RRCA Announces Distance Running Hall of Fame Inductees

January 22nd, 2016

45th class includes Olympians Shalane Flanagan & Jon Anderson and legendary Coach Bob Larsen

Arlington, VA – Since 1971, the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) has honored dedicated individuals for their contributions and service to the sport of distance running through its National Distance Running Hall of Fame. We are delighted to announce the 2016 inductees, who will be honored at the upcoming RRCA National Running Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 19, 2016 in Dallas, Texas. We encourage the running community to join us in celebrating the tremendous accomplishments of the RRCA Hall of Fame inductees.

Presenting our 45th Hall of Fame class:

Shalane Flanagan: (born July 1981) is a distinguished American runner who grew up in Marblehead, Massachusetts. She currently holds six American records: 3000 meters (indoor), 5000 meters (indoor), 10,000 meters, 10K, 15K and 25K. She attended Marblehead High School, where she excelled in cross country and track. She attended the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where she won national cross country titles in 2002 and 2003 — becoming the first individual champion in the sport in Tar Heel history. Flanagan ran the 10,000 meters for the first time at the 2008 Stanford Payton Jordan invite, finishing in a time of 30:34.49 to break Deena Kastor’s American record of 30:50.32.

At the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials held in Eugene, Oregon, Flanagan competed in both the 5000 meters and 10,000 meters, winning the 10,000 meters in 31:34.81. This guaranteed her a spot on Team USA for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. On August 16, 2008, Flanagan finished 3rd in the Olympic 10,000 meter final, capturing the bronze medal. In that race, she also set an American record of 30:22.22, bettering her own mark from earlier that year. She is only the second American woman to win an Olympic medal in the 10,000 meters. On January 14, 2012, Flanagan won the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Houston, Texas, setting the event record, clocking 2:25:38, and later, the 2011 World Cross Country Championships bronze medalist represented Team USA at the 2012 London Olympic Marathon, finishing 10th in 2:25:51.

In 2014, Flanagan had another banner year. On March 15 in Jacksonville, Florida, Flanagan won the USA 15K road title at the Gate River Run, setting an American record of 47:00, besting Deena Kastor’s record of 47:15 set in 2003. On April 21, Flanagan led the Boston Marathon women’s race through 19 miles, ultimately finishing seventh in a personal best of 2:22:02, making her the third fastest female American marathoner ever. On September 28, Flanagan placed third in the Berlin Marathon, with a personal record of 2:21:14. It was the second fastest time ever by an American woman for 26.2 miles, only 98 seconds behind Kastor’s 2006 London Marathon time of 2:19:36.

Flanagan also holds a unique distinction: being part of the only mother-daughter combination in the RRCA Hall of Fame. Her mother Cheryl Treworgy was inducted into the RRCA Hall of Fame in 1988. The 18-time USA champion, who is married to Steven Edwards and currently resides in Portland, Oregon, is training to defend her title at the upcoming U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles.

Jon Anderson: (born October 1949) is a lifelong resident of Eugene, Oregon, where he was coached by the legendary Bill Bowerman. Anderson is credited with contributing to the establishment of Eugene as a “mecca” for running. He is best known for his remarkable 1973 Boston Marathon win on a hot, sunny day. Anderson, just 23, passed Finland’s defending champion Olavi Suomalainen after 20 miles to take the lead and win by nearly two minutes with a time of 2:16:03. That race also made him the first runner to win any major international sporting event in Nike shoes.

Anderson did not start competitive running until his senior year in high school, but still ran a 9:34 two-mile as a prep. While competing collegiately at Cornell University, he won the Ivy League Cross Country title his senior year. His third place in the six-mile at the NCAA Track & Field Championships his junior year earned him All-American status.

Anderson won his first marathon title at the 1971 Petaluma Marathon (CA). Upon graduating from Cornell University in 1972, he finished third at the Olympic Trials in the 10,000 meters qualifying for the 1972 U.S. Olympic Track & Field Team. At the 1972 Munich Olympic Games, he placed 8th in his 10,000 meter heat, not qualifying for the finals, but still setting a personal record (28:34.2).

