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RRCA Hall of Fame 2000-2009

2000

John Tuttle
Tuttle was a graduate from Auburn University. Tuttle never ran farther than 3,000m on the track during college, but the 8:35.74 steeple he ran in 1979 (still No. 2 all-time at Auburn) suggested longer distances might be his forte. After he graduated in 1981, he turned to road racing.  Tuttle made his 26.2-mile debut at the 1983 Florida Festival Marathon, clocking 2:14.18. In his second 26.2, Grandma’s Marathon in June, Tuttle ran 2:12.31 and finished second. His third PR was at the New York City Marathon that November, 2:10.51,and earned him fourth place. The 1984 Olympic trials used the Skylon International Marathon course, starting in upstate New York.  Tuttle ran confidently throughout, trading the lead with Pete Pfitzinger and Alberto Salazar over the final few miles before finishing just behind them in third. He was on the Olympic team. Nagging injuries kept Tuttle from training at his best leading up to the 1984 Games in Los Angeles. He ran the first half of the Olympic marathon alongside Pfitzinger before dehydration set in. In 2010 Tuttle won national 50-54 titles at 5K and 15K on the roads and won his age group at the 10K USATF National Club Cross Country Championships.

Mark Curp
Curp broke the Men’s World Record in the Half Marathon in 1985, clocking 1:00:55 at the Philadelphia Distance Run. His record stood for five years. Curp was one of America’s leading road racers in the 1980s and 1990s.

 

 

 

2001

Miki Gorman
Gorman is the only woman to have won Boston and New York Marathons two times a-piece, and one of only two woman runners to win both in the same year. Although she grew up in Japan, Gorman came to the U.S. in 1964. She took up running while in her early 30s to gain weight. In 1970, she ran an indoor 100-mile run in 21:04:00 in Los Angeles.  She set an unofficial world’s best for the women’s marathon of 2:46:36 at the Western Hemisphere Marathon (now the Culver City Marathon) in 1973, just four years after she began running. Four months later, in April 1974, she won the Boston Marathon in a course record of 2:47:11. Gorman would also place second at Boston in 1976, and then won again in 1977. She won the New York City Marathon in 1976 and 1977, at the age of 41 and 42 respectively. She is currently the last American woman to win the New York City Marathon. She set a personal best during her 1976 victory with a time of 2:39:11. Frequently injured in subsequent years, Gorman competed sporadically through the years 1978 to 1981.

Greg Meyer
He ran 2:09.00 in the Boston Marathon in 1983. He held the American record for the10 mile and was a sub 4-minute miler. He was the last American Male to win the Boston Marathon. He set ten American Road racing records at the following distances: 8K, 10K, 15K, 25K, Ten Mile. Set Two World Records in the 15K (Gasparilla 15K, Tampa, Fl.) and the Ten Mile (cherry Blossom 10 Mile, Wash. D.C).

2002

Patti Dillon
Throughout her career she won mutiple marathons, including the Ocean State Marathon and the Honolulu Marathon. In addition, she placed second in the Boston Marathon three times. In addition, she was the first American female to run a sub-2::30 for the marathon. She is a former world record holder in the 5 mile, 10K, 15K, 20K, half-marathon, 30K and marathon.

Herb Lindsay
Lindsay was almost unbeatable from 1979 to 1981. In 1979 and 1980 he earned the Road Racer of the Year award from “Runner Magazine”.

