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Hall of Fame
In the year 2000 the Club inducted the first four members into its own Hall of Fame. The honor was bestowed on four exceptional athletes who had amassed truly impressive records in road racing and/or track and field competition. Each year since then the award has been presented to other members with exceptional credentials, typically three or four each year. Nominations for candidates to the Hall of Fame can be made by any member of the Club. Nonminees must have been members of the Club for at least two years and reached the age of 70. Nominations with supporting material should be sent to the Chairman of the Hall-of-Fame Committee;
On April 20, 2011 the Club’s Hall-of-Fame Committee met a Jackson’s Restaurant in Methuen, MA to discuss and vote on nine candidates who had been nominated for election. I am pleased to announce that the following four Club members were elected and will be honored at the October 3, 2011 annual luncheon at Spinelli’s Banquet facility in Lynnfield, MA:
Dennis Branham of Providence, Rhode Island
Robert Hall of Sudbury, Massachusetts
Douglas MacGregor of Lebanon, New Hampshire
Joe Cordero of Islip Terrace, New York
Polly Kenniston, Scarborough, ME
Even though Polly does not race far from home most of the time, she is a national class runner with age graded times in the mid 80's (see below) She holds six 70 age-group Maine Corporate Track records for distances of 200 meters to 5K.Though not a frequent marathoner she has had notable finishes in recent years, including 2nd place in the 65-69 division at the Marine Corps Marathon in 2006 in a time of 4:41 and a first place in the 70+ division at the Sugarloaf Marathon in 2009 with a time of 4:39. Polly has run all 12 of the Beach to Beacon 10K races. In the last three, still going very strong, she has had two second places (55:20 in 2008, 56:04 in 2009) and a first place in 2010 in 58:17. Her age-graded times (shown in parentheses) in 2008 were 57:27 (81.52) for 10K; 1:24:20 (83:17) for 10 miles; 27:22 (83.74) for 5K and 44:00 (83:58) for 5 miles. In 2009 Polly ran a 10K in 57:20 (83:23), 5 miles in 44:31 (85,62) and a 5K in 27:22 (84.96). Clearly all national class! In 2007 Polly received the Tim Smith Award from the Maine Corporate Track Association as female athlete of the season, an award given to runners who compete in 800 meters, 1600 meters, 2 miles and 5K races.In 2009 Polly was voted the Female Athlete of the Year in the 70-79 age group by the Maine Track Club. She is still hungry for more records and to best her times at some distances. I wouldn't bet against her.
Jerry LeVasseur, Brunswick, ME
Jerry, our Club president shown here with Phil Pierce, HOF Committee chairman started racing at age 42 and reports his best times were at age 48. For 5K then it was 17:07; for 10 K, 35:27. But let's skip to his later years, after 60 when he ran a 19:25 5K, a 39:13 10K, 32:41 5 mile and a 5:37 mile. After 65 he turned in a 20:57 5K, a 36:43 5 Mile, a 46:09 10K and a 6:13 Mile. He didn't slow much after 70 when he did a 6:41 mile and a 23:10 5K. So is he fast or not? Let's go to his medals chest which is filled with world and national championship awards, including 5 gold and 2 silver in the International Senior Games when he was 57, 1 gold and 3 bronze in the World Masters when he was in the 60-69 period, and 16 individual and 34 team/relay medals in the National Masters XC and Track competitions. He has been the National Champion in the steeplechase and 8K cross country, and in senior summer and winter games he has won 7 medals and many placing ribbons. He contributed to a world record in the 4x1600 in the 60-69 age group. At age 70 he won 9 National medals, including National Champion in the triple jump and helped set a national and world record in the 4x800, not to mention 7 Corporate Track age group records from the long jump to the 5K. And here is an interesting statistic: he has averaged 41 age group wins per year with a high of 75 in 2008 at the age of 71. He is a racing fiend! But he has been more than a runner, serving for example on a number of Boards, including those of the Maine and Connecticut Senior Games and as an inveterate organizer of teams that have enviable records in many races, not the least being the Lake Winnipesaukee Relay for 12 years and Wolfpit Road Runners Club's six National Cross Country championships. Jerry has been a volunteer track and XC coach at Bowdoin College since 2004 and is now the head cross country JV coach. Enough said!