In 1973, following his Boston win, Anderson placed fourth in the international and highly competitive Fukuoka Marathon, which at the time was the unofficial world championship. Later, he won the 1975 Nike OTC Marathon in Eugene, and he represented the United States at the 1977 World Cross Country Championships, finishing 10th. He set his personal best marathon at the 1980 Nike OTC Marathon, placing fourth and recording a 2:12:08. In 1981 he also won both the Antwerp Marathon in Belgium and the Honolulu Marathon in Hawaii. He retired from competition in 1984, after running his second and third best marathon times, placing fifth in a marathon in Japan and fourth in one in Seoul, Korea.

He currently serves on the University of Oregon Foundation’s Board of Trustees. He resides in Eugene with his wife, Terri, and youngest son, Drew. He has two older children, Clark and Erica.

Bob Larsen: (born January 1939) is a Hall of Fame distance and track & field coach, known mainly for coaching distance runners, although he has had success coaching across a full range of events. Larsen is arguably the most highly decorated distance and track & field coach in the United States. Overall, he has achieved extraordinary success as a coach at every level, high school, community college, university and Open divisions, as portrayed in a recent documentary film about his career, “City Slickers Can’t Stay with Me.” The film can be accessed at the following link: www.boblarsenfilm.com

At Monte Vista High School, his teams went undefeated for three years. At Grossmont College, he was inducted into the California Community College Cross County and Track & Field Coaches Hall of Fame in 1976. In the same year, his off-campus club, Jamul Toads, which included his current and alumni athletes, won the National Cross Country Championships in a huge upset.

In 1979, Larsen was the head distance coach overseeing the UCLA cross country program. By 1984, he succeeded Jim Bush as head track & field coach. He enjoyed 21 seasons of cross country and 16 seasons of track & field at UCLA, winning two NCAA outdoor team titles (1987-88). The Minnesota native was National Coach of the Year three times (1987-88, 1995) and Pac-10 Coach of the Year nine times. In 1980 he was NCAA National Cross Country Coach of the Year. His remarkable dual meet record was 118-3-1. His teams also scored twelve unbeaten seasons, and never lost to UCLA’s crosstown rival, USC.

In 1995, Larsen was named the Coach of the Year by the United States Track Coaches Association. In 1999, he retired from UCLA and co-founded Team Running USA (now Mammoth Track Club) in 2001. Over the years, the Mammoth Track Club has been the training base for many elite American distance runners and is widely regarded as one of the premier distance training centers in the United States. For the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, Larsen was selected as Team USA’s distance coach.

In 2003, Larsen was elevated to the United States Track Coaches Association Hall of Fame, and in 2005, the United States Track Coaches Association bestowed upon Larsen yet another award, the Bill Bowerman Award, for his lifelong contributions to the sport of distance running. On December 5, 2009, USA Track & Field presented Larsen with the Robert Giegengack Award, which annually recognizes the person who has “made an outstanding contribution to the development and success of USA Track & Field and the larger community of the sport.”

Larsen, a 2005 Running USA Hall of Champions inductee, has coached his most notable athlete, Meb Keflezighi, since Keflezighi’s UCLA freshman days. Keflezighi’s accomplishments include four NCAA titles, an American record at 10,000 meters, silver medalist at the 2004 Athens Olympic Marathon, fourth at the 2012 London Olympic Marathon, winner of the 2009 New York City Marathon, and winner of the 2014 Boston Marathon, the first American male to win Boston in 32 years. Keflezighi’s victory at Boston further solidified Larsen’s stature as one of America’s greatest distance coaches ever.

Beyond his achievements as a coach, Larsen is widely recognized for his integrity, his ethics and his selfless and humble nature, all of which have earned him the respect of his peers.

About RRCA

Founded in 1958, the Road Runners Club of America is the oldest and largest national association of running clubs, running events and runners dedicated to promoting running as a competitive sport and as healthy exercise. The mission of the RRCA is to promote the sport of running through the development and growth of running clubs and running events throughout the country. The RRCA supports the common interests of runners of all abilities during all stages of life by providing education and leadership opportunities along with programs and services that benefit all runners. Learn more at www.RRCA.org and at www.RunPro.com

Road Runners Club of America

RRCA Announces Distance Running Hall of Fame Inductees

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Andy Smith

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