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RRCA Hall of Fame 1970-79

Bob Campbell
Campbell won seven New England championships at distances from three to 10-miles plus steeplechase and cross country titles during his 14-year running career. He then coached the Norfolk Young Men’s Association, which won 25 New England and 15 National AAU team championships. His athletes included one Olympic and two Pan American Games marathoners. In addition, Bob served as an official for the Boston Marathon for 41 years; and, chaired the Olympic Marathon Trials Site Selection Committee from 1980 through 1984, and the Scott Hamilton Award committee from 1976 through 1984. (photo.Bob Campbell, Eino Pentti, and Tarzan Brown 1940)

Clarence DeMar
DeMar was seven-time winner of the Boston Marathon. His seventh victory in Boston came in 1930, when he became the oldest winner of the event at the age of 41. DeMar worked with the Keene State College track and cross country teams at the college, training his teams on an old cinder track.

Leonard “Buddy” Edelen
Edelen was the first American marathoner in nearly four decades to set a world record by cutting 48 seconds off the world record when he won Britain’s Polytechnic Marathon, covering the 26 miles 385 yards in 2 hours 14 minutes 28 seconds on June 15, 1963. It was the first marathon record by an American since Albert Michelsen ran 2:29:02 in 1925. A member of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo in 1964, he finished sixth. Edelen ran 13 more marathons, winning seven. He stopped competing at age 28.

John J. Kelly
Kelly was the winner of the 1957 Boston Marathon and the marathon at the 1959 Pan American Games, and a member of two United States Olympic Marathon teams. He placed 21st and 19th in the Melbourne and Rome Olympic marathons respectively. He is the only runner to ever win both the Boston Marathon and Mount Washington Road Race, which he won in 1961. He made the ascent in one hour and 8 minutes 54 seconds, nearly seven minutes faster than the winning times in the three previous years the race had been held, 1936-1938.

H. Browning Ross
Often referred to as the father of long distance running in America, Ross devoted his life to spreading his love and enthusiasm for long distance running and is often credited as the cornerstone to the development of long distance runners in the U.S. today. He competed in the 1948 London Olympics where he became the only American to compete in the steeplechase final, placing 7th overall with a 9:23.2 time. At the 1951 Pan American Games, Browning placed 1st in the 1500 meter run, shared 1st in the 3000 meter steeplechase, and finished 4th in the 5000 meter run. A controversy occurred in the 3000m steeplechase, where two Americans, Curt Stone and Ross, had pulled away from the field. Stone slowed down on the last straightaway and held Ross’s hand as they crossed the line together. Argentine officials debated for two hours whether their actions violated rules requiring athletes to make an effort to win before finally allowing the results to stand. In 1955 he recognized the need for distance running results to be published and widely distributed in order to increase the public’s awareness of the sport. Shortly thereafter he created the Long Distance Log, the only publication devoted exclusively to long distance running in the USA. The first issues were mimeographed on the backs of recycled high school history tests. The Log would become the major instrument to unite runners and address their concerns over the next 20 years. He was the first editor-in-chief of the magazine, which mailed monthly to about 1,000 subscribers throughout the country until 1975.
In 1958 Ross founded the Philadelphia Road Runners Club, which later became the national Road Runners Club of America.

1972

Ted Corbitt
Corbitt is largely responsible for the movement to adhere to strict measurement criteria and course certification. Corbitt pioneered ultra-marathoning in the United States. He would run for hours, even days, connected to electrodes to study the effects of running on the human body. He has held American records for 25-, 40- and 50-mile marathons. Corbitt ran 199 marathons and ultra-marathons during his career and he was an American and Canadian marathon champion. He was a member of the 1952 U.S. Olympic marathon team and won the National AAU Championships in the 30K, the marathon and the 50-mile events.

Fred Faller
Dorchester Club runner who won won the ten-mile national A.A.U. championship title in the annual test more than once. Also, ran the 10000M on 1920 U.S. Summer Olympic team.

