1999 - 29th Class of Lindgren and Sandoval
Gerry Lindgren, born March 9, 1946, in his senior year of high school, in 1964, ran the 5000 meters in 13:44, setting a U.S. high school record for the distance that would remain unbroken for 40 years. While at Washington State, Lindgren won 11 NCAA Championships, losing only to Jim Ryun in the 1968 indoor two-mile race. He was one of only two people to ever defeat Steve Prefontaine in an NCAA Championship. In 1964, he won the 10,000 meter event in the US-USSR Track Meet in Los Angeles. He finished ninth in the 10,000 meters in the 1964 Summer Olympics after having sprained an ankle during training. In 1965, Lindgren and Billy Mills both broke the world record for the six-mile run when they finished in an extremely rare tie at the AAU National Championships, both running exactly 27:11.6. He coached the University of Hawaii’s women’s track and field team 2005-2007.
Tony Sandoval, born May 19, 1954, is best known for winning the 1980 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials. Sandoval was among 466 Americans in 24 sports unable to compete in that year’s Summer Olympics, because the United States led a boycott of the Moscow Games to protest Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. He placed fourth with a 2:14:58 in the 1976 trials in his first attempt to make the Olympic team. He placed 15th in the Boston Marathon in 1979. He failed to make the Olympic Team in 1984 and 1988 before popping an Achilles tendon at mile eight in the 1992 Olympic Trials. Sandoval continued to run for fitness as he completed his medical studies and became a cardiologist, tending mostly to New Mexico’s poor.
1998 - 28th Class of Durden and Kurtis
Benji Durden, born August 28, 1951, established himself during the early ‘80s at the height of the running boom. Durden ran track in Sacramento, California as a youth, aspiring to become a miler. After moving to Georgia, he attended the University of Georgia, in Athens (UGA), where he ran the mile in 4:15 as a freshman. He graduated from UGA in 1973. After college, Durden moved to Stone Mountain, becoming a fixture on the Atlanta-area running scene while working at Jeff Galloway’s Phidippides running shop. In 1980, on a course running from Buffalo, New York, to Niagara Falls, Ontario, Durden finished second in the symbolic US Olympic Trials (the boycott had already been announced by the time the Trials were held in May) against one of the deepest field of American marathoners ever assembled. Durden surged into the lead at the 19 mile mark and built up a ten second advantage over the lead runners until Anthony Sandoval caught him in the 23rd mile. Sandoval pulled away in the 24th mile and went on to win the race. Durden finished second in a time of 2:10:40.3, a personal best by over three minutes.
Doug Kurtis, born March 12, 1952, was one the most prolific and ubiquitous marathoners in the 80's and 90's. With an impressive seventy-six sub 2:20's and forty race victories, several as a master runner. His successes crossed almost every continent, including victories in Bangkok, Thailand, and Barcelona, Spain, as well as at home. He won the Detroit Free Press event six years in a row from 1987-92. Before his victories he came in second three years in a row. Kurtis ran his last marathon in 2013 accomplishing his 200th sub-three-hour marathon. His running career didn't end on the roads. As an event director, he jump started three major races in Detroit: the Free Press Marathon, Turkey Trot, and Corktown Races. The races have tripled their attendance under his guidance. During seven of those years, he also found the time to write a weekly running column, coach three athletes who qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials and volunteered with several local running clubs. In 2017, he was the RRCA’s Detroit Convention organizing chairperson.
1997 - 27th Class of Jones and Sinclair
Kim Jones, born May 2, 1958, became a marathoner after seeing Joan Samuelson's victory in the first women's Olympic marathon. She ran her first marathon, Honolulu Marathon, in 1984, finishing with a time of 2:48:48. She soon began working with coach Benji Durden, and posted a second-place finish at the 1985 Twin Cities Marathon, with a time of 2:35:59. She would go on to win Twin Cities Marathon in 1986 and 1989 and have another second place finish in 1987. Jones competed in the marathon at the 1987 World Championships, but she did not finish after hurting her ankle. In 1988, she finished 5th in the Olympic Marathon Trials with a time of 2:32:16. Jones has had several top finishes at the Boston Marathon including third in 1989 with a time of 2:29:34 followed by second place finishes in 1991 and 1993. In 1989 she was second at the New York City Marathon with a time of 2:27:54. She would again get second at New York in 1990. At the 1991 Berlin Marathon, she ran her lifetime best of 2:26:40 while finishing second. Her time in Berlin made Jones the third-fastest woman marathoner for 1991. In 1995 she was second at the Chicago Marathon.
