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RRCA Hall of Fame 2010-2019
Tom Fleming Fleming won the 1973 and 1975 New York City Marathon when it was a hilly, loop course in Central Park. He finished in second place twice at the Boston Marathon in 1973 and 1974, both times less than a minute behind the winner. His personal best marathon of 2:12:05 was set at the 1975 Boston Marathon, when he finished in third place, another of his six Boston Marathon “top ten” finishes. Fleming raced a strong fifth place at the 1976 Olympic Marathon trials. He finished fourth at Fukuoka, Japan in 1977, which was then the unofficial World Marathon Championship. Tom’s marathon victories include the 1978 Cleveland Marathon, the 1978 Toronto Marathon, the 1981 Los Angeles Marathon, and the Jersey Shore Marathon three times. He broke 2:20 in the marathon 27 times. At one point, Tom held American records in the 15-mile, 20-mile, 25K, 30K and 50K distance events. While at William Paterson State College, he won four straight New Jersey Athletic Conference Cross Country titles and was a multiple-time NCAA All-American. He did not start competitive running until track season of his junior year in high school, but still ran a 4:21 mile and 9:22 two-mile as a high school runner. Fleming has been inducted into the Distance Running Hall of Fame and the Hall of Fame at William Paterson State College. For twelve years, Tom was the meet director for the famous Sunset Classic 5 Mile Road Race in his hometown of Bloomfield, NJ. This race raises money for special needs children in the Bloomfield school system. He founded the Running Room and currently teaches and coaches at Montclair Kimberley Academy. He resides in Bloomfield, NJ.
Dr. David E. Martin Dr. Martin is a Fellow in the American College of Sports Medicine (“ACSM”), as well as a contributing member of the Association of Track and Field Statisticians (“ATFS”), the International Marathon Medical Directors Association (“IMMDA”), the Association of International Marathons (“AIMS”), and the International Society of Olympic Historians (“ISOH”). This multidisciplinary approach to the study of top-level marathon performance-from a scientific as well as historical viewpoint-gives him a unique perspective. In 1978, Martin was selected by the United States Olympic Academy to be one of three representatives to the International Olympic Academy. Even before then, he had begun to compile a database of top-level men’s and women’s performances. His work has continued, and the list now tops 44,000 performances. His database provides an unparalleled resource for his research on the use of mathematical modeling techniques to assess performance trends in distance running. Martin is co-author of The Marathon Footrace (1979, with Gynn), Training Distance Runners (1991), and Better Training for Distance Runners (1997). Since 1979, he has served prominently as chair of committees within the United States Track and Field Association, applying his sport science and coaching skills to the guidance of many of America’s top distance runners. In addition, since 1989, he has been marathon statistician for the ATFS, taking over the role pioneered by coauthor Roger Gynn. Martin lives in Decatur, Georgia.
Allan Steinfeld Steinfeld earned a Master’s Degree in electrical engineering and radio astronomy from Cornell University in 1971, following a Bachelor’s Degree from City College of New York in 1969. Steinfeld has had a long and decorated career in running. He won the New York Road Runners Club Eight-Mile Handicap Race in 1966 and completed his first single marathon in 1979 at Honolulu Marathon, in 3:27.43. Steinfeld established himself as one of the nation’s leading authorities on the technical aspects of road racing. He developed methods that have become standard for marathons and races at various distances. He became the Technical Director of the New York City Marathon in 1981. He served as the Chief Referee of the Men’s and Women’s Marathons at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. He has been the technical advisor for the network television broadcasts of several Olympic Games, and serves as the consultant for television broadcasts of the NYC Marathon and other NYRRC races. He was the meet director for the New York Games from 1989-1995, the Goodwill Games in 1998, and the 2002 Indoor National USATF Championships. He took over as the race director of the New York City Marathon in 1994 and directed the race for ten years. He was the Race Director of the 5th Avenue Mile, which featured the top milers from around the world. He was race director of the New York Mini Marathon, the original and most prestigious 10K race for women. Steinfeld is a past Chairman of US Track & Field Road Race Technical Committee. He is currently on the Men’s Long Distance Running Committee at USATF. He has also served as the Vice President of the Association of International Marathons (AIM) and President of Running USA.