Louis Gregory
Throughout the 1930s and 1940s Lou “Doc” Gregory was a world class runner and familiar figure on the New England road-racing circuit.  He competed in events from five miles to the marathon for the Millrose Athletic Association.  At the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics he competed in the finals of the 10,000 meters as a member of the USA Olympic Team.  He placed second in the 1942 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:28:03.  He won 16 AAU national championships at various distances.  He won the 6-miles/10K six times – 1929-31, 1933, 1939, and 1943. Doc Gregory moved to Pensacola, Florida where he began his second career as a master’s runner rewriting the record books setting scores of age group records.  Doc Gregory was the long time coach and teacher at Pensacola Junior College.  His track and cross country teams won 10 state championships over an 18 year period.  Some of his accomplishments as a master’s runner was a time of 43 minutes in the Fiesta of Five Flags 10K at the age of 76.  He also ran 3:53 for the marathon to break the world age record for 76 years olds by an hour and 8 minutes.  At the age of 75 Doc Gregory broke the world age group record for the One-Hour Run completing 7 miles, 900 yards.  In 1977 he was selected the Northwest Florida All Sports Association Amateur Athlete of the Year.  Since 1979 the Pensacola Runners Association has selected a member for the Lou Gregory Spirit Award which is given to a runner who has demonstrated great leadership and enthusiasm in helping to promote and maintain the sport of running in the Pensacola community.

John A. Kelley
One of the most colorful characters in the history of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, John A. Kelley was a fixture of the race for nearly seven decades. A two-time winner of Boston, 1935 and 1945, he finished second seven times and recorded 18 top 10 finishes. Kelley completed 58 of the 61 Boston Marathons he started.  In 1993, the statue “Young at Heart” was dedicated in honor of Kelley. Located at the base of the third hill in Newton, the statue depicts a young Kelley winning in 1935 at age 27 and clasping hands with an older Kelley finishing in 1991 at age 83. Beginning with the 1995 race, Kelley has annually served, except in 1999, as the Grand Marshal of the Boston Marathon, preceding the runners in a pace vehicle. In addition, He finished 18th at the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin. Kelley was a member of both the USA Track & Field Hall of Fame and the National Distance Running Hall of Fame, and was selected as the “Runner of the Century” by Runner’s World magazine for his contributions to the sport of running and the countless athletes he inspired.

Joseph Kleinerman
A key figure in developing the New York Road Runners Club, the New York City Marathon and women’s distance running, he was part of a group that formed the Road Runners Club of America and, four months later, a local chapter, the New York Road Runners Club. The original New York club had 33 members.  In 1941 and 1942, he finished 10th in the Boston Marathon. His best time there was 2 hours 38 minutes, and he ran that, he once told Newsday, ‘‘with sneakers, on dirt roads and without any water stops.’’  The Millrose Athletic Association named him an assistant coach in 1941, head coach in 1967 and coach emeritus in 2002. Into his 90’s, he remained active as the New York Road Runners Club’s registrar.  In 1970, the club put together the first New York City Marathon, run entirely in Central Park. He helped Fred Lebow, the race impresario, turn it into a world-famous five-borough extravaganza.

1973

Ellison “Tarzan” Brown
Tarzan Brown, a Narnagansett Indian, won the Boston Marathon in 1936 and 1939. He took off so fast in the 1936 Boston marathon that the press followed the second runner, John A. Kelley, until the 20 mile mark where Kelley caught up to Tarzan. As Kelley overtook Tarzan—an amazing feat given the steady record break pace Tarzan had set—Kelley patted Tarzan on the back. What followed was a struggle between Tarzan, who took the lead on the downhills, and Kelley, who took the lead on the uphills, until finally Tarzan took the lead again to win the race. This struggle inspired reporter Jerry Nason to name the last Newton hill Heartbreak Hill because Tarzan “broke Kelley’s heart.” In the 1939, he was the first runner to break the 2:30 mark for the marathon. After the 17-mile mark in this race he also broke every checkpoint record. In 1939, Brown entered two different 26-mile races within 24 hours of one another, and he won both races.

Victor Dyrgall
He won several U.S. Men’s Championships, including the 1946, 1948 and 1949 15k, 1948 and 1949 20k, 1948 20 k, 1948 and 1951 30k and the 1949 and 1952 Marathon.

Peter McArdle
He won the gold medal in the men’s 10,000 meters at the 1963 Pan American Games by defeating two-time Pan American gold medalist and record holder Osvaldo Suarez. He came third in the men’s marathon.  He came to the U.S. in 1956 and became a citizen in 1962. Competing for the New York Athletic Club in the 1960s, he established himself as one of the nation’s top distance runners. In the 1964 Summer Olympics he finished 20th in the marathon.

James Hinky Hennigan
He won the 1931 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:46:45.

Paul Jerry Nason
The Boston Marathon was his principal beat as a Boston Globe reporter. According to Nason in his The Story of the Boston Marathon (1966), he watched the marathoners that year “cradled in the arms of a nurse.” As a boy, he and his friends would ride their bikes from Newton to Ashland to watch the start of the marathon and then accompany the runners back to Boston.

