Torunit.com is the product of Andrew Hecker. Since 1970, Hecker has been an active athlete, passing from High School to Masters divisions. After a severe injury a month into his first high school season, Hecker was handed a stopwatch by his coach, Ed Marcus, to continue participating with the team. He's been involved in the officiating and organizational level of the sport ever since.
From his first All Comers meets, hosted by famed coach Bert Bonnano, Hecker has been watching and learning from the various systems being used to keep track meets organized. As automatic timing spread beyond its initial experiments, Hecker was one of the first Accutrack practitioners.
After graduating from San Jose State University, the home of "Speed City," Hecker has spent a career in television, where ad-libbing around "problems" is a regular part of the job. While not exactly his profession, systems analysis is a natural fit for his personality.
When Robert Podkaminer wrote the first computer program for meet management named "Clerk of the Course" in the early 1980's, Hecker was there working as Chief Finish Judge and reading the Accutrak at many of those early meets. That program was sold to another corporation that publishes the most common software used today.
Between television, participation, press, administration and officiating duties, he has been involved in the highest level of meets, including the Olympics, World Championships, Pan Am Games, Olympic Trials, National Championships etc. And his roots are in the simplest All Comers meets. As one of the first users of internet technology back to the 1970's, he has been the publisher of the North American All Comer Meet Directory, trying to publicize the grass roots of the sport for almost two decades.
With the ease of computer systems, came problems and limitations that most people have just adapted to.
Hanging on Hecker's wall is George Bernard Shaw's 1903 quote: "The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."
Hecker has been been that unreasonable man, a thorn in the side of administrators, computer operators and meet directors alike, asking the simple question, "Why?"
The "why" is the failure of the current systems. Every line of confused athletes, every delay, every mis-seeded heat or empty lane is a failure. Meet directors, flustered by these problems close meet entries earlier and earlier to try to deal with these problems. The early closures are actually the wrong reaction, because the problems occur AT the meet. Pre-printed entry lists done before the meet completely miss the reality that the only competitors who will participate at the meet ARE THE ONES AT THE MEET, not the ones who planed on or thought they were going to be there. And the general hostility caused by closing entries earlier causes a negative attitude between athletes and meet directors.
This system is the culmination of his efforts to solve the constant problems meet directors have with their paperwork and processing of athletes. At the same time, this introduces contemporary technology to give even the smallest meet, world class communication, in the stadium and around the world.
He is currently a starter with the California Track Starters Association, a USATF Master Certified Official and is the Commissioner of Officials for the Santa Barbara area of California. Within USATF administration, he has been on the USATF Masters T&F Executive Board as West Region Coordinator, as Southern California Masters T&F Chairman and Masters Cross Country Chairman. He was a leading force in the creation of the USATF National Masters website committee and Masters History committee.