Bob Kempainen
Kempainen developed under the tutelage of Vin Lananna, who recruited him to Dartmouth.  A 30:14 for 10,000m as a frosh showed Kempainen’s potential. The next year, he made the NCAA final in the 5,000m. By the time of his senior year in 1988, he ran 28:42.51, placed third in the NCAA’s and made it to the Olympic Trials.  After college, a couple of years spent concentrating on the 10,000m gave him a runner-up finish at nationals.  The results of Kempainen’s first marathon, the Twin Cities race, indicated he had made the right choice. He finished second in 2:12:12. The next year, at the Olympic Trials, he ran a solid 2:12:54 for third place, becoming an Olympian at age 25. He followed that up with a 17th in Barcelona in 2:15:53.  In 1993 he finished second in the New York City Marathon in a PR 2:11:03.  Kempainen won the 1996 Olympic Trials Marathon, ironically his first win in any major marathon. His 2:12:45 victory earned him a cool $100K, but also what many would consider an embarrassment. In the closing stages of the race, he battled severe stomach cramps and vomited repeatedly without breaking his stride, a scene that television journalists delighted in showing.  Nike later crafted an ad campaign around the incident, something Kempainen claimed didn’t bother him.  As Kempainen prepped for the Olympics, he suffered tendinitis in the iliotibial bands in both legs. He lost nearly two months of running and waited till nearly the last moment before deciding to go through with the Olympic marathon.  Kempainen planned to run an “evenly-paced, efficient race” and avoid the surges at the front of the pack. Hoping to improve on his Barcelona placing, he trudged back to the Olympic stadium in 31st place. “This is the first marathon I really died in,” he said of his 2:18:38.  Kempainen subsequently retired from competitive running and works as an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University of Minnesota specializing in the treatment of cystic fibrosis.

Cathy Schiro O’Brien
At 13, as a freshman at Dover High School in New Hampshire, Schiro competed in the Kinney National Cross-Country championship and placed 19th among the nation’s best high school runners. In the next two years, she was 10th and then third.  In May of her junior year, at age 16, Schiro was the youngest runner in the 1984 Olympic marathon trials in Olympia, Wash. She ran well for most of the race, but faded slightly when the unfamiliar distance took its toll. She finished ninth in 2:34:24, still a world junior record. Schiro-O’Brien earned a trip to Seoul, South Korea, for the Olympic Games.From 1988 until 1991, Schrio-O?Brien won even more prestigious events. She set a 10-mile world record in 1989 with a time of 51:47 minutes, she earned USA Track and Field?s Number 1 ranking among female road runners in 1990, and she won the Los Angeles Marathon in 1991, with a time of 2:29:30. It was a personal best time for her. Again, she qualified for the Olympic Team in 1992, placing second in the Olympic Trials. More important than winning second, was the way she helped out an opponent and future Olympic team member. While reading about Mrs. Schiro-O?Brien on-line, I discovered that during the Olympic trials, the lead runners had come to a water station at the 15-mile mark, and a runner named Janis Klecker fell. Instead of leaving her behind, Schiro-O?Brien stopped and helped her get up. Both thought their chances of making the Olympic team had disappeared, but ironically, Klecker finished first with a time 2:30:12, and Schiro-O?Brien finished second, trailing Klecker by only 14 seconds. At the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain, no American runner finished before Schiro-O?Brien. After running in hot and humid weather, she placed tenth. That run also left her with a back injury, which would keep her out of competitive running for two years.

Helen Klein
She achieved a marathon World Best time for women 80 and over at the 2002 California International Marathon (CIM) with a 4:31:32 finish.  She went on to set new single year marathon records in 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. Her emergence as a world-class age division runner began when she decided to stop smoking at age 55.  She now holds 12 spots in CIM top 10 finish times for age groups ranging from 65 to 80+.

Lisa Rainsberger
At the age of six in 1968, Lisa Rainsberger launched an athletic career by swimming 1500 M across Goguac Lake and winning her age group award! She went on to swim and run track and cross country at the University of Michigan, earning All-America honors in all three sports. She won the Boston Marathon in 1985. She is two-time winner of the Chicago Marathon in 1989 and 1990. In addition, she holds numerous American and World Records in running.  After finishing 4th American at the U.S. Triathlon National Championships, she and her husband, Ellis, discovered they were expecting their first child. After the birth of her daughter in 1998, Lisa officially retired from national competition and launched her coaching career.

