ‘lively’. These three men repeatedly produce a world class product and they do it with huge hearts and great passion. Congratulations to Bullitt Timing on the well-deserved John Caldwell Award. New England Nordic Skiing and the greater racing community are so fortunate that you decided to tirelessly invest your many talents in improving a critical component of our events.”
Kait Miller, NENSA Youth & Introductory Program Director shares –
“I’ve experienced what Bullitt Timing brings to an event from both the athlete and event organizer side. Bullitt entered the scene while I was still competing professionally, and they quickly raised the bar on event timing to a whole new level. Both as an athlete and an event organizer, having Bullitt at an event meant I did not have to worry about timing. I could lay my trust in them to provide timely and accurate seed lists, start lists, and results. It is so evident by the quality of their work and their constant innovation how much Ed and John care about the ski community. And while they are operating at a very high level, they are always open to feedback and are always looking for ways to improve what they do. At events, they are the first to arrive and the last to leave. And in addition to being master timers and data managers, Ed and John are also kind and fun humans and I’m grateful to work alongside them.”
“Bullitt Timing really stepped onto the scene right about the time I joined NENSA,” says Justin Beckwith, NENSA’s Competitive Program Director. “Besides bringing a whole gamut of new technology — John and Ed bring undeniable passion to all their pursuits. They just love being a part of events. The success of many of our new programs, specifically rollerskiing are in many ways possible because of our partnership. Whether its data management, loaning equipment or helping with manual labor at events — Bullitt Timing has always been there for NENSA and the skiers of New England!”
Ollie Burruss, Race Director at Craftsbury sums it up by adding –
“It’s hard for me to encapsulate how invaluable Bullitt Timing has been to racing at the Outdoor Center and in New England writ large. I had the honor of hiring John and Ed for what I believe was their first paid gig, an Eastern Cup Opener back in 2016. John was chatting with me in the timing shed when the race started, casually reaching back to click something on his laptop after the first racer left the gate without missing a beat in his story. Since then, Bullitt has joined us for Eastern Cups, Marathon Ski Festivals, and even the 2019 US Cross Country Championships. I honestly cannot imagine hosting a big race without them. Ed, John, Steve, Mary Anne, and everyone else who keeps Bullitt running (I see you Alex and Andrea!) have played an enormous role in raising the bar for competitive skiing nationwide, not just here in New England. Timing is a funny thing. Most of the time if you have to think much about the timing at a race, that’s a bad thing. I love that Bullitt is being recognized with this award and getting the shine they deserve, but I think the true marker of their success is how little racers, coaches, and fans have to think about them at a race. Just head to the live timing, check the results, and go on with your day. No fuss, just accurate information delivered by some of the loveliest folks in our community. “
BRAVO to Bullitt Timing, and to John Ogden and Ed Despard for your game changing addition to the New England ski community. We here at NENSA are so proud to give you this award, as an entity which embodies the spirit, dedication, innovation, and pride of John Caldwell. Congratulations!