46th class includes Olympians Desiree Linden and Ryan Hall and legendary race directors Dave McGillivray and George Hirsch
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 2017 inductees, who will be honored at the upcoming RRCA National Running Awards Ceremony on Saturday, March 11, 2017 in Detroit, Michigan. We encourage the running community to join us in celebrating the tremendous accomplishments of the RRCA Hall of Fame inductees.
Presenting our 46th Hall of Fame class:
Two-time U.S. Olympic Marathoner Desiree Linden is a native of San Diego suburb Chula Vista, California. Linden earned All-American honors in both cross country and track during her tenure at Arizona State University before joining the Hansons Brooks Distance Project in Rochester, Michigan. Linden wowed the marathon world with her near win at the 2011 Boston Marathon. Her second place finish, an incredible 2:22:38, set an all-time U.S. record on the Boston course (since broken) and made her the third fastest American ever. Linden was named USA Track & Field’s Athlete of the Week for her performance.
In 2015, Des participated at the Boston Marathon which featured a strong international field and the top three US marathoners. She finished as top American and held on for a strong 4th place finish, less than 45 seconds from the win. She bested two former Boston champions, a Berlin and Rotterdam Marathon champion, and the World Junior Record holder. Des now owns three of the six top American times in history on the famed Boston course.
In the summer of 2015, Des earned the Pan-Am Games Silver Medal in the 10,000 meter race. In early 2016 she finished 2nd at the US Olympic Marathon Trials in LA, she followed that up with a runner-up performance at the US Half Marathon Championships and a strong showing at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing 7th. Other career highlights include earning her spot on the U.S. Olympic Team at the 2012 London Summer Games with a runner up performance at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials (2:25:55), a runner up performance at the 2013 US Half Marathon Championships, 11th at the 2009 Marathon World Championships (2:27:53) and multiple top five performances at four of the six World Marathon Majors: her Boston runner-up in 2011, 3rd at the 2010 Chicago Marathon (2:26:20), and 5th place showings at the 2008 Chicago Marathon (2:31:33), 2013 Berlin Marathon (2:29:15) and blustery conditions at the 2014 NYC Marathon (2:28:11) where she was the top American. Earlier in 2014, she clocked an impressive 2:23:54 in Boston.
Linden graduated from Hilltop High School in Chula Vista in 2001 and studied psychology at Arizona State University. A self-proclaimed bacon aficionado, her hobbies include writing, collecting assorted whiskeys, coffee drinking, throwing out first pitches at Major League ballgames, relaxing with her dogs Miles and Atlas, listening to good music and outrunning her husband, fellow marathoner and budding triathlete and Kona veteran, Ryan Linden.
Ryan Hall is a two-time U.S. Olympic marathoner and the American record holder in the half marathon. Hall’s 2:04:58 at the 2011 Boston Marathon is the fastest marathon ever run by an American; the time doesn’t count as the American marathon because Boston’s point-to-point, net-elevation-loss course makes it ineligible for record purposes.
After graduating from Stanford in 2005, Hall began his professional career as a 5,000-meter runner, and represented the United States in the event at the 2005 World Championships. He soon after concentrated on road racing, starting with the national 20K title in the fall of 2006. Hall’s big road breakthrough came at the Houston Half Marathon in January 2007. He won in 59:43, an American record. Hall remains the only American to have broken an hour for the half marathon.
Hall made his marathon debut at the 2007 London Marathon, where he placed seventh in 2:08:24. Hall won the 2008 Olympic Marathon Trials, which were held the day before the 2007 New York City Marathon. His time of 2:09:02 is the event record. At the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Hall placed 10th.
Hall finished third at the 2009 Boston Marathon and fourth at Boston in 2010. His 2:04:58 got him fourth at Boston in 2011. That fall, he was fifth in 2:08:04 at the Chicago Marathon. Three months later, Hall finished second to Meb Keflezighi at the 2012 Olympic Marathon Trials. He dropped out of the 2012 Olympic Marathon after 10 miles with a hamstring injury.