John Dugdale, Ridgefield, Connecticut
John has had an extremely illustrious career in road running that began when he was 41 years old and continued until he was forced to stop for a while following a heart attack he suffered at age 69. A look at his records up until that time leaves no doubt that he was a runner of the highest caliber. Runners World ranked him in the top 3 runners age 45-49, and the New York Road Runners Club gave him a special award for having run 20 miles at sub-6-mile pace at age 49. His race times at age 50, good enough to win every race he ran, are enough to justify his inclusion in our Hall of Fame. Witness: Midas Mile in Middletown, CT, 4:26; 3 Mile Lightfoot Summer Series, Norwalk, 14:59 (course record); Five Mile Summer Series, 25:44; I-95 Moose Run 10K, Danbury, 32:02; Utica Boilermaker 15K, 48:49; Blessing of the Fleet 10 Miles, Narragansett, 52:21; Ridgefield Half Marathon, 1:11:25, Maine Coast Marathon, 2:36:47 and Marine Corps Marathon, 2:38, among others. He won the Falmouth Road Race that same year and then drove for 3.5 hours to win the Sunset 10K in Shelton, CT. Looking at another slice of his running career in his late sixties he was very much a force individually and as a team member at the National Masters Championships. At age 66 he won the 5K race in 21:31and helped his Wolfpit RC team to a first place finish. In Boston he ran a 40:51 10K, again helping his team to a first place finish in the 60-69 age division. In the following three years the story was the same, 1st place in 8K and 5K races on teams that each year placed first in the 60-69 division. John remains an active force in the Wolfpit Running Club in Ridgefield CT, as past president and longtime secretary/treasurer. For the past 20 years he has been co-director of the Ridgefield Pamby Half Marathon.
Carrie Parsi, Gloucester, MA
For 30 years Carrie has been assembling a phenomenal record in road and cross country racing, impossible to summarize in this short space. A few highlights must include 24 marathons, 14 in Boston, and wins in her division in a least 4. She holds 11 individual age records in the Apple Fest Half Marathon dating back to 1989. She has shown her strength at that distance with first-place finishes at the New Bedford Half where she holds several records. She has run the Mt. Washington Road Race 14 times, still holds therecord for the 60-64 division and 9 single-age records. And the lady has not run out of gas. Note these first place times in recent races: In 2007 and 2008 at ages 68 and 69 she ran the Mt. Wachusett 4.3 miles in 45:10 and 46:12; the Lone Gull 10k in 52:10 and 51:55; Run the Goose 7K in 36:55. In 2009 she turned in a 3:02:46 at Stu's 30K for first place in the 70+ division, where she had set a course record in 1994 at age 55. She has impressive XC credentials with wins at 10K and 6K distances in the nationals in 1996 and 2005, respectively. She has been a member of the Liberty Athletic Club for 29 years and has helped the 65-69 track team set a world record in the 4X800. At age 58she won the 3000 meters in a time of 12:15:71. Carrie was ranked third nationally in the 55-59 age group, and more recently was voted the New England Woman Runners of the Year for the 70+ division. And all that is just a piece of the story.
David Sonstroem, Storrs, CT
Another Connecticut Yankee who has won his division nearly every race he has run, 44 times just since turning 65. His marathon record is truly amazing. At the Hartford he won all six times he ran it, 4 since turning 65, at the Vermont city six of the seven times he ran. In the Mystic Places Marathon he won both times he ran, running a 3:28:30 when he was 70. That time was the second fastest by an American 70 and older. In the Fairfield Half Marathon he won his division five of the six times he ran it, everyone since turning 65. In the Iron Horse Half Marathon in Simsbury, CT he won again the three times he ran it. In the fall of 2009 he ran the Niantic Bay Half Marathon for the first time and set a course record for the 70-79 division with a time of 1:44:01. In the New Haven 20K his record is seven out of eight, wins of course. In the Montville Masters 10K he is eight for eight, and in the Manchester 4.48 Mile Road Race he has won four times. He ran a 6:42 in the Willimantic Boom Box Mile in 2009, his second win in that race in as many tries. He has received many accolades: New England Runner's top runner in the 70-79 age group in 2007, the second fastest marathon runner in the US in 2006 and twelfth in the world. There is no sign that any of these win strings are likely to end very soon.
