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National Distance Running Hall of Fame Names Roger Robinson
Its 2006 George Sheehan Media Award Recipient
July 8, 2006 (Utica, N.Y.) – The National Distance Running Hall of Fame named Roger Robinson as the recipient of the 2006 George Sheehan Award in a ceremony held at the Stanley Theatre in Utica, N.Y. on Saturday, July 8, 2006. The Distance Running Hall of Fame bestows The George Sheehan Award for Outstanding Journalistic Contributions to the Sport of Distance Running on a journalist who has captured the spirit of running and has helped to enhance the sport through words and stories.
George Sheehan, who died in 1993 four days before his 75th birthday, began running at age 45, after earning a degree in medicine, raising twelve children and gaining much professional success. Five years after he began running, he clocked a 4:47 mile, and was the first 50-year-old to do so in the world. He coupled his devotion to physical health and well being with delivering advice on health and fitness to his peers, via a newspaper column he wrote, and he soon became one of the most sought out experts on health and fitness. The column lasted for 20 years, and during this time, Sheehan was also a medical editor for Runner’s World magazine. He wrote eight books and lectured around the world, telling his audiences “Listen to your body.” He succumbed to prostate cancer in 1993 after living with it for 7 years.
Robinson brings a deeper dimension to his writing that makes him a worthy recipient of our award named for George Sheehan. He has been a lifelong writer, along with his career as a distinguished literary scholar and university professor and his parallel life as an elite long-distance runner. He began writing about running for English newspapers in the 1960’s then for New Zealand newspapers and magazines. His work has now been published throughout the English-speaking world and has been translated into German, Spanish, Japanese and other languages. In the USA, he is a senior writer for Running Times, as well as well as contributing regularly to Marathon & Beyond and the New York Runner.
Robinson has published twenty books, including the award-wining Robert Louis Stevenson: His Best Pacific Writing and the Oxford Companion to New Zealand Literature. His books on running are Heroes and Sparrows 1986), Running in Literature (2003), and (with his wife Kathrine Switzer) 26.2 Marathon Stories, just published to great critical acclaim. His best-know articles include a commentary on the benefits of running gives to a whole community, focused on Utica, New York and the Boilermaker 15K: and influential articles co-authored with Running Times editor Jonathan Beverly on the issues of foreign-born Americans and charity running.
Other highlights of Roger Robinson’s varied life include a Cambridge University PhD; representing England and eleven years later New Zealand in the World Cross country; setting master records at the Boston and New York Marathons; being stadium announcer at two Commonwealth Games and television commentator at the Olympics and World Championships; his marriage in 1987 to women’s running pioneer Kathrine Switzer; and current appointment as Emeritus Professor of Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand.
The nation’s largest 15K road race in its 29th year, the Boilermaker is the premier event of the National Distance Running Hall of Fame’s annual Hall of Fame Weekend. The race consistently attracts elite runners from all over the world, including Olympians and world record holders, and features distance running’s most enthusiastic fans, as well as the sport’s most enjoyable post-race party, hosted at The Matt Brewing Company. To register for other Boilermaker events, call 315.797.5838 for an application, or visit the official Boilermaker web site at www.boilermaker.com. Hotel accommodations and information about other local attractions can also be found on the site.