The Arizona Runners Hall Of Fame was created by Dr. Art Mollen to honor and memorialize the outstanding achievements and contributions of distinguished individuals to the running community of Arizona. It is these individuals who have facilitated the rising of Arizona to the pinnacle of running in America. We honor these individuals both living and posthumously for their quintessential commitment to the health and well being of the Arizona community.
2019 Inductees (Bios to follow)
- Steve Finkelstein The running boom of the 70’s hit Arizona as it did the rest of the country. People took to the streets running, races were created and PR's were set. Helping the movement gain momentum and creating an infrastructure for it to develop, took a group of people in each city to say "I believe in this, I love the sport, I can help". Steven Finkelstein is one of these people. A resident of Phoenix, Steve started running in 1980 and ran his first race in 1981. As a middle-of-the-pack runner, Steve understood the need for a grass-roots organization to introduce people to the sport and create a community where they could compete and socialize. Such a group was the Arizona Road Racers. He began his association with ARR as a calendar editor in 1988. In 1989, he became the over-all editor of their paper, The RoadRacer and over the next 30+ years, Steve played an integral part in just about every aspect of club operations ranging from membership, website development, race production and President. In addition to his ARR duties, Steve is heavily involved with Arizona USAT&F and has served as state record keeper since 1992. On a professional level, Steve worked for Raceplace Events as an event timer from 2008-2017. It is estimated that he's been involved with the production of 1,000+ Arizona events since this love of the sport first blossomed. He still volunteers for ARR today.
It is clear that Steve has been a strong force in the sport of running for decades, but he is also so much more. A kind spirit with a gentle soul, a poet and man willing to carry extraordinary loads whenever asked. Couldn't we all be just a little better if we joined him and lived by his motto "It is better to be kind, than right"?
- Pam Reed (Bio to follow)
- Ron Smith graduated NAU in 1976 after a modest "sprinter" career in track. What came from this, was a life long passion for all things running. Upon graduation, he began a 30+ year mission of teaching and coaching at Shea Middle School and Shadow Mountain High School. The mission was to make running a fun and engaging activity for as many students as possible and to inspire his athletes to consider teaching and coaching themselves. As a coach, Ron led Shadow Mountain on to two State Cross Country Championships.
As a post-graduate runner, Ron moved to road racing where he recorded at 17:07 5K at the Phoenix 10K/5K, In 1993, he entered the domain of meet/race announcing and has become a familiar voice at the microphone for countless high school track meets and public road races. He has announced meets for all three Arizona Universities, the AIA, and many of the state's most prestigious road races.
After a life long commitment to running as an athlete, coach and announcer, Ron has taken the path to give back to and honor the sport that has given him so much including a honored reputation in the fitness community. We salute your contributions.
- María Trujillo got her start running at Hartnell Junior College in California. Her early success led her to Tempe, AZ on an athletic scholarship where she compiled a solid collegiate career. After Arizona State, it was on to the world of marathoning for Trujillo. Maria ran her first Boston Marathon in 1983 and finished ninth in the race won by Joan Benoit. '83 also included an eleventh place finish at the New York City Marathon. Representing Mexico, she competed at the inaugural Women's Marathon at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, finishing twenty-fifth. Trujillo won the 1986 San Francisco Marathon (2:37:58) and the Houston Marathon in 1990 (2:35:55). In 1986, Maria became a U.S. citizen and representing the U.S., won the gold medal at the 1995 Pan American Games (2:43:56). She returned to Boston in 1990 to record her finest marathon time of 2:28:53 finishing third. In 1991, Maria was the champion at the US Women's Marathon National Championships. As a professional runner, Maria has career winnings totally $355,861. In what may have been one of her finest performances, in 2000, seventeen years after her first Boston Marathon and 11 months after the birth of her first child, Maria returned to Boston and was the first American woman finisher 18th overall in 2:42:24. And BTW, Maria was the women's champion of the 1983 Phoenix 10K with a time of 34:30.
