In 1967, college student Doug Edwards fired the gun to start a race at a track meet for the first time.
“My track coach at the time handed me a gun… and a box of shells and said you can earn $5 starting a track meet down at the local high school,” Edwards said. “And I thought that was like dying and going to heaven. And so I did. And it just sort of always stuck with me.”
After a break from officiating that included graduating from college, serving in the Army, getting married and having children, Edwards, now 72, has been starting races at track meets since the late 1980s.