Jon Sinclair gravitated to organized running for the same reason countless others became runners; he was not good enough or big enough for any other sport. After he was coaxed onto the track team, he promptly won his first mile race in near record time. In his career as a professional, Sinclair recorded more wins than any other male runner in modern road racing history. In addition to being the all-time cumulative men’s point leader in the Runner’s World rankings at the time, he is a former USA National Cross Country and 10,000 meter champion and an Olympic Trials finalist in the 5000 meters. He has represented the U.S. on numerous national teams. Today, both Jon Sinclair and Kim Jones coach athletes from beginners to elites through Anaerobic Management, one of the first online coaching services founded in 1995.
1996 - 26th Class of Eyestone, Kokesh, and Pfitzinger
Ed Eyestone, born June 15, 1961, earned 10 All-American honors and four NCAA championships at BYU. Eyestone then went on to work as the head cross-country and assistant track and field coach for BYU 15 years later. During that his senior year, Eyestone set the NCAA 10,000 meter record that stood for almost 20 years until Dathan Ritzenhein broke it in 2004. After college, he ran the marathon in the 1988 and 1992 Olympics with a best finish of 13th. He coached at Weber State before returning to BYU where he has coached two national champions.
Jerry Kokesh has worked in sports administration since 1973 and in various capacities for the U.S. Biathlon Team since 1988. He was President of the Road Runners Club of America for six years and a member of the RRCA board for 19 years.
Pete Pfitzinger, born August 29, 1957, is best known for his accomplishments in the marathon, an event in which he represented the United States in two Summer Olympic Games: the Los Angeles Olympics (where Pfitzinger finished 11th) and the 1988 Seoul Olympics (where he placed 14th). In the 1984 Olympic Marathon Team Trials in Buffalo, New York, Pfitzinger became immediately known among American marathoners by taking the lead halfway through the race, relinquishing it in the final mile, then storming past the heavily favored Alberto Salazar in the final fifty yards to win the race, in a time of 2:11:43. In the 1988 Olympic Marathon Team Trials, held in Jersey City, New Jersey, Pfitzinger finished 3rd in a time of 2:13:09, to qualify for his second Olympic Games. In other marathons apart from the Olympic Trials and Olympic Games, Pfitzinger won the Syracuse (New York) marathon in 1981, the Wiri (New Zealand) marathon in 1983, and the San Francisco Marathon in 1983 and 1986. He was 2nd at the Montreal (Canada) marathon in 1983. He was 3rd at the Nike OTC Marathon in 1981 and at the New York City Marathon in 1987. He was a consistent performer: All of his 13 career marathons were run in times between 2:11:43 - 2:15:2.
1995 - 25th Class of Trason and Young
Ann Trason, born August 30, 1960, broke twenty world records during her career as an ultramarathoner. The rugged Western States 100 Mile is the biggest and most well-known ultra in the USA, and the event is stamped with her accomplishments. For ten consecutive years Trason won the women’s division, and in two of those races she finished second overall. As if that were not challenge and accomplishment enough, she twice dominated the Western States, with some 30,000 feet of elevation change, snow at the high altitude start and baking furnace like conditions in the canyons, less than two weeks after winning the prestigious 56-mile Comrades ultra in South Africa.
George Young, born July 24, 1937, was the first American to compete in running events at four Olympic Games. In his first three Olympics (‘60, ‘64, ‘68), George competed in the steeplechase, winning a bronze medal in Mexico City. He also ran in the Olympic marathon in 1968. In 1972, he competed at 5000m. In total, his competitive career spanned an impressive 25 years. George demonstrated his versatility by setting American Records at each track distance he contested. He broke the steeplechase record three times, and the 2 mile and 5000m once each. George established a Mt. SAC steeplechase meet record each time he contested the event. In 1972, in preparation for the Olympic Trials, he moved up to 5000m at Mt. SAC, and won there as well.