On January 15, 2016, Hall announced his retirement from competitive running. He is married to fellow professional runner Sara Hall, and they have four daughters.
Dave McGillivray, Race Director of the B.A.A. Boston Marathon, the B.A.A. Half Marathon, the B.A.A. 5K and the B.A.A. 10K, manages and oversees all operational and logistical aspects of these world-class events. McGillivray also directed the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon in Boston. In 1996, McGillivray established himself as one of the world’s premier race directors with his successful coordination of the 100th Boston Marathon, which attracted a field size of nearly 40,000 participants, the largest in B.A.A. history.
McGillivray is president of Dave McGillivray Sports Enterprises (DMSE), Inc., an event management company which creates, markets, and produces mass-participatory athletic events throughout the U.S. DMSE directed the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Women’s Marathon in 2004, the 1990 ITU Triathlon World Championship, and consulted on the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. DMSE also directs the TD Beach to Beacon 10K, the New Balance Falmouth Road Race, and the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, as well as numerous other world-class events.
Athletically, McGillivray first gained national prominence in 1978 when he ran across the U.S. to raise money for the Jimmy Fund. In 2004, McGillivray ran cross-country again as part of a relay team event called TREK USA, which he founded. He has run 137 marathons including 42 consecutive Boston Marathons, completed 9 Hawaii Ironman Triathlons, run up the East Coast of the U.S., run for 24 hours, biked for 24 hours, and swam for 24 hours – all to raise money for numerous worthwhile causes. In 2003, the DMSE Children’s Fitness Foundation was established with a focus on funding nonprofit organizations that use running as a vehicle to promote physical fitness in children.
In 2005, McGillivray was inducted into Running USA’s Hall of Champions. Among other recognitions he has received are Competitor magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award for more than 30 years of service to the sport of road racing and triathlons. In 2000, he was named Race Director of the Year by the running industry’s Road Race Management, Inc., and in 2007 Runner’s World named him one of their Heroes of Running. In 2011, he was inducted into the USA Triathlon Hall of Fame.
The Last Pick, (Rodale Press), authored by McGillivray (with Linda Glass Fechter), was published in April 2006. It chronicles his career while motivating and inspiring readers never to underestimate their own ability to set and achieve goals.
McGillivray resides in North Andover, Massachusetts with wife Katie. He has five children, Ryan, Max, Elle, Luke and Chloe.
George Hirsch: George Hirsch, born June 21, 1934, helped Fred Lebow start the five-borough New York City Marathon in 1976 to celebrate the nation’s bicentennial. With the success of the first race, it became an annual event that has become one of the world’s leading sporting events. In 1979, Hirsch founded the Midnight Run in New York’s Central Park, a race that is held every New Year’s Eve. In 2005, Hirsch became the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New York Road Runners where he has served in the role for 12 years.
From 1984 to 1986, Hirsch was the on-air host of a weekly segment on ESPN’s SportsCenter called “The Runner’s Corner.” He has done television commentary for many distance running events including the New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Cincinnati (Flying Pig) marathons. He has also been a commentator for three Olympic Games: Los Angeles in 1984, Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992.
Hirsch was the founding publisher of New York magazine and The Runner magazine. In January 1987, Rodale, Inc. acquired The Runner and merged it with Runner’s World, and Hirsch became its worldwide publisher after launching a number of international editions of the magazine. Hirsch was also the first publishing director of Men’s Health and director of international magazines, positions he held until his retirement from Rodale in 2004. From 2005 to 2011, he was the chairman and publisher of La Cucina Italiana, the English language edition of Italy’s oldest and largest food and cooking magazine.
Beginning in Boston in 1969, Hirsch has run forty marathons with a personal best of 2:38 set in Boston in 1979 at the age of 44. In 2009, on a promise to his wife Shay, he ran his final marathon in New York at age 75. He won his age group in each of his last eight marathons. In 2014, Hirsch was also the recipient of a lifetime achievement award from the Association of International Marathons (AIMS).