- Craig Davidson is not just one of the most prolific runners in Arizona but one of the most durable anywhere. And this is not hyperbole. While noting that he has a marathon PR of 2:28 and a 50 mile PR of 5:37, these stats are just bullet points on his extraordinary running resume. Craig has an ongoing consecutive day running streak dating back to November 4, 1978. At the 2018 3TV Phoenix 10K/Half Marathon, he celebrated 40 years of running, having never missed a day. (14,600 consecutive) During this time, he has run 250 marathons, including every LA Marathon (33), (31) Whiskey Row Marathons and (30) St. George Marathons. He has also completed 20+ Ultras. He was the first "Streaker" to run 200,000 miles and has totaled over 208,500 miles to date. As an aside, during the streak, he has found almost $10K in cash while out on his daily runs. Craig has been a volunteer track and cross country coach at Northwest Christian School since 2003 and a leader on the Runner's Den sales floor since 1983. To say that Craig is Arizona's Marathon Man would be an understatement as he truly embodies the Spirit of Arizona Running. While this may be hyperbole, his stunning running career cannot be exaggerated.
- Bill Rodgers, American icon, runner and former American marathon record holder is best known for his four victories in each of the Boston and New York City Marathons between 1975 and 1980. He twice broke the American record at Boston with times of 2:09:55 and 2:09:27. He competed for the U.S. Olympic team at the 1976 Montreal Olympics. He qualified for the Moscow Olympics in 1980 but was unable to participate due to the U.S. boycott over the Russian invasion of Afghanistan. Of the 59 marathons Rodgers ran, he won 22 and 28 were run under 2:15. He was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1998 and into the National Track & Field Hall of Fame in 1999. He currently lives in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Bill is one of, if not the greatest American distance runner of all time. But what is Bill's connection with Phoenix? As the story goes, in late 1978, Bill was looking for a winter training site to escape the Boston winter in order to train for the 1979 Boston Marathon. Word of this filtered to Phoenix, one thing lead to another and before anyone could say "Boston Billy", he committed to race in Phoenix at the inaugural Runner's Den 10K and then spend time training for Boston later that spring. (He went on to win that race). It seems, Bill said he had once passed through Phoenix and had always wanted to return to get to know the city and perhaps run a race. From that first successful year, Bill's relationship with Phoenix grew. As a result of that first race, Bill did an interview from Phoenix which was featured on the cover of Runner's World Magazine. The following year, Rodgers led a migration of elite athletes from around the country and later, the world, to train in the Valley. He became a fixture on the Valley's winter running scene from 1980 - 1988 and Phoenix became a training hub for many of the world's elite runners. Almost single-handedly, Bill put the Valley on the world stage as a training mecca. Thank you Bill. We will always appreciate all you've done for Phoenix.
- Dennis Eberhart, a Phoenix native, is one of the early pioneers of the 70's running boom. Winner of almost every road race in Arizona from the "Rocky III K" to the 60 mile "Man against Horse Race". Dennis's achievements include Arizona All-State Honors, All-American Honors, Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier, winner of the 1978 Phoenix 10K and a 12th place finish in the 1980 Boston Marathon. He was one of the co-founders of the Encanto Geese Running Club. He is currently coaching cross-country and track at the prestigious Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas.
- Anne Gallaher Hughes is a Scottsdale resident. In 1968, Gallaher was invited to run in an exhibition 440-yard event at the 1968 U.S. Olympic Trials. Anne was the National 880-yard Girls Champion, winning in 2:11.2 at the 1972 National Outdoor Track & Field Championships. She competed in the 1972 Trials where she placed 5th with a time of 2:08.0. Gallaher still holds the 2nd, 3rd, 5th, and 6th fastest 880 yard times in Arizona at 2:08.9, 2:09.5 , 2:11.3 and 2:12.0 . Anne has the 2nd fastest hand-timed 880-yard run in the state at 2:08.0. She finished the Boston Marathon in 2007 as a 52-year old mother of four.
- Bill Strachan was an All-American in the marathon, National Masters 25K Champion, USAFE 5K Champion in addition to several other titles. As a four-time Arizona Masters Runner of the Year he was also awarded the “Art Mollen Award” for contributions to Health & Fitness in 2009. As a renowned coach, he worked with over (25) All-Americans, (9) US Olympic Trials Qualifiers, (20) National Champions, (32) State CC & Track Champions and (4) National Record Holders. When you embrace old school running and training techniques, you are visiting the world of Bill Strachan running. Having rubbed shoulders with many of the sport's greats and for his willingness to share his experiences, the Arizona running community is better for knowing him.
- Angela French, lived in Arizona for 18 years and was a professional triathlete who competed from 1982-1986. Her running highlights include 5K PR 17:05, 10K PR 34:55, ½ marathon 1:18:00, Marathon 2:43:05. One of only two women to qualify and compete in the first six Olympic Marathon Trials for women 1984 - 2004.