2005

Keith Brantly
A member of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Team in the Marathon. He participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the 5K, 10K and Marathon in 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996 and 2000. He was a 12-time member of U.S. National track, road racing and cross-country teams. Brantly was also an eight-time U.S. National Roadracing Champion in the 10K, 20K, 25K and Marathon. His lifetime personal bests include: Marathon, 2:12:31; 15K, 42:50; 10K, 28:02; and the 5K, 13:36.

Steve Spence
He earned state rankings in high school in the mile, 3000M, two-mile, and cross-country. While at Shippensburg University, Spence earned seven All-American titles. He went on to win 1991 World Championship Marathon and then ran the 1992 Olympic marathon trials. His win at the trials secured him a spot in the 1992 Olympic Marathon, where he placed twelfth. He then returned to Shippensburg University to coach Cross-Country.

2006

Deena Drossin Kastor
Kastor was awarded a prestigious RRCA Roads Scholar grant in 1997, which helped launch her award winning running carreer.  She holds American records in the marathon and half-marathon as well as numerous road distances. Her most noted accomplishment is winning the bronze in the 2004 Women’s Olympic Marathon in Athens, Greece.  She won the 2005 Chicago Marathon and followed that by winning the 2006 London Marathon, setting an American record. She placed sixth at the 2006 New York City Marathon and fifth at the 2007 Boston Marathon.  In April 2008, Kastor won the U.S. women’s Olympic marathon trials in Boston, Massachusetts.

Mebrahtom “Meb” Keflezighi
Keflezighi and his family were refugees from Eritrea via Italy to United States where he became a naturalized citizen in 1998, the same year in which he graduated from UCLA. While at UCLA Meb received numerous all American awards and other accolades. In the 2004 Summer Olympics, Meb finished second in the men’s marathon, winning a silver medal in a personal season’s best time of 2 hours, 11 minutes and 29 seconds. This was the first medal won by an American man in the Olympic marathon since Frank Shorter won the gold in the 1972 Olympics and took the silver medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. His fastest times for some standard distances are 3:42.29 for 1,500 meters, set in 1998; 13:11.77 for 5,000 meters, set in 2000; 27:13.98 for 10,000 meters, set in 2001 (a still-standing American record); and 2:09:21 for the marathon, set in 2009 at the London Marathon.

2007

Jenny Spangler
Spangler is most noted as a marathon runner and has the distinction of setting an American junior record of 2:33:52 for the distance at age 19 and an American master record of 2:32:39 at age 40. But it was a marathon in 1996 at age 32 that captured attention and many hearts in the running community. In 1994, within the qualifying window for the 1996 Olympic Marathon Trials race, Spangler finished the Chicago marathon in 2:42, well below the 2:50 standard. During the cold Chicago months Spangler was able to take leave from her insurance job and move to California to train. She came to the race with confidence and enjoyed the element of surprise when she continued to stay in the lead pack as the race progressed. Spangler won the race over a fairly hilly course in 2:29:54 to finally earn an Olympic berth after her third attempt to qualify for the Olympic team. Spangler said afterwards that she was hoping to make the top three to qualify, but never dreamed of winning.  By August, 1996, when the Olympics were held in Atlanta, Spangler had injury problems again and was unable to finish the Olympic marathon. Spangler again set her sites on yet another Olympic Trials qualifying time at the 2003 LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon and for this race she was 40. With much less mileage in the bank than in previous races, but much wiser from past experience, Spangler finished in 2:32:39.  In the process she set an American master record for women and met the ?A? Olympic Trials standard by running better than 2:40.  The following April she made her fourth Olympic Trials appearance and only her ninth marathon ever. In the race in St. Louis Spangler ran 2:36 for 10th place.