Joe Vigil, PhD Vigil is a former cross country/track and field coach at Adams State University. He has a doctorate in exercise physiology from the University of New Mexico. He is widely regarded as the preeminent long distance running coach in the United States. In 2010, the United States Olympic Committee recognized him for his accomplishments as one of America’s greatest goodwill ambassadors. Over the course of his coaching career, he has either conducted clinics or coached United States national teams, including Olympic and World Championship teams, in 25 countries spanning 5 continents. To each of these countries he has brought his endearing smile, his love of people, and his willingness to teach and share his knowledge of the sport of running with others so that they could become better athletes. His coaching style combines a profound knowledge of distance running with a sense of caring and an unshakeable focus that enables young athletes to develop the character necessary to reach and often exceed their highest goals. His record as head coach at Adams State is legendary, where he led teams to 7 NAIA national track and field championships and 12 NAIA national cross country championships. At the 1995 NCAA Division II national Cross Country championship, his Adams State team achieved a perfect score of 15 points. His overall winning record at Adams State stands at 94.2%, with 3,014 wins and 176 losses. He was named national Coach of the Year on 14 different occasions. During his tenure at Adams State, he produced 425 All-Americans and 87 individual national champions. He has also served as United States Olympic and (with Bob Larsen) Team Running USA coach. Three of his most celebrated running protégés are 2004 Olympic marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor, 2004 Olympic marathon silver medalist Meb Keflizighi, and multiple national cross country champion and 10,000 meter Olympian Pat Porter. He has received numerous awards for his contributions to the sport of running, including 11 hall of fame inductions (United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1999). In 1989, he received the President’s Award from The Athletics Congress. In 2005, he received the “Doc” Councilman Science in Coaching Award from the United States Olympic Committee.
Abdihakim “Abdi” Abdirahman Abdirahman was born in Somalia in 1977. After graduating from Tucson High School in 1995, he attended Pima Community College and later transferred to the University of Arizona for his junior and senior years. Since 1998, he has been one of America’s premier distance runners. At Arizona, he was named the 1998 Pacific 10 Conference Cross Country Male Athlete of the Year after finishing second at the 1998 NCAA Cross Country Championships. In 2000, he became an American citizen. He has made the United States Olympic track and field team four times, competing three times in the 10,000 meters (in 2000 at Sydney (10th place), 2004 at Athens (15th place), and 2008 at Beijing (15th place)). In January 2012, he finished third at the Olympic marathon trials in Houston, Texas (2:09:47) and thus qualified to represent the United States at the 2012 London Olympics in the marathon. His personal best 10,000 meters time is 27:16.99, which he achieved in June 2008 at Hayward Field during the Prefontaine Classic. He has also competed in the 10,000 meters at the World Athletics Championships three times, finishing 7th 2007, 13th in 2005, and 19th in 2003. In November 2007, his close friend and fellow marathon runner Ryan Shay died at the Olympic marathon trials in New York. Since Shay’s funeral, Abdirahman has worn a black wristband in Shay’s memory with the words, “Ryan Shay Believe in Yourself.” Those were the last words Abdirahman said to Shay before Shay’s untimely passing. He currently trains and resides in Tucson, AZ. He enjoys the nickname Black Cactus, which is also the name if his personal website, blackcactusrunning.com.
Linda Somers Smith Somers Smith was born on May 7, 1961 in Germany at Bitburg Air Force Base, Rhineland-Palatinate. She currently resides in Arroyo Grande, California. She is an Olympian and a two-time United States national champion in the marathon (1993 and 1994). In 1982, she took up running during her junior year at the University of California and began running distance races, specializing in the marathon. She won the 1992 Chicago Marathon (2:37:41) and the 1993 California International Marathon (2:34:11). In 1995, she finished 7th in the marathon at the World Athletics Championships. In 1996, she took second in the United States Olympic marathon trials with a personal best of 2:30:06. Later in 1996, at the Atlanta Summer Olympics, she finished 31st with a time of 2:36:58, despite suffering an Achilles tendon tear during the race. She has continued to demonstrate her running excellence as a masters runner. At the 2008 Olympic marathon trials, she set the American 45-49 age group record, finishing in a time of 2:38:49 and placing 17th. In 2009, she placed 6th at the United States Track and Field Association Club Nationals Cross Country meet. She is the holder of American 45-49 age group road records in the 5K (16:14, San Jose, California, November 26, 2009), 10K (33:39, Paso Robles, California, September 26, 2010), 10 miles (57:07 Redding, California, March 6, 2010), 20K (1:09:42, San Jose, California, October 3, 2010), and half-marathon (1:13:32, San Jose, California, October 3, 2010). At the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon, she qualified for her seventh consecutive Olympic marathon trials A standard, a record number, finishing in 2:36:33 and winning the masters title. She is the only person, male or female, to ever qualify by time standard for seven United States Olympic marathon trials. On January 14, 2012, at the age of 50, she was the oldest competitor at the Olympic marathon trials in Houston, Texas. She finished in 28th place with a time of 2:37:36, setting an American 50-54 age group record and adding another jewel to her crown of running glory. In her life away from running, Somers Smith is a full-time attorney with the law firm of Duggan Smith & Heath LLP in San Luis Obispo, California, specializing in business and real property law. She puts family and work first, and running second, on her list of priorities.