 

1974

Frank “Pat” Dengis
Dengis was an aeronautical toolmaker from Baltimore, MD.  He ran 13 marathons between 1937 and 1938, a rarity at that time. He won the U.S. Mens’ Running Championship 30k in 1936 and the marathon in 1935, 1938 and 1939.  A detailed history about Dengis can be found online in the ibook, Famous American Athletes of Today, Seventh Series by Jerry Nason (RRCA Hall of Famer).

Leslie Pawson
He got the first of his three Boston wins with a convincing 2:31:01 record performance into a strong headwind in 1933. Pawson grabbed the lead from New Yorker John DeGloria on the first of the Newton Hills and went on to win by almost five-and-a-half minutes over Canada’s Dave Komonen.  For Pawson’s 9145 win, the olive wreath was made in the US for the first time due to the war in Greece where the wreath had been imported from in previous year.

Mel Porter
He competed for the U.S. in the 1936 Berlin Olympics in the Marathon.  He also won the AAU National Marathon that ran from Mt. Vernon and ended at the White House on June 12, 1937 beating fellow Hall of Fame member Pat Dengis.  Porter was a member of the Millrose Athletic Club of New York.

Charles “Doc” Robbins
Known as “Doc” Robbins, a unique character on the United States of America long distance running scene, he was a genius at long distance running. Robbins won eleven national running championships, including: five 20 kilometer titles, plus, two 25 kilometers, two 30 kilometers, and two marathon championships. Yet, his enormous potential in running was much greater than his actual achievements. Robbins was known to be a “light trainer.” For various reasons, he devoted relatively little time to training for long distance running. Robbins, winner of two USA National Marathon Championships in the late 1940s, completed 50 straight Thanksgiving Day Road Races in Manchester, Connecticut, before calling it quits in 2002. Most Thanksgivings, Robbins went shoeless, though he would resort to a pair of socks if the temperature dipped below 20 degrees.

Fred Wilt
A contributor to the sport as an athlete, coach and author, Fred Wilt was an outstanding distance runner at Indiana University under Hall of Fame coach Billy Hayes before becoming an Olympic competitor while running for the New York Athletic Club. He competed in two Olympic 10,000-meter finals, finishing 11th in 1948 and 21st in 1952. He won eight National AAU titles, ranging from the indoor mile in 1951 to three championships in cross country. He won two national collegiate titles at Indiana in 1941, one in cross country and the other in the two mile. In 1950, Wilt was named the Sullivan Award winner as the nation’s top amateur athlete. Two years later, at age 32, Wilt set an indoor world record in the two-mile run and later that year, broke an 18-year-old American record with a time of 14:26.8 for 5000 meters. His interests changed to focus on the technical side of track and field. His book, How they Train, was a long-time best seller. He also helped start Track Technique.

1975

Horace Ashenfelter
The Olympic Gold Medalist was one of America’s premier distance runners during the 1950s, winning 17 national championships at a variety of distances. He won the gold medal in the 1952 Olympic 3,000-meter steeplechase. Horace Ashenfelter also won the 1952 Sullivan Award as the nation’s outstanding amateur athlete. Ashenfelter served in World War II and then attended Penn State. He won the NCAA 2-mile run in 1949, the IC4A outdoor 2-mile in 1948 and 1949, and the IC4A indoor 2-mile in 1948. He was also AAU national champion in cross-country, 1951, 1955 and 1956; the steeplechase, 1951, 1953, and 1956; the 3-mile run, 1954 and 1955; the 6-mile, 1950; and the indoor 3-mile, 1952 through 1956.

Don Lash
He was a long-distance runner who won 12 national titles from 1934 to 1940, including seven consecutive men’s national cross country championships. He also set a world record at 8:58.4 for the two-mile run in 1936.  In the 1936 Summer Olympics he placed 13th in the 5,000-meter run and eighth in the 10,000-meter. And, in 1938, Lash set a meet record of 14:00.39 in the 5,000 meters at the AAU indoor national championships. Also in 1938, he won the James E. Sullivan Award for the nation’s top amateur athlete.

Joseph McCluskey
He won an Olympic bronze at age 21 while still a student at Fordham University in New York. In 1936, he placed 10th in the steeplechase at the Berlin Games. In 1948, at the age of 37, he came within two yards of making his third Olympic team, taking fourth place at the American trials.  After his 40th birthday, McCluskey began to compete in a variety of events, including throws, in the Masters age group competitions. In 1984, aged 73, McCluskey competed in 13 events in a 12-hour period. In 1995, he returned to Fordham to run a two-mile race at the age of 84.

