In 1985, when Vicken was in his last year at U.C. Berkeley, he got a job at the San Francisco
Marathon Office. San Francisco Marathon was the 4th biggest Marathon at the time in the USA, behind Boston, New York City
and Honolulu. Vicken was working as a bartender in the evenings to pay for his basic expenses.
He learned that in 1984, a computer scoring company charged $1 a runner to produce the results sheet
for the 9,400 runners in the race.
Vicken convinced the Director of San Francisco Marathon to give him the contract to score the race. He wrote the code in Microsoft PASCAL, which he had learned at U.C. Berkeley on IBM PC's, powered on race day with Honda generators. The software collected the finish times for each runner, read barcodes from their bib numbers and produced the result sheet. On race morning Vicken discovered a bug in his code, and failed to provide results to everyone. Then he cleaned up his code, and the rest became history.
Len Wallach, the Director of the 1984 Los Angeles Men's and Women's Marathons, and the genius behind San Francisco's Bay to Breakers, met Vicken at the San Francisco Marathon. They became close friends, and Vicken went on to score about 200 running races with Len in California, Nevada and Hawaii. For many years his team scored the California Mile, labeled as the world's toughest mile, up San Francisco's California Street, broadcast live on channels 2 and 4.
In 1986, Apple Computer sponsored a running race for its employees and the public called Silicon Rally. They hired Len Wallach for the event and Vicken's company computer-scored the event. When Apple found out that the finish line will have IBM PC's to collect the times, they objected, but the MAC did not have a PASCAL compiler to port the scoring code over. Apple located 2 devices called MacCharlie's from UTAH. Pieces of hardware that connected to the back of the MAC, with 2 floppy drives, running MS-DOS. They were used at the finish line. Steve Wozniak ran the race. As you can see, he received bib number 1. Unfortunately Steve Jobs was pushed out of the company at that time.
After 1992, Vicken became a Support Engineer again at Oracle. On weekends, he produced running races all over the San Francisco Bay Area. He closed San Francisco's famed Fisherman's Wharf in 1994 for the World Cup 5K and 10K. He produced the Run the Runway events for 5 years at both Moffett and Alemeda Naval Air Stations. The events benefited The United States Navy's MWR (Morale, Welfare and Recreation) Department.
Vicken also produced many races with Anne Cribbs, who Gold Medaled in the 1960 Olympics, and became the CEO of BASOC (Bay Area Sports Organizing Committee). Anne's efforts resulted in making San Francisco one of the 2 finalists out of 12, considered by the U.S. Olympic Committee to host the 2012 Summer Olympics. The U.S. Olympic Committee eventually chose New York as the U.S. candidate city.