1994 - 24th Class of Brown, Burfoot, and Irvine
Julie Brown, born February 4, 1955, held the national high school record in the 800-meter distance. She was the first woman to earn an athletic scholarship to UCLA for cross-country running. In 1975, Brown was crowned the world’s cross-country champion. She went on to try out for the United States Olympic team in the 1980 squad, but was unable to compete when the United States boycotted the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, Russia. She won the 1983 Avon International Marathon in Los Angeles in 2:26:26. In 1984, she again became a United States Olympic Team member, this time as a marathon runner in the inaugural women’s marathon at the Los Angeles Games. Unfortunately, she struggled with mononucleosis during the competition and finished 32nd. Brown retired from running in the late ‘80s to pursue a career in law.
Ambrose “Amby” Burfoot, born August 19, 1946, is an American marathoner whose peak competitive years came in the late 1960s and early 1970s. His high school coach, John J. Kelley (The "Younger"), was the 1957 Boston Marathon, and his influence led Burfoot to take up the marathon while still a collegian. In his senior year at Wesleyan University, where Burfoot was the roommate and teammate of Bill Rodgers, Burfoot won the Boston Marathon in 1968. In the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan in December 1968, Burfoot ran a personal best time of 2:14:28.8, which was one second from the American marathon record at the time. As of 2015, he had run the Manchester Road Race 53 times in a row besting the streak of Charlie "Doc" Robbins. In the process, he won Manchester nine times. Burfoot also continues to run the Boston Marathon at five-year intervals, marking his 1968 win. He ran the 2013 Boston Marathon but was stopped three-quarters of a mile from completion after a terrorist attack near the finish line. He has run Boston each year since returning for 2014. In 1978, Burfoot joined Bob Anderson as East Coast editor for Anderson's publication, Runner's World magazine. In 1985, when Runner's World was bought by Rodale Press and moved from Mountain View, California, to Emmaus, Pennsylvania, he was named the executive editor.
Marion Irvine, born October 19, 1929, qualified for the Olympic trials by running a 2:51:01 at age 54, in a run that forever changed perceptions about athletic capabilities of older women. Dubbed “The Flying Nun,” she was already garnering national attention for records such as the first sub-20 minute 5-kilometer, sub-38 minute 10K, and sub-three hour marathon (2:59:55) by a woman over 50. In the weeks leading up to the Trials, Irvine appeared on “Today” and “Good Morning, America” national talk shows and was featured in “Sports Illustrated” and “Time” magazines. On May 12, 1984, Irvine ran a brilliant 2:52:02, just missing the Olympics but besting many far younger competitors. She continued to set records in the 55-59 and 60-64 age divisions.
1993 – 23rd Class of Bacheler, Green and Decker Slaney
Jack Bacheler, born December 30, 1943, is a two-time U.S. Olympian in the 5,000 meters in 1968 Mexico City Olympics, and the Marathon in 1972 Munich Olympics. At Mexico City, he finished fourth in his qualifying heat and was the only American to qualify of the finals, however he was unable to compete in the finals due to illness. Three months prior to the 1972 U.S. Olympic Trials, Bacheler, along with Florida Track Club teammates Frank Shorter and Jeff Galloway, moved to Vail, Colorado to train at altitude. Although the Munich marathon course was essentially flat, temperatures were just over 80 °. The race was run on Sunday, September 10 and started at 3 pm. Shorter won in near Olympic record time of 2:12:19.8 and Bacheler crossed the line in ninth place in 2:17:38.2. He was a founding member of the Florida Track Club at Gainesville, Florida in the late 1960s
Norm Green, born June 27, 1932, was a standout miler in high school and got down to 4:24 at the University of California at Berkeley before giving up the sport during his sophomore year because of a heavy study load and a part-time job. He was "born again" as a runner in 1981 when he ran a 2:25:51 marathon at age 52 and a 2:27:42 at age 55, making him the oldest American to break 2:30 at the time. He also clocked 32:09 for 10K, 1:05:50 for 20K, and 1:09:30 for a half marathon during his 50s. Green was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1995. He returned to racing in 1997 after treatment, but did very little racing over the next seven years because of injuries.