George Bisson, Hooksett, New Hampshire
George has been a stalwart in our club since 2001, serving on the Board of Directors and on the Run For All Ages Race Committee. One thing that makes him so fast is his desire to beat Bill Spencer one of these years. At age 65 he was getting close, finishing second to Bill's 36:36 with a 36:49 in the Red Barn Five Miler in Dover, NH. At age 64 he had run the Homecoming Newburyport 10 Miler in 1:14:51, a 7:30 pace. In 2005 at age 69 he ran the High Street Mile in Newburyport in 6:15:00. A few more samples of his prowess on the road: In 2000 he ran the East End 5 Mile run in Lowell in 34:51, a 6:58 pace. At age 71 he ran the Mill City 5K in Lowell, MA on September 2nd in 23:02, a 7:25 pace and the Kerouac 5K, also in Lowell, in 22:23, a 7:13 pace. Not confined to the road, George went 3.5 miles cross country in Andover finishing in 8:03, an 8:01 pace
Harry Carter, Blackstone Massachusetts
We can begin by noting that in 1999 Harry was honored as a USATF Ironrunner, one of only 96 who finished all 7 races in the New England Grand Prix Series. More recently at age 68 Harry won his division in the Hyannis Half Marathon in 2005 finishing in 1:36:22, under USATF guidelines, of course. Also in 2005 he ran the Super 5K Road Race in the time of 20:10, a 6:30 pace, and finished ahead of Bill Spencer in the Rhody 5K; his time was 20:50, Bill's was 20:55. Notice how Bill is the benchmark against which we compare runners in that division. Also in 2005 Harry ran the Ollie 5-Mile Road Race in 34:54. In 2006, he won the 65-69 age division in the New Bedford Half Marathon with a time of 1:36:57, a 7:24 pace. In 2007 at the National Club Championship's Masters for Men Harry finished third in the 10K road race, in a time of 50:00 trailing Bill who finished first in this one with a time of 49:10. But Harry picked up some speed at the Walpole 10K to finish in 44:54, a 7:14 pace. The friendly rivalry with Bill continues.
Bob Randall, Springvale, Maine
Bob has contributed to running in many ways, as a cofounder of the Winners Circle Running Club, as founder of the Toys for Tots race in Merrimac, as official timer for Bay State Timing and most recently as Director at Large for the NE65+RC. He also races extremely well, having run the Boston Marathon 15 times. At age he ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2:58. He routinely turned in times of 17 and change in 5K races. In 2002 at age 65 he ran a 21:21 Portsmouth Harbor Trail 5K. In 2003 his time in the Mt. Washington Road Race was 1:51:13 and at the Beach to Beacon 10K in Maine he was 2nd in the 65-69 division with a time of 45:02. In 2007 at age 70 he found 29th place in a field of 118 runners in the Presidential 5K in Kennebunkport, ME with a time of 23:50, a 7:41 pace. Also in 2007 he finished 2nd in the White Mountain Milers Half Marathon in North Conway with a time of 2:07:18, a 9:43 pace. And look at some times in 2008: 24:18 at the Pine Cove 5K in Cape Elizabeth, 24:11 at the York Hospital 5K in York ME. Still going very strong.
2007Dick Fedion, North Conway, New Hampshire
Shown here with Fred Zuleger and Bob Hall, Dick is an ultra marathoner with credentials of the highest order. His ultra race history requires no embellishment with races at distances run by normal human beings. A few examples: When he was 60 years old he won his age division 7 times in New England marathons and was third overall in a 24-hour run, covering 105 miles in that time. When he was 62 he bested that record running 108 miles, 65 in the first 12 hours to set a national record at the time. He has won the New England 50-mile championship 6 times in the 50- and 60-year old divisions, not to mention the 100K National Championship when he was 63 In recent years he has developed a fondness for the Stone Cat 50-mile trail race in Topsfield, MA, placing first to finish in the allotted time at ages 69 and 70 and 57th overall of 195 finishers at age 72. He also has wins in the Disney Marathon, in the Holyoke and Fitchburg Marathons, the Sugarloaf Marathon (twice), not to mention the Clarence DeMar Marathon, and the New Hampshire and Mount Desert Marathons. There is a 2nd place in the 70+ division that snuck in there somehow for the Bay State Marathon in Lowell. We nearly forgot this runner from New Hampshire is a mountain runner -surprise! He was first in the 70+ division in the White Face Mountain race in New York and first on Mount Washington the same year. Enough said?