Judi St. Hilaire
St. Hilaire’s career started as a teenager in high school and earned her an athletic scholarship to the University of Vermont where she was an All-American track star and the national collegiate track and field champion in 1980. Her running has literally taken her around the world. She was a member of the US World Championship Track & Field Team in Tokyo in 1991 and the 1992 US Olympic Team in Barcelona, where she finished 8th in the final of the 10,000 meters. In 1993 she was ranked No. 1 in the US Track & Field Association’s World Road Race rankings. ?St. Hilaire held a number of running records, including the 5K (3.1 miles) American road record in 1989. ?Today, she still races as a master (over 40), often finishing first in that division and still in the top 10 when paired with younger racers. She also serves as a mentor to rising young track stars.

2008

Beth Bonner
She was the first woman to run a sub-three hour marathon (NYC Marathon -2:55:22).  Bonner was born on June 9, 1952, in Preston County, West Virginia.  She was involved in equestrian sports from an early age through junior high, but discovered running in the eighth grade.  Her mother recalls taking her to nearby Morgantown where a Mr. Zann was a running coach. With few running opportunities for girls in high school in the late 1960s, Bonner convinced her parents to let her attend high school in Morgantown to work with Zann. At that time there were few distance opportunities in track for women, with the 1,500 meters their longest Olympic event. However, women were beginning to be recognized for finishing some of the major marathons in the East, and during the four years of high school Bonner and her coach recognized her outstanding endurance as a runner. She graduated from high school in 1971 and enrolled at a Junior College in Brandywine, Maryland, where she could continue distance training. During 1971 she is credited with two world record setting marathon performances, first a 3:01:41 in Philadelphia and later she became the first woman to finish a marathon in less than three hours when she won the New York Marathon in 2:55:22. These performances were at the age of 19.  In 1971, and again in 1972, she was selected to run for the US in the World Cross Country Championships where she became friends with two-time Olympian and five-time World Cross Country Champion, Doris Brown Heritage. Heritage had run for Seattle Pacific University and was still coached by Ken Foreman at the college. Bonner decided to complete her undergraduate studies at Seattle Pacific and enrolled in 1973. After graduating from Settle Pacific, Bonner returned home where she taught English in Preston County schools and coached there for several years.  Later she received her PHD from Auburn University in Alabama. She was teaching and coaching at Schreiner University in Kerrville, Texas, when she had a second bike accident that was fatal. She died on October 9, 1998 as a result of the accident.

Todd Williams
Williams is a native of Michigan who came south to run for the University of Tennessee and through hard work and determination became America?s best 10,000 meter runner during most of the 1990s. Also as a high school senior he finished 2nd in the USA Junior XC Trials and was 23rd at the World Championships.  By 1991, his senior year at Tennessee, his 5K time had improved to 13:41.50 and he had run 28:18.4 for the 10K finishing 2nd in 10,000 and 3rd in 5000 at NCAA Nationals. The fall after graduating from college, he won USA XC Championships and was ranked fifth in the U.S. at 10,000 by Track & Field News.  In 1992 Williams finished 19th in World XC Championships, won the 10,000 (28:19.82) at the U.S. Olympic Trials and finished 10th in 10,000 at Olympic Games that Fall. At the end of the year Track and Field News ranked him as the top U.S. runner at the 10,000 and eighth at the 5000. After being injured for much of 1994, but still running well enough at the end of that year to qualify for the US XC team for the next year, Williams came back in 1995 to run what he described as one of the best races of his life when he was 9th at the World XC Championships. He also was the US 10,000 champion and took 9th at the World Championships that year. In 1996 he again was the top finisher in the 10,000 Olympic Trials race, but had a disappointing DNF in his heat at the Games in Atlanta.  In 1997, he made his marathon debut in Chicago where he ran 2:11:17, finishing 10th. That year he also recorded best of 13:20.39 for 5K, 27:58.13 for 10K and won the US indoor 3000 in 7:50.49.  Wilson also holds the American 15K record of 42:22 that he achieved at Gate River Run, which he won five times, in Jacksonville, Fla.

