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Nomination & Selection Process

  • Nominate individuals, programs, clubs, or events based on the award categories outlined below.
  • Individuals or organizations may receive multiple nominations for different awards categories, but a separate nomination form must be completed for each award category.
  • Review the Award Categories and Selection Criteria below, then complete the nomination form by the deadline.

RRCA provides a travel stipend and complementary ticket for each award recipient to attend the RRCA National Running Awards Dinner and Ceremony.

Nominations for 2021 RRCA National Running Awards are due by 5:00 PM EST on January 1, 2022.

Submit Award Nominations

Founded in 1971, the RRCA Distance Running Hall of Fame inducts American citizens that have attained extraordinary levels of achievement in the sport. Members of the RRCA Distance Running Hall of Fame have demonstrated outstanding levels of achievement in one or both of the following categories:

Athletic Performance: Preference is often given to competitive running performance at the national and international levels for U.S. athletes. Inductees may still be in their competitive years, and retirement from the sport is not a requirement. Inductees should have demonstrated excellence for several years of quality performances, as opposed to one outstanding race in a career. Outstanding racing performances for distances of 5K and longer on the roads, track, and longer distances on trails (26.2 plus/ultras) is part of the selection consideration.   Athletes achieving a top 10 finish at the Olympic or Paralympic Marathon, 10,000 meter, and/or 5,000meter within last three Olympic Games cycle and over masters age-group (35-40+) will receive an automatic nomination based on career performances including the Olympic Games, but not exclusive to a single Olympic Games performance.  

Key Influencer: Individuals that have made exceptional contributions to the growth, positive reputation, and overall success of distance running may be inducted as a key influencer in the sport.  Key influencers may include: influential leaders that have dramatically increased the profile of the sport through participant engagement as well as being an RRCA supporter; coaches that have worked with multiple Olympic athletes or US National Champions; a contributor to a significant scientific body of evidence for training theories and scientific advancement of the sport; long-standing race directors for marque events in the USA that elevate the sport through international competition, prize money, drug testing, RRCA membership, etc.; and other significant areas of contribution to the sport, and the RRCA, as a key influencer deemed appropriate by the RRCA.

Learn more about the RRCA Distance Running Hall of Fame Inductees >>

The Browning Ross Spirit of the RRCA Award was created to honor the memory of the RRCA’s founding member, Browning Ross.  The award honors people who champion the RRCA tirelessly and enthusiastically, but prefer to stay in the background, letting others bask in the spotlight, just as Browning did.

This award recognizes lifetime volunteer service over a period of many years to the running community. Nominees should have a considerable track record of being an active promoter of the RRCA and volunteering for their local club or event.

The general criterion for this award includes developing and applying a high level of administrative and organizational management skill for their club. Pursuing community involvement through financial donations, scholarship programs, youth programs, volunteer support, and developing relationships that benefit the mission of the club. Under the president’s leadership a club should see membership retention and growth, increased participation in club hosted events such as training runs and races, and a well rounded social atmosphere for club members. The president should also ensure the club has a volunteer recognition program, exceptional communication through email, website or newsletters about club activities.

Developed in the 1975, the Road Runner of the Year Award celebrates American runners with an outstanding record of performances during the past year for Open Male and Female runners and Masters Male and Female runners.

The general criteria for the open male and female runners of the year include top performances and accomplishments during the year along with the types of races run. Participation in RRCA Championship events is encouraged.

Criteria for the Male Masters and Female Masters includes top performances and accomplishments during the year for a person over 40 years of age. Participation in RRCA Championship events is encouraged, as well as participation in the local running community.

Nominees for this award must actively participant in running events with a verified disability.  Athletes may race with or without the use of prosthetics. Athletes may also race using a push-rim wheelchair. Physical disabilities also include dwarfism, amputation/limb loss, blindness/visual impairment, spinal cord injury/wheelchair-users and cerebral palsy/brain injury/stroke. The general selection criterion for this award includes performances and accomplishments at events during the year; the types of events the person has participated in; and placement in those events. Participation in RRCA member events is encouraged.