- Kim Gallagher, a well-known University of Arizona runner who won a silver medal in the 1984 Olympics and a bronze medal in the 1988 Olympics both in the 800 meters. She has been inducted posthumously.
- Scott Giddings, Glendale resident and champion runner who co-founded the premier running group, Encanto Geese Running Club, all the while earning the Arizona Cross Country Coach of the Year on numerous occasions. He currently is the track and cross country coach at Greenway High School in Phoenix.
- Jan Glotzer Mann, A Scottsdale resident, has had numerous accomplishments in her elite running career. She made the Olympic team in 1968 and was a three time national champion in 100 meter hurdles, Pentathlon and anchored the national championship relay team, which set a national record. Mann made three international US track and field teams: Russia, Germany, and Japan. In addition, she set a world indoor record in the 60 yard hurdles with Chi Cheng. To this day, Mann holds the fastest 110 yard hurdle time in Arizona.
- Rob Wallack is a Phoenix resident and founder of Runners Den, the first true running gear store in Arizona. During his tenure, his staging company, Raceplace Events produced hundreds of running and triathlon events throughout the southwest and provided multi-sport data processing services across the country. . His bringing world class competition to Arizona to participate in the Runner's Den Classic Road Race played an integral part in putting Phoenix on the national running map. In addition to Runner's Den and Raceplace Events, he founded Raceplace Magazine and GetSetUSA.com.
- Lisa Aguilera, a prep star at Centennial High School in Peoria, Arizona, was an eight-time Arizona state champion, won state titles her junior season in the 3200, 4x800 and heptathlon, state champ her senior season in 3200m, 1600m, 800m, 4x800m and cross country, a two-time letter-winner in basketball. In 2000 she became Arizona State University’s third woman athlete to earn All-America honors at the NCAA Cross Country Championships with her school best-ever fifth place finish. Named 2000-01 ASU Female Student Athlete of the Year, where she was a double major in computer engineering and finance.
- Harvey Beller is an ASU graduate and served in the USN. He started running in 1976 and competed in 5K, 8K, 10K, half marathon, marathon & triathlon events. While he never won an award, he somehow finished all events he ever entered. One of the state's most prolific race production experts, his production company, Running Masters, produced over 1500 events including the prestigious Stroh's Run for Liberty. He was the Executive Race Director for the Phoenix 10K from 1979 to 2015 and was instrumental in bringing over 12,000 participants to the finish line inside Bank One Ball Park for the first time. He was also presented the prestigious Governor's Council of Health & Fitness Award for outstanding leadership award.
- Lois Drinkwater Thompson competed in the 1968 Olympics while still a student at Phoenix Central High School in Arizona. She also represented the US in an indoor dual against West Germany in 1969. She later attended Wooster College, running track there for their first team in the 1970 indoor season, and represented the Phoenix Track Club. Drinkwater won the 1968 AAU Indoors at 400 metres and also placed second in 1968 in the 400 at both the AAU and Olympic Trials. She competed in international dual meets for the United States against the British Commonwealth team in 1967 in Los Angeles, and against the Soviet Union in 1969 in Moskva.
- Dennis Poolheco (posthumously), a graduate of Winslow High School, was the first human to win the Man Against Horse race in Prescott The late Poolheco, a Hopi ultra-marathon runner, was legendary, winning the Man Against Horse race a record six consecutive times. The event literally involves runners racing against horse/rider in a challenging loop up and over Ingus Mountain. Poolheco was the first two legged participant to win, running over 22 miles in 6 hours 33 minutes. He was selected as an inductee not only because of his tremendous contributions to the running community, but as a role model to others, especially Native American youth.
- Susan Loken has won the More Marathon (for women over 40) in New York City three times and also was the 2005 Vermont City Marathon champion. In addition, Susan has qualified for four Olympic Trial Marathons, the first at the age of 40. Loken set her personal best of 2:41:31 at P.F. Chang's Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon in 2006. In 2005, she won the U.S. Masters Marathon crown and was third overall at Twin Cities in 2:43:10. She was 32nd in the 2004 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in 2:44:23. Loken lives in Phoenix and has three sons. Also an experienced coach with 10+ years experience, Susan founded Believe Train Become training system.