1976

R.Earl Johnson
He made his Olympic debut in 1920, but was eliminated in the heats of the 10,000m. In 1924, there were no heats for the 10,000m and Johnson placed eighth in a field of 43. In the cross-country event, Johnson finished third behind the redoubtable Finns, Paavo Nurmi and Ville Ritola, and led the U.S. to the silver medals in the team event. He also won a bronze medal. He won the AAU cross-country title in 1921. His achievements were not limited to the road. On the track he was the AAU five-mile champion for three consecutive years starting in 1921. In 1924 he won the AAU 10-mile championship.

George Sheehan
The oldest of 14 children, he was a track star at Manhattan College, but didn?t rediscover his love of running until age 45. He began running in his back yard (26 loops to a mile) and then started running along the river road during his lunch break wearing long-johns and a ski mask. Five years later, he ran a 4:47 mile, which was the world’s first sub-five-minute time by a 50-year-old.  Sheehan wrote a weekly column for 25 years in the local newspaper. In addition, he was the medical editor for Runner?s World magazine. Also, he wrote eight books and lectured around the world.  Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1986, Sheehan continued to run until his legs could no longer carry him. During this period he continued to write about his experiences. This time it wasn’t about running, it was about dying. Going the Distance was his last book. It was published shortly after his death in 1993.

Curtis Stone
One of only two American distance runners to make the Olympics three consecutive times (1948, 1952 and 1956) and receiving competiting medals in the 5,000 meters race in 1948 at London and 1956 at Melbourne and the 5,000 and 10,000 meters races in 1952 at Helsinki.  Curtis Stone spoke of his experiences running against the Russians. Amidst the anxiety of the Cold War, Stone focused solely on winning a medal.  “They were tension-filled times and people never thought I would place, and I did.”  Stone placed sixth in the 1948 Olympic 5,000-meter race, due to a weather problem. He would have been a medal contender if the rain had held off for five minutes, he said, “The race was run in a terrible rainstorm. The cloud burst as we began.”

1977

Eino Pentti
He was the U.S. Men’s Outdoor Track & Field Champion in the 10,000M in 1937 and 1938.

Greg Rice
He developed his running form at Notre Dame, working with John P. Nicholson, before graduating in 1939. In 1940, he won the Sullivan Award as the best amateur athlete in the United States. From 1938-42, he won national titles outdoors in the 5,000 m and indoors in the three-mile from 1940-43.

Frank Shorter
First achieving fame through his victory in the 1969 NCAA 10,000 m his senior year at Yale, Shorter won his first U.S. national titles in 1970 in the 5000 m and the 10,000 m. He also was the U.S. national 10,000 m champion in 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1977. Shorter trained with Jack Bachelor as members of the Florida Track Club (FTC) while pursuing a law degree at the University of Florida. The FTC’s core nucleus of Frank, Jack and Jeff Galloway qualified for the 1972 Olympics and their success made Gainesville, Florida the Mecca of distant running on the East Coast in the early 1970s.  He won the U.S. national cross-country championships four times (1970-1973). He was the U.S. Olympic Trials Champion in both the 10,000 m and the marathon in both 1972 and 1976. He also won both the 10,000 m and the marathon at the 1971 Pan American Games. A four-time winner of the Fukuoka Marathon (1971-1974), he also won the Peachtree Road Race in 1977 and the Falmouth Road Race in 1975 and 1976.  He is most well-known for his gold medal in the Marathon at the 1972 Munich Olympics. He also finished fifth in the 1972 Olympic 10,000 m final. In 1972, he received the Sullivan Award. He finished second in the Marathon at the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal He initially retired from athletics after the 1977 season to start his own athletic supply company but then returned to road racing competition in 1979, with high placings at several competitive races and wins at the Chicago Classic and the Badgerland 10-miler, setting the American 10-mile road record with a time of 47:34. He ended the year ranked third in the U.S. at 10,000 m on the track and fifth in the North American Road Rankings by Track and Field News magazine.  Shorter was the World Masters Biathlon Champion in 1989. He was inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984, the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989, and the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1998.

