National Distance Running Hall of Fame Announces the Induction Class of 2008
April 19, 2008 (Utica, N.Y.) – The National Distance Running Hall of Fame announces the Induction Class of 2008. Members of the class of 2008, which will be announced as part of the Boston Marathon Weekend, include: Amby Burfoot, Priscilla Welch and Johnny Hayes.
“The BAA has been proud to play a role in the National Distance Running Hall of Fame announcement of inductees. We have been involved since the Hall of Fame’s inception,” said Guy Morse, Executive Director of the Boston Athletic Association. “As a host to the world’s oldest annual marathon, and with the media attendance at the Boston Marathon, we take great pride in partnering with the National Distance Running Hall of Fame to bring the sport added exposure.“
Amby Burfoot was the first American to win the Boston Marathon since 1957 with a time of 2:22:17. Priscilla Welch holds several masters’ women’s records at a variety of distances including the women’s masters’ marathon with a time of 2:26:51. Johnny Hayes was the first American to win the Olympic Marathon against a truly international field.
“We are honored to make this announcement as part of Boston Marathon weekend,” said Tim Reed, Director of the Hall of Fame. “The BAA has been a tremendous partner for the Hall, and it is fitting to announce this exceptional 2008 class in conjunction with the BAA and one of the most important races in the world.” Reed praised this year’s class as highly worthy and representative of the achievements that the distance running community admires. “This class reminds us of the hard work and dedication that it takes to excel in distance running. We are grateful that their personal achievements help bring recognition to the sport.“
The Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 12 at the Auditorium on the grounds of the Masonic Care Community in Utica, New York. The ceremony inducting the ninth class into the Hall of Fame begins at 3 p.m., and is open to the public. The cost of admission is free. The Induction Ceremony is part of the festivities taking place during National Distance Running Hall of Fame Weekend featuring The Boilermaker Road Race. For more information about events during the weekend, visit www.boilermaker.com.
The Hall of Fame voting committee, which consists of national leaders in the running community, as well as members of each induction class, selected this year’s inductees. Current Hall of Famers include: Bill Rodgers, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Frank Shorter, Kathrine Switzer, John J. Kelley, Nina Kuscsik, Billy Mills, Alberto Salazar, and Grete Waitz.
For more information, contact Mary MacEnroe at the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in Utica, New York at (315) 724-4525 office or (315) 796-4524 cell.
Burfoot finished 15 Boston Marathons including a win in 1968 with a time of 2:22:17. He was the first American to win the Boston Marathon since 1957. Burfoot is the executive editor of Runner’s World Magazine. He has written several books on running, including Runner’s World Complete Book of Running.
Welch holds several masters’ women’s records at a variety of distances including the women’s masters’ marathon with a time of 2:26:51. Some of Welch’s awards include Runner’s World Magazine’s 1986 Masters Woman Runner of the Year, 1991 Masters’ Runner of the Quarter Century and Best Female Masters Road Runner in the 1996 Runner’s World “100 Years of Running” issue.
Hayes won the 1908 Olympic Marathon, beating Dorando Pietri. This marathon was significant because it was the first marathon held at the now standard distance of 26 miles, 385 yards. It was also the first time an American won the Olympic Marathon against a truly international field. Hayes also won the first Yonkers Marathon in 1907, and placed 2nd (1908), 3rd (1907), and 5th (1906) at the Boston Marathon. Hayes kicked off a period of intense competition in the marathon after he turned pro shortly after his Olympic victory.
The National Distance Running Hall of Fame is located in Utica, New York, along a stretch of the New York State Thruway that could be called “Hall of Fame Corridor.” Established in 1998, it currently has 30 members, including Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Alberto Salazar, Grete Waitz, Kathrine Switzer, Joan Benoit Samuelson and the late Steve Prefontaine. The Hall is dedicated to honoring the sport of distance running and the athletes who have made contributions to the sport, from top runners and the most decorated athletes, to those who pushed the sport’s barriers and eventually broke them. The Hall is housed in a three-story brownstone building and honors these athletes’ talents, initiative and drive through the pictures, memorabilia and awards that decorate the exhibit rooms and pull the visitor into the runner’s world, a place often inhabited by the runner alone as she/he challenges the limits of the human spirit. The Hall’s induction is celebrated at an annual ceremony held in conjunction with the Boilermaker Road Race during Hall of Fame Weekend, the second weekend each July, in Utica, New York. The Hall of Fame offers membership opportunities for road races, clubs, organizations and individuals, at a variety of levels. More information on this, or other information, can be found at National Distance Running Hall of Fame.