- George Young is a former American track and field athlete and college coach in Tucson Arizona, He won the Bronze medal at the 1968 Summer Olympics in the 3000 meter steeple chase and held American records in events ranging from the two mile to the 5K. He broke two world records in the indoor two and three mile events. He competed in a total of four different Summer Olympics.
- Kathy Gibbons Jackson (posthumously) completed her undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University, and was one of Arizona's early elite women's runners. Kathy held the world’s record for 1000 m and 10,000 m, and was a member of the 1972 U.S. Olympic Team. She received a MS degree with a specialization in exercise physiology in 1981, and moved to Boulder, Colorado to become a track coach at the University of Colorado.
- William S. Levine: With any new idea, it always take one person to say "I believe in this, I'm going to help make it happen". For the Phoenix 10K, that person was Bill Levine. As the owner of the North Bank Restaurant, Bill saw the possibilities of something great on the horizon and when Art Mollen approached him to help support the original North Bank 10,000 Meter Run (later to become the Phoenix 10K) back in 1976, he didn't hesitate. He immediately jumped on board. Not only did he sponsor those first years, but he made it possible for the inaugural race to invite Olympic Gold medalist Frank Shorter. In addition, Levine also brought Jesse Owens into the marketing mix which contributed to the assembly of what at the time was the largest assemblage of runners in the southwest. His vision and support will always be remembered.
- Ed Mendoza competed in the 1976 Olympic 10K and the 1983 World Championships marathon. Although he made the US Olympic team as a track runner, Mendoza was known more for his exploits in cross-country and on the roads, In addition to multiple shorter road victories at 5 and 10K, Mendoza won several marathons including (2) Fiesta Bowl Marathons in Scottsdale. Mendoza best finish at Boston was fourth in 1983. He later became a high school teacher and coach in Phoenix, Arizona. Personal Bests: 5K 13:56.8 (1974); 10K 28:23.2 (1976); Marathon 2:10:07 (1983).
- Steve Scott is one of the greatest mile runners in American history. He held the American outdoor mile record for more than 26 years and also is the former American indoor record holder in the same event. Track & Field New ranked Scott #1 in the U.S. on 10 occasions, and 11 times during his career he was ranked in the top ten in the world by T&FN. Additionally, he participated for the US team at the 1984 Summer Olympics. He ran the sub-4:00 minute mile on 136 occasions in his career, more than any other runner in history. He lived and trained in Phoenix for a number of years and was the 1982 Phoenix 10K Champion.
- Bruce Skinner is a long time runner and past executive director of the Fiesta Bowl. In the early 80s, Skinner was responsible for bringing a number of running events to the Fiesta Bowl calendar of events, most notable the Fiesta Bowl 10K and the Fiesta Bowl Mile. The Fiesta Bowl Mile attracted a world class field and had the largest viewing live audience in the history of road racing. Over 300,000 spectators saw the first Fiesta Bowl Mile run down Central Avenue in downtown Phoenix. (The parade helped) . In the early 2000's, Skinner was an instrumental liaison bringing the first Rock and Roll Marathon to Phoenix. This event attracted almost 30,000 participants and remains a tremendous boom to the Arizona racing calendar and economy.
- Sally Whitney is an inspiration to the running community and all of those around her. As a causality of a childhood horse riding accident, Whitney suffered a traumatic brain injury and was partially paralyzed on the left side of her body. From then on, her prospects for an active lifestyle appeared to be diminished. Then she saw a promo for the Phoenix 10K on television and with the encouragement of a gym she attended, decided it looked like it could be fun. Whitney started running 5K races in 1982 and has been running ever since. Whitney said, “I believe that running has saved my life because it is great therapy, and if I hadn’t been running, I would probably be confined to a wheelchair.” “The people were just so nice and treated me like a normal runner,” Whitney said. “People I had never met were telling me it was good to see me and wishing me good luck. It just made me feel great and I knew I was going to be part of this for years.” At last count Sally has participated in the Phoenix 10K for the past 36 years.
- David Barney grew up in Arizona and has strong ties to its running community. He was a state cross country and track and field champion, as well as junior college national champion. Following his days as an All-American athlete at the University of Arkansas, he returned to Arizona. He competed in the U.S. Olympic Trials four times and twice represented the U.S.A. in the world championships as a member of the U.S. National Team. He has been named NJCAA Cross Country National Coach of the Year seven times and was named Indoor Track and Field National Coach of the Year in 2002.