2009

Ann Marie Letko
Letko, who competed during some of her career by her then married name of Lauck, was born on March 7, 1969 in Rochester, N.Y. but grew up in New Jersey.  In 1987, after high school, she attended Wake Forest on a running scholarship, but after two years transferred to Rutgers in her home state where she was coached by Tom Fleming a former two-time New York marathon winner. She graduated from Rutgers with a degree in English in 1992. In the early ?90s Letko signed a contract with Nike and began a professional career that lasted for more than ten years and led to representing the United States in both the 1996 and 2000 Olympics.  Letko established herself early as one of the top 10,000 meter runners by winning the 1991 World University Championship. After finishing second at the 1993 U.S. 10,000 Championships in 32:01, she followed with a PR of 31:37 at the World Championships in Germany. That fall she made her marathon debut in New York and although she ran strong for 18 miles she did not finish. But she learned from the experience and in 1994 returned to finish third in 2:30:19, the best recent American finish in this race until Kara Goucher finished third in 2008. Including her other outstanding road race performances during those two years she was rated Runner?s World best U.S. runner both years. Some of her major race wins during the period 1993-1994 include the Lilac Bloomsday 12K in 1993; the Gate River Run 15K, the Advil Mini Marathon 10K, the Peachtree 10K, the Crim 10 Mile and the Philadelphia Distance Run Half Marathon in 1994. In early 1996 Letko earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic marathon team when she finished 3rd at the Marathon Trials in Columbia, S.C. The following August she had the U.S. team?s best finish in the Olympic Marathon in Atlanta, 10th place in 2:31:30 on a hot August morning.  An injury from an accident wiped out her 1997 season, but in 1998 her road performances produced a second place ranking by Runner?s World.  She returned to the track in 1999 and finished 2nd at the U.S. 10,000 Championships in 31:43 setting the stage for her attempt for a second Olympic team the next year. Letko again ran the Olympic Marathon trials race in 2000 and finished third, but only the Trials winner qualified to run for the U.S. in Australia that year. Letko then had to attempt to earn an Olympic berth on the track in the track trials later that summer.  In the 10,000 she missed a spot when she finished fourth. Her only hope was in the 5,000. In this event she ran a personal best of 15:23 and although it produced a fifth place finish it did secure a slot on her second Olympic team when two other 5,000 qualifiers opted for other events.

Khalid Khannouchi
Although Khalid Khannouchi has not retired from running as of his Hall of Fame induction - as evidenced by his fourth place finish in the 2008 Olympic Trials Marathon - he has been selected for induction into the RRCA Hall of Fame based on his outstanding long distance performances during the first 37 years of his life. Khannouchi was born in Meknes, Morocco on January 1, 1971 and moved to the United States in 1992 after being refused training assistance from the Morocco track and field federation. He found a job in Brooklyn as a dish washer while living with friends and was able to begin serious training.  By 1993, Khannouchi?s name began to appear among the top 20 road racers in America as ranked by Runner?s World magazine. But it was in 1997, when he won the LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon in 2:07:10 in the fastest marathon debut in history, that his name became one of the most recognized in running circles. That win, along with other outstanding road race performances earned Khannouchi the top ranking by Runner?s World in 1997, an honor that he would attain in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002 as well. Khannouchi and Chicago have mixed together well over the runner?s career. He returned to Chicago in 1998 and ran almost as fast as the previous year (2:07:19) but finished second. The following year he ran a world record time of 2:05:42 in winning Chicago a second time. The year 2000, was very significant in Khannouchi?s life as he became a U.S. citizen in May of that year. After running 2:08:36 in the Flora London marathon in the spring, he went to Chicago as a U.S. citizen where he set an American record by winning the LaSalle Bank event a third time in 2:07:01. After a year plagued by injury, Khannouchi produced his most outstanding marathon performances in 2002 when he lowered his world record in winning the London marathon in 2:05:38 in the spring and then that fall won in Chicago for the fourth time in 2:05:56. With these performances he became the first runner to complete two sub-2:06 marathons in the same year.

RRCA Hall of Fame 2010 - 19

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