Mary Decker Slaney, born August 4, 1958, was known as "Little Mary Decker" because she wore pigtails and braces, when at 14-years-old and 89 lbs., she set her first American record. During her career, she won gold medals in the 1500 meters and 3000 meters at the 1983 World Championships, and was the world record holder in the mile, 5000 meters and 10,000 meters. In total, she set 17 official and unofficial world records, including being the first woman in history to break 4:20 for the mile. She also set 36 US national records at distances ranging from 800 meters to 10,000 meters, and has held the US record in the mile, 2000 meters and 3000 meters since the early 1980s, while her 1500 meters record stood for 32 years. In May 1997, Slaney and two other athletes were suspended by the IAAF, which stressed it was not presuming the athletes guilty of using banned substances, but that it had grown impatient because the cases had taken nearly a year to get settled. Less than four months later, Slaney’s suspensions were lifted after a hearing with a USATF doping hearing board, which concluded that “Mary Slaney committed no doping violation last year.” The International Olympic Committee laboratory reports outlined that her testosterone levels were always within her own normal range, which itself was always within the normal, allowable range. Those facts were never disputed. She was exonerated by USATF, because of this, and because the IOC laboratories were unable to explain why their own internal scientific literature questioned the validity and reliability of the test as a proxy for doping, especially for women whose hormone levels naturally fluctuate.
1992 – 22nd Class of Darman, Galloway, and Haydon
Jeff Darman was active as a high school Cross Country runner. After high school graduation, Jeff stopped running and became a three pack a day smoker until he neared 30 and decided a lifestyle change was needed. He got involved with the DC Road Runners Club and was inspired by the DCRR president of the time, Gar Williams, to get more involved with the RRCA. When Darman got involved with the RRCA. they were battling with the AAU over athletes' rights. Darman lobbied and testified before Congress on The Amateur Sports Act, groundbreaking legislation that changed the landscape for professional and amateur running in the United States. Darman served at the RRCA president from 1977-1979, and during that time, he was actively involved in engaging women in leadership roles in running and working to provide more running opportunities for women. Darman has directed prestigious races including the Credit Union Cherry Blossom, Nike Women's Race, and he still directs the ACLI Capital Challenge. Darmans PR and marketing clients have included; Avon, Moving Comfort, Nike, Running Times, Perrier and many more. Darman has also served on many committees and boards of running organizations including Professional Road Racing Organization (PRRO) and USA Track & Field (board member).
Jeff Galloway, born July 12, 1945, is the author of more than a dozen books on running. He ran the 10,000 meter in the 1972 Olympics and was also an alternate on the marathon team. He runs the Galloway Marathon Program, which takes place in more than 40 cities. This low-mileage program uses Jeff’s run-walk-run method, putting the marathon within reach of almost everyone. He has coached hundreds of thousands of runners and walkers to their goals. An All-American runner at Wesleyan University who earned an M.S. in social studies from Florida State University, Galloway has developed clinics for NASA astronauts, Vice President Al Gore and a variety of North American corporations. He served on the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, designing a heritage program to bring the Olympic excitement and fitness into area schools.
Ted Haydon, born 1912 (deceased 1985), was a former Olympic coach who founded the University of Chicago Track Club. Mr. Haydon, who was inducted into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame, was a coach with the U.S. Olympic teams in 1968 and 1972, and for the Pan American Games in 1963 and 1979.
1991 – 21st Class of Brown, Jennings, and Lebow
Barry Brown, born July 26, 44 (deceased 1992), was for more than 25 years one of the nation's leading distance runners. He was a nationally ranked steeple chaser in the late '60s and early '70s and a record-breaking masters runner in the '80s. He still holds the American masters record for the marathon, 2:15:15 set in 1984 at Twin Cities. He was known for high-mileage training and the way he captivated running companions with his rhapsodies on the sport.