- Herman Frazier is a retired American sprinter. He won gold medals in the 4×400 m relay at the 1976 Olympics and 1975 and 1979 Pan American Games. Individually he earned a bronze medal in the 400 m event at the 1976 Olympics. He attended Arizona State University where he became an All American sprinter. He was the team captain of the 1977 national championship track team. He graduated from ASU in 1977 with a degree in political science.As a member of the US National Track & Field team, Frazier participated both in the Olympic and Pan American games.
- Jesse Owens (posthumously) was an American track and field athlete and four-time Olympic gold medalist in the 1936 Games. Owens specialized in the sprints and the long jump and was recognized in his lifetime as "perhaps the greatest and most famous athlete in track and field history". His achievement of setting three world records and tying another in less than an hour at the 1935 Big Ten track meet in Ann Arbor Michigan has been called "the greatest 45 minutes ever in sport" and has never been equaled. He was the most successful athlete at the Games and, as a black man, was credited with "single-handedly crushing Hitler's myth of Aryan supremacy., although he "wasn't invited to the White House to shake hands with the President, either". The Jesse Owens Awards is USAT&F highest accolade for the year's best track and field athlete. Owens was ranked by ESPN as the sixth greatest North American athlete of the twentieth century and the highest-ranked in his sport. He spent the later years of his life living in Tucson, Arizona.
- Lynn Nelson Scott was a distance runner who ran the 10,000 meters at the 1988 Seoul Olympics, finishing 15th. Nelson won the 1988 U.S. Olympic trials to earn her spot on the team. At the U.S. Championships, she finished 2nd in the 10K in 1986 and 3rd in 1987. Her over-all performances saw her ranked in the U.S. top ten four times, with the highest of 2nd in 1986 & 87. As a marathon runner, Lynn was 10th ranked in the U.S. in 1988. She obtained her top World Ranking of 10th in the 10K in 1988. She was the overall female winner in the Phoenix 10K 4 times; 1982, 1985, 1987 and 1988.
- Sally Meyerhoff (posthumously) attended Duke University from 2003 to 2006 and ran for the Blue Devils. In 2008, Meyerhoff made her debut in the marathon and finished sixth place at the RnR Arizona Marathon in 2:42:46. The following year Meyerhoff won the US American championship in the 25K and achieved a PR of 2:35:49 at the Twin Cities Marathon. In November 2010, she finished 27th at the New York City Marathon in 2:41:00. In 2011 she celebrated her first marathon victory at the Rock 'n' Roll Arizona Marathon in 2:37:56. She decided to turn to the triathlon during the rest of the season . On March 8, 2011, she was tragically killed while training on her bike.
- Dr. Tom Miller is an age group distance running and multi-sport wonder. As an affable yet confident competitor, Miller always had words of encouragement for his competition along with a treasure trove of racing stories he was always happy to share. On the national scene, he recorded the ninth fastest 5K men’s 75-79 time of 27:08 and the fifth fastest 10K time of 53:35. In multi-sports has been awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by USA Triathlon as one of the most decorated U.S. multi-sport athletes. 94-year-old Tom Miller is a six-time duathlon world champion and a three-time national champion.
- Fred Moore has been one of the most influential figures on the Arizona running scene for over forty years. As NJCAA National Women’s Cross Country Coach of the Year, his Women’s team won the National Cross Country Championship 8 times. Fred coached 40 All-Americans at the NJCAA level in addition to coaching top World Class athletes: Lois Drinkwater, Jan Glotzer, Mavis Laing, Trina Leopold, Sandy Marquez, Carla Jackson, Maria Tillman, Becky Allen , Lisa Weidenbach and Lynn Nelson, Named to Phoenix College Track and Field Hall of Fame 1995, he was also named to the NJCAA Track and Field Hall of Fame in 2004. He founded and has coached the Quest Club of Arizona since 1977.
- Trina Painter began her ascent as a prep star at Scottsdale Horizon, winning several individual state titles, including setting the high school record in the 2-mile. She attended Phoenix College and worked under local legend coach Fred Moore. After graduating in 1988, she trained for the Olympics and was one several collegiate athletes to run the 3,000-meter final at the Trials. In the 1992 Olympic Trials, she competed in the 10,000 as one of the favorites. Painter went on to set an American record in the 20K championships. She began coaching cross country 10 years ago and has also been an assistant coach for McMillan Elite -- Flagstaff's collection of elite runners for four years. She lives in Flagstaff with her husband David and two daughters.