Robert (‘Bob’) Owen Kennedy Jr., born in 1970 in Westerville, Ohio, held the American record in the 3,000 meters (7:30.84), 2 miles (8:11.59) and the 5000 meters (12:58.21) and is a two time Olympian (1992, 1996). He started running while attending Westerville North High School, where he chose track after having dabbled in baseball, basketball, and soccer. He finished fifth in the 1987 National Junior Championships as a 16-year-old. Kennedy attended Indiana University where he was the 1991 NCAA 1,500 meter National Champion in Track and 1991 Indoor NCAA Mile Champion. He also won the NCAA Cross Country championships during his freshman and senior years (1988 & 1992). His senior year he won the USA Track & Field National Cross Country Championships, becoming only the second person in history to win both the NCAA Cross Country Nationals and U.S. National Cross Country Championships in the same year. Kennedy’s second USATF National Cross Country title came in 2004, the twelve year gap between titles (1992 & 2004) being the longest in history of the USATF. The highlight of Kennedy’s career came at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. In the 5000 meter finals, Kennedy surged to the front at the beginning of the penultimate lap where he held the lead for almost a lap but was ultimately passed just before the closing lap to eventually place 6th overall. He had also made it to the finals of the 1992 Olympic 5000 meter race where he placed 12th. Kennedy suffered a back injury in an auto accident before the 2000 Olympic Trials and missed seven weeks of training so that he was not able to make the Olympic team that year. Kennedy was a four time USA Track & Field National Champion in the 5,000 - 1995, 1996, 1997, and 2001. After running a personal best of 27:37 in the spring of 2004, Kennedy competed in the 2004 US Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meter race, but had to drop out of the race due to an injury he had suffered in the weeks leading up to the Trials. After recovering from the injury he briefly tried his hand at the marathon, dropping out of the New York City marathon that autumn and since then has retired from competitive distance running.
Culpepper was born in 1972, is a two time US Olympian qualifying for both the 2000 and 2004 Olympic Games. He got started running through a summer track program through a local club. Culpepper graduated from Coronado HS in El Paso, Texas where he won five Texas state titles in Cross Country and Track. He attended the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, where he won the NCAA outdoor 5,000 meter title and placed 10th at the Olympic Trials in that event; the following year he placed 2nd at the USATF Nationals and represented the USA at the 1997 World Championships. Culpepper graduated with a degree in geography and sociology from Colorado in 1996. Following graduation, Culpepper remained in Boulder to continue training. In 1999 he won his first national title, the USA Cross Country Championships. That spring he also won the 10,000m at the USATF Outdoor Championships and ran that event at the 1999 World Championships. In 2000, he took second in the 10,000m at the U.S. Olympic Trials and represented the US at the 2000 Olympic Games. He also ran the 10,000m at the 2001 World Championships as well. He won another U.S. track championship in 2002 when he took the 5,000m title. That fall, in his debut marathon in Chicago, he ran 2:09:41. Culpepper ran his second marathon at the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2004 in Birmingham, Alabama where he won the event edging out long-time rival in 2:11:42. Culpepper placed 12th at the Athens Olympic Marathon. In 2005, Culpepper ran a 13:25.75, a personal best, in the 5,000 meter run at the 2005 Norwich Union British Grand Prix. He ran 2:11:02 to take fifth in the 2006 Boston Marathon. He married 1500m runner Shayne Wille in November 1997 and they have two sons, Cruz Samuel, born in 2002, and Levi James born in 2006.