Mary Harada, West Newbury, Massachusetts
Mary began running for exercise when she was 33 years old. That was 1968 when there were not many women pounding the pavements. She began racing when she was 42, and in the years that followed this most versatile runner was a force to be reckoned with on the roads, cross country and on the track. She ran and medaled at all distances on the road, taking first or second place in virtually all local races and medaling over the years in the large races as well, such as the Bonnie Bell, where she took 4th in the 40-49 age group, 2nd in the 50-59 age group and 3rd in the 60-69 division. But it has been in track competition, indoor and outdoor, that she has truly excelled., especially in recent years as a "mature" woman old enough to be a member of our club. For example, in National Masters Indoor Track Meets between 2002 and 2006 she won at the 3K distance three times, took first and third place finishes in the 800 meter, and first and 2nd places in the mile. Her National Masters outdoor track performances in the same period include 3 wins at 5K, two second places at 1500 m, a 2nd place at 800 m and a first place at 400 m. Not content with just National acclaim Mary has traveled to South Africa, Great Britain, Australia, Puerto Rico, Spain, Austria, Canada and Barbados to compete in the International Masters Track competitions where she has garnered six bronze medals and four silver at various distances. Most notably, she set a World record for women 70-75 years old for the indoor mile in March, 2006 with a time of 7:12:59. In 2005 she had previously set American records for the outdoor mile and for the 3000m. In her medal collection she can also count 5 gold medals and one silver in National and New England Cross Country Championships in the last four years. In March of 2006 she was named Athlete of the Month by USATF New England and Track Athlete of the Year for the 70-74 age division by USATF. She is also the recipient of the Fred Brown Cup of the North Medford Club.
Bill Riley, Centerville, Massachusetts
Where shall we start? Let's begin with his illustrious triathlon career. Between the ages of 52 and 61 Bill competed in 10 triathlons, four of them the Hawaii Ironman Championships, where he won in his age group every time, setting a course record in 1989 when he was 53. In the National Championships between 1990 and 1997 he took 6 first places and 2 second places in his age group. In 1988 in the Bud Light Endurance Ironman his time of 10:14:51 was a world record for 50+ Triathletes. He was selected for the Triathlon All American Team 10 times from 1988-1997, and in 1991 he was USA Triathlon Master's Triathlete of the Year. Three triathlons at age 70 were all halves, all wins, and he was ranked number one in his age group for 2006 by USAT. Bill also has duathlon championships to his credit: 3 National Championships, a World Championship and a second place, first American finish in another World Championship.
Bill Spencer, Litchfield, New Hampshire
Bill ran quite successfully in both high school and college but quit running a few years after college to pursue his career. His return at the age of 55 has yielded an illustrious record of wins and championships in track, cross county and road racing. His accomplishments for just the years since he turned 65 are more than enough to amaze. At 65 he ran in the National Masters Indoor Track Championships and placed second in the 3K (11:23), ranked 6th in the world. He placed third in the mile (5:40) which brought him a 4th place world ranking. He ran 15 road races that year at distances of one mile (5:28), 5K (19:44), 6K (24:59), 8K (33:06) and 12K (51:16). Those were all first or second places; the 8K and 12K are current New Hampshire 65 age records. His Millennium Mile time in Londonderry was no fluke; in the years that followed Bill notched a 5:34. , 5:32, 5:27 and 5:43 in that same race. At age 66 he ran 17 road races, finishing first or second in all of them. His 6K and 8K times are NH age-66 records. On the indoor track he was National Champion at 3K (11:26), ranked 10th in the world, and a bronze medalist in the mile, ranked third in the world. At the National Masters Outdoor Championship he was the silver medalist in the 5K (20:05). Some highlights in succeeding years: a 1:36:54 to win his age group in the Vancouver Half Marathon at age 67. His 5K, 6K, 8K and 12K races that same year are all NH age-67 records. This is beginning to sound like a broken record. Each year he has set new records for most of those distances. At the indoor Nationals when he was 68 he took the silver medal in the 3K (11:34) and the bronze in the mile (5:49). He ran on a 4 X 1600 relay team that broke the existing record that he had helped set a few years earlier. At 69 he ran 16 road races placing between first and third in most of them, and won the USATF indoor 3K championship in 11:40, the second fastest in the country that year. In the NH State Record Listing he shows up as #3 all time at 5K, #2 all time at 8K, #3 all time at 10K, #2 all time at 12K, #3 all time at 15K, #5 all time at 20K and # 1 all time at the half marathon. At the National Masters Indoor Track Championships at ages 61-64 he garnered two gold and one silver medal at 3K, as well as a gold in the mile. At age 62 he was also the National 5K Cross Country Champion in the 60-69 age group, and the year before he was the National Age group Champion for the 20K. In addition to all of his personal running feats Bill has also been coaching, successfully it should be noted, young girls, 11-12 years old to compete in the National Junior Cross Country Championships. He has served as president and in other capacities of the Gate City Striders, and he is the keeper of the New Hampshire State Records of running. Impeccable credentials!