1978

John Hayes
He won the gold in the Marathon at the 1908 Summer Olympics in London, and one of only three American athletes to win the Marathon.  Hayes started his running career with a fifth place finish at the 1906 Boston Marathon with a time of 2:55:38, running on behalf of the St. Bartholemew Athletic Club. He improved on that the following year by finishing third with a time of 2:30:38 and then winning the Yonkers Marathon. In 1908, he finished second in the Boston Marathon with a time of 2:26:34, which qualified him for the Summer Olympics.  The British Olympic Association wanted to start the race in front of Windsor Castle and finish in front of the royal reviewing stand at White City Stadium, which extended the race distance. The distance wouldn?t be codified as the official marathon length by IAAF until 1921.  Dorando Pietri of Italy was the first to enter the stadium, but he collapsed four times and was helped across the finish line by race officials. Initially Pietri was declared the winner, but U.S. officials filed a protest due to aiding by spectators. Hayes, who entered the stadium second was declared the winner, but would face two rematch races that Pietri went on to win. Both Pietri and Hayes turned professional after the Olympics, and achieved great fame. Hayes was a trainer for the 1912 U.S. Olympic team.

Bill Rodgers
A former American record holder in the marathon who is best known for his victories in the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon in the late 1970s. He won both races four times each between 1975 and 1980, twice breaking the American record at Boston with a time of 2:09:55 in 1975 and a 2:09:27 in 1979. In 1977, he won the Fukuoka Marathon, making him the only runner ever to hold the championship of all three major marathons at the same time. He made the 1976 U.S. Olympic team and finished 40th in the Marathon.  His most remarkable year on the road racing circuit came in 1978, when he won 27 of the 30 races he entered, including the Pepsi 10,000 meter nationals (with a new world road 10K best time of 28:36.3), the Falmouth Road Race, and the Boston & New York Marathons. In addition, he is the former world record holder for 25k with a time of 1:14.11.8 on a track in Saratoga, Calif. in 1979. He won a total of 22 marathons during his career and 28 of his 59 marathon finishes were less than 2:15.

Aldo Scandurra
Aldo Scandurra ?48, entrepreneur, university professor and founding member of the New York Road Runners Club, was a celebrated long-distance runner, he was junior national
marathon champion in 1955 and completed the London-Brighton 52.5-mile ultra-distance run in 1965.  Scandurra is credited with orchestrating the rise of road running in New York, wrote the first rule book for distance running, and helped forge a distinct identity for the sport, separate from track and field. Scadurra served as the RRCA president from 1968-69.  He also founded the Long Island Road Runners, which was incorporated in 1979.  He participated in the first meetingof the Association of International Marathons (AIMS) (and Distance Races) in 1982.  The following year he served as the chairman of the road racing committee of the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF).

1979

Joe Henderson
Henderson became an avid runner at age 14, and was an Iowa state high school track and cross country champion. He went on to run for Drake University.  Although he began his writing career at the Des Moines Register, Henderson went on to write for Track and Field News and then as chief editor for Runner?s World. In 2001, Henderson co-authored The Running Encyclopedia with Richard Benyo. He appears as a keynote speaker at running expos and events, and is recognized as one of the world’s foremost authorities on running. Currently, he teaches running classes at the University of Oregon and coaches marathon training teams in Eugene.

Ray Sears
Graduate with the class of 1935 from Butler University.  Sears ran track and cross country. He was the 1934 American record-holder in the indoor two-mile and was the American two-mile champion. The 1934-35 track team captain held many long-time Butler and national track records, and later became cross country coach at his alma mater.

Gar Williams
Gar began running in his senior year in college (Augustana College, Ill.) as a miler and two-miler on the track team.  He immediately became hooked on running and has kept it up ever since (55 consecutive years as of 2009).  His peak racing years (ca. 1955 to late 1960?s) had some disappointments (e.g., never making an Olympic team) and also some decent performances (Nat. AAU Marathon champion in 1965).  He was president of the Wash., D.C. Road Runners Club (DCRRC) from 1969-73.  During that time, the DCRRC began holding regularly scheduled business meetings, delegating key duties to various individuals, adding many new racing sites, adopting a race-director?s checklist, sponsoring clinics (featuring outstanding speakers such as Kenneth Cooper, Fred Wilt, George Young and George Sheehan), and generally upgrading administrative procedures.  From 1973-76 Gar was RRCA president.  Corresponding with the beginning of the running boom, this period saw a revival of RRCA Footnotes, institution of the state rep system, creation of RRCA literature on club administration (a kit for starting a new club; the RRCA Handbook), expansion or initiation of RRCA running programs, establishment of several RRCA annual awards (Road Runners of the Year, Journalistic Excellence, and others), and, at his last annual meeting as president, approval to revise the annual meeting (e.g., changing the site from Boston [in connection with the Marathon] to a different city each year, having bids to host the meeting, and making clinics and exhibits a standard feature).  He still serves on RRCA committees now and then.

RRCA Hall of Fame 1980-89

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