Emmons is the former Executive Director of the 10,000-member Atlanta Track Club in Atlanta, GA, and former director of the Peachtree Road Race, the world’s largest and best-known 10K with 55,000 runners. In her 22 years as head of the Atlanta Track Club, she was very active on the national running scene, serving as Chair of Women’s Long Distance Running for USA Track & Field from 1990-1996. She directed the Olympic Men’s and Women’s Marathons and Race Walks for the 1996 Games in Atlanta, and was on the U.S. Women’s Track and Field team for the 2004 Athens Olympics as Assistant Coach for Endurance Events (marathon, racewalk). In 2005, Emmons served as an Assistant Manager for the U.S. Track and Field Team at the World Championships in Helsinki. She served on the RRCA Board of Directors as Vice President between the years ‘88 and ‘89. Emmons has is also committed to Atlanta’s civic health, serving on the Atlanta City Council and on a number of nonprofit culturally oriented boards of directors including MOCA-GA, the Atlanta History Center and The Theatrical Outfit. She also served for three years as president of the Alliance Theatre Guild and was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Partners in Performance outreach efforts. She is also on the Board of the Atlanta Convention and Visitors Bureau. A member of Leadership Atlanta’s class of 2001, she remains active with that organization. In 2006, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin presented Julia with the Phoenix Award, the City’s highest honor, for her dedication and service. In 2007, Mayor Franklin appointed Julia to Atlanta’s License Review Board, which she was delighted to discover reviews the awarding of business licenses not only to bars and restaurants, but also tattoo parlors.
Colleen De Reuck
Colleen was born on April 13, 1964 in Vryheid, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa. She now lives in Boulder, Colorado and became a U.S citizen on December 11, 2000. De Reuck graduated Stanger high school in Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa in 1981 and finished college at the University of Port Elizabeth in Eastern Cape, South Africa in 1985. Before becoming a U.S. citizen in 2000, she represented South Africa in three Olympics, competing in the marathon in 1992 (9th in 2:39:03); the 10,000 in 1996 (13th in 32:14.69); and the marathon in 2000 (31st in 2:36:58). Her most outstanding year was probably 1998 when she set two world records in winning the Nortel Cherry Blossom 10 Mile in 51:16 and the New Haven 20km in 1:05:11. De Reuck’s first year as a U.S. citizen, 2001, saw her winning the USA 8km Championship in 26:16, the Arturo Barrios 10K in 32:35 and the Tufts Health Plan 10km for Women in 32:10. She was also 14th (3rd American) at the New York City Marathon in 2:35:31. She made her first U.S team in 2002 after a second place finish to Deena Kastor at the USA 8K cross country trials. Kastor and De Reuck then finished 2nd and 3rd at the IAAF World Cross Country 8 km as they along with Jen Rhines won the team silver medal. De Reuck made her fourth Olympic team in 2004, this time as an American, after winning the women’s Olympic Trials Marathon race in 2:28:25. She finished 39th at the Olympic Games (2:46:30). In 2005, at the age of 40, she again won the USA XC 8 km race, this time in 27:24 and then finished 13th at the World XC championships in 27:51 and was the top U.S. finisher. She also set a marathon record for women masters at Chicago when she finished in 2:28:40. In 2006 De Reuck became a member of the USA’s 8K cross country team for a fifth time and finished 33rd in the World championship. Since turning 40 De Reuck has established U.S. master records at eight distances: 5K - 15:48; 10K - 32:50; 12K - 40:48; 15K - 49:51; 20K - 1:07:21; Half Marathon - 1:11:30; 25K - 1:25:15 and Marathon - 2:28:40. 2009 was also a year in which De Reuck led the Boston Marathon for much of the race and finished 8th overall in 2:37:57.
Libbie Hickman was born on February 17, 1965, in Billings, Montana. She graduated from high school in 1983 in Cairo, Egypt where her father was working for an oil company. Hickman began running as a child when she would chase fly balls at her older brothers’ baseball practice and have her dad time her in sprints around the block. She ran track and field in high school and in college at Colorado State University. After graduating from CSU in 1987 with a BS in science/physiology and a minor in chemistry, she began a professional running career that lasted 16 years, highlighted by representing the USA in the 10,000 at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Hickman won major races on the road and track at every distance from 1500m to the half marathon. She had a breakthrough year at road racing in 1991 when she won the ARRA circuit and was ranked as the top woman road racer by Runner’s World magazine. She also won Runner’s World top spot in 1998 and 2000, and placed second in 1997 and 1999. Other career highlights include winning the 1999 U.S. 10,000m championship; the 1997 U.S. 5,000m champion; finishing fourth at the 1996 Olympic Trials 5,000; the 1998 half-marathon and 10km road championships and representing the US at three World Championships (1995, ‘97 and ‘99). Her personal bests include: 3000m - 8:35.02 (2000); 5000m - 15:11.15 (1997); 10,000m - 31:41.33 (1999) and 2:28:34 for the marathon. Hickman was selected as the RRCA Road Runner of the Year for the years 1997-2000.