This award is given to recognize the outstanding volunteer (excluding the president) of a local club. A general selection criterion includes someone that is a dedicated volunteer to the local running club and someone that stands out among the other volunteers in the club.

 This award recognizes a top writer that produces editorial content for a club newsletter or other running-related publications. The candidate may be a volunteer that writes for the club’s newsletter or a freelance writer that is paid per article. The articles should be about running and should be memorable, creative and inspiring. Articles should promote the virtues of and support of grassroots (community-based) running through their writing and Is published in a local, regional or national publication. The Excellence in Running Journalism award requires 3 article samples, which should be uploaded as a single PDF document with the nomination.

 This award has three elements with corresponding criteria:  website, newsletter, and social media use.  Special consideration will be given to nonprofit clubs/events that utilize volunteers to manage their communication outreach.

  • Website – a club or event must have a well-organized website with key information presented in an easy to navigate format. The site should include up-to-date information; an event calendar that lists group run schedules/training programs; membership/participant information with ability to register online; contact information for board of directors or key leadership beyond a contact form; and more.  RRCA logo and link noting membership affiliation is highly recommended.  A link to the website must be included with the nomination.
  • Print or E-Newsletter – a club or event must produce, at minimum, a quarterly print or e-newsletter/eblast informing members/participants about key information and point readers to the website or social media accounts of the organization.   The newsletters should highlight members, outline club/event activities, and more.  A PDF copy of two editions of a print or e-newsletter/eblast must be uploaded with the nomination.  Printed event programs can be submitted along with e-newsletters as part of the submission.
  • Social Media – a club or event must have one or more social media account(s) using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or others. The social media accounts should be posted on the club’s website.  Social media criterion includes regular posting of information about the club/event and its members or participants in a way that connect runners with the club or event.  Solid engagement by members/participants is a plus.  Private or member’s only accounts on Facebook should be made available to RRCA Programs upon request as part of the awards selection process.

This award is an opportunity to honor your State Representative who fulfills their role with ambitious enthusiasm helping to promote running and the RRCA while assisting the local clubs with knowledge, communication and guidance.The award is given in the name of the first Outstanding State Representative, Al Becken.

General selection criterion includes promotion of RRCA’s programs and services at the local level, support to the local running club, coordination of club information, regular communication with local clubs and events, and general promotion of the running community within their home state. 

This award recognizes an outstanding youth running program along with the person responsible for leading or coordinating the program’s efforts. The program should engage children of various ages, races, and socioeconomic statuses, and should be open to both boys and girls. The program should operate as a multi-week program, allowing children to run at least 30 minutes or more per session and focusing on participation. The program coordinator should be someone that has made a significant effort in promoting, developing, and managing the running program in their community. Additional consideration will be given to programs that utilize the Kids Run the Nation educational curriculum or have received a Kids Run the Nation grant as part of their program.

This award was initially created to recognize programs striving to ensure equal access for women to running at all distances. In 2008, with participation by women in running events nearly equal to that of men, this award transitioned to focus on programs that engage all new runners. General criterion includes programs that have multi-week training program that engages both men and women that are new or returning to the sport of running. The program should work to keep participants involved in a local club, not just get them to the finish line of a race, while also promote running as a lifelong activity and not just a distance goal. The program should teach new runners how to safely increase their event distance such as a 5K to 10K to Half-marathon to Marathon step training program. Special consideration will be given to programs that are voluntarily led by RRCA Certified Coaches.

 In 2006, the RRCA launched the Road Race of the Year to acknowledge events that are organized as nonprofit races that provide safe, well-designed, and enjoyable events that promote grassroots running and the mission of the RRCA. General selection criterion: the event must be organized as a nonrprofit event or hosted by a nonprofit running club that is a member of the RRCA. While the race must be governed by a nonprofit Board of Directors, the Board may elect to hire a race director to implement the race plan approved by the Board. The event may be any size or distance road race or trail event. The race must have no insurance claims for the year. Special consideration will be given to events that include the RRCA logo on race materials and events that have received the RRCA Championship designation for the year. Road Race of the Year award requires one PDF document uploaded with the nomination that contains photos of finisher medal, t-shirts, website, and how the event incorporated the RRCA name and/or logo into event promotion.

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