Lynn Jennings, born July 1, 1960, was the first female on her high school’s all-male track team. From her sophomore year until graduation, Jennings was ranked number one on her team and third overall in the league. She continued to run in college as part of the Princeton University track team, but struggled to keep up in school and stick to a rigorous practice schedule. She quit running several times out of frustration. In 1984, she was inspired to resurrect her career while watching Joan Benoit Samuelson win the Olympic Gold medal in the first women’s marathon. At that moment, she recommitted herself to the sport and qualified for the 1988 Olympic Games, where she finished sixth in the 10,000 meter event. Jennings then went on to win nine U.S. cross-country championships and an Olympic Bronze medal in the 10,000 meters in Barcelona in 1992.
Fred Lebow, born June 3, 1932 (deceased October 9, 1994), was an avid road runner. Lebow founded the the New York City Marathon. He transformed the marathon from a small race with 55 finishers in 1970 to one of the largest marathons in the world with over 36,544 finishers in 2004. He ran in the inaugural NYC marathon in 1970, finishing 45th out of 55 runners with a time of 4:12:09. In 1992, he ran his last NYC Marathon, in celebration of his 60th birthday, after being diagnosed with brain cancer in early 1990. His finished in 5:32:35. During his career Lebow completed 69 marathons in 30 countries. In addition to the NYC Marathon, he also organized the Empire State Building Run Up, the Fifth Avenue Mile, and the Crazy Legs Mini Marathon, the first strictly women’s race. Lebow also served as president of the New York Road Runners Club for twenty years. The documentary Run for Your Life tells the story of Lebow and the New York City Marathon.
1990 – 20th Class of Porter, Salazar, and Treux
Pat Porter, born May 31, 1959 (deceased July 26, 2012), became one of the most dominant U.S distance runners of the 1980s as a result of training under Joe Vigil at Adams State College. Porter was a two-time U.S. Olympian, running the 10,000-meters at the 1984 and 1988 Olympic Games. He is best known for winning a record eight consecutive U.S.A. Cross Country Championships from 1982 to 1989. Porter also represented the U.S. at the World Cross Country Championships from 1982 to 1989. His best finish at the World Championships of Cross Country was 4th in 1984, followed by 6th, 7th, 9th and 10th place finishes throughout his career. In 1983, he set the World Record for the road 10K at 27:31.8. In 1985, he won the silver medal at the World Cup of Athletics in Canberra, Australia. In 1998, Pat Porter played Finnish distance runner Lasse Viren in Without Limits, a biographical film about American distance legend Steve Prefontaine.
Alberto Salazar, born August 7, 1958, was born in Cuba and immigrated to the United States as a child with his family here Salazar competed in track and field in high school. Salazar ran and won his first New York City Marathon in 1980. At the time it was the fastest marathon debut in history. In 1981, Salazar broke a 12-year old world marathon record at New York with a time of 2:08:13. His third and final New York City Marathon was in 1982, which would be the last American victory in that race. In 1982, Salazar beat Dick Beardsley at the 1982 Boston Marathon, a race that was considered the most memorable battle in the history of the Boston Marathon. From the beginning they ran together, each leading at different points throughout the course. The last mile was a battle for the finish with Salazar outkicking Beardsley for the victory. Throughout his career, he set six U.S. records and one world record. After a long absence from the sport to focus on his health, Salazar returned in 1994 to compete as an ultra-marathoner. He won the world Comrades Marathon, a 53-mile race from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Max Treux, born November 4, 1935 (deceased March 24, 1991), won the NCAA Cross Country championship in 1957 while running for USC and set an American record in the 5,000 meters. He won the 10,000 meters race in the National AAU championships in 1956 and 1959. His earned a place1956 U.S. Olympic team, but was unable to compete in the games because of an injury. He continued to run as a member of the U. S. Air Force after graduation from USC. He was awarded a spot on the 1960 U. S. Olympic team and competed in the 10,000 meters in Rome. He was the only U.S. runner to qualify for the 10,000 finals where he raced against 19 of the world’s top runners in the event. He finished sixth and set an American record. At 5-foot-5, Truex was the smallest athlete to ever represent the United States in track and field in the Olympics.