NEW YORK CITY -Three-time New York City Marathon champion Alberto Salazar, who won consecutive titles from 1980 to 1982, and two-time winners Nina Kuscsik and Miki Gorman will be inducted into the NYRR Hall of Fame as its second class, it was announced by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
They will join last year’s inaugural class, former NYRR president Fred Lebow and nine-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz of Norway.
New this year, the 2012 inductee’s banners will be raised in Central Park along with those of their predecessors during race week, lining the famed finish line. The threesome will be officially inducted at the Hall of Fame Ceremony on Thursday, November 1, at the ING New York City Marathon Media Center presented by Timex at 10:00 a.m. The ceremony is an annual part of race week festivities leading up to the Marathon.
“Alberto, Nina, and Miki have each made such prominent and noteworthy advances in the world of distance running, and we are honored to induct them into our Hall of Fame,” said Wittenberg. “They will forever be an integral part of NYRR and the spectacle that the marathon is today. Nina and Miki are brave athletes, opening endless doors and opportunities for female runners, and Alberto’s legacy lives on, shining through in America’s best runners due to his unparalleled coaching abilities.”
Salazar, 54, made his biggest impact on distance running in the early 1980s. In his first-ever marathon, he ran 2 hours, 9 minutes, 41 seconds, the fastest American debut in the New York City Marathon at the time. He went on to win the race for the next two consecutive years. Salazar also won the 1982 Boston Marathon. He qualified for the U.S. Olympic Marathon team in 1980 and 1984 and set American records for 5000 meters and 10,000 meters on the track and five miles on the road. In 1994, he won the Comrades 56-mile ultramarathon in South Africa.
In his post-racing career, Salazar has remained dedicated to his passion, coaching some of America’s best distance runners, including Galen Rupp, Dathan Ritzenhein, Alan Webb, and Kara Goucher, as well as 2012 double Olympic champion Mo Farah of Great Britain. Salazar was inducted into the University of Oregon’s Hall of Fame in 1997, and he continues to inspire the running world, serving as a driving force behind many athletes’ success.
“I feel very honored to be inducted into the NYRR Hall of Fame,” said Salazar. “The three New York City Marathons I won were the highlight of my career, and I feel privileged to continue to be associated with the greatest marathon in the world.”
Kuscsik, 73, is a New York City Marathon icon; she is the first woman ever to run the world’s most well-known race, which she won twice. Kuscsik is also the first woman to officially win the Boston Marathon. She has completed 80 marathons in her lifetime.
Not only was Kuscsik a successful athlete; she made vast strides on behalf of women’s distance running, pushing the AAU to allow female participants in their races. Kuscsik was also part of the team that petitioned the IAAF to include a women’s marathon in the Olympic Games. She also helped legendary NYRR president Fred Lebow found the NYRR New York Mini 10K.
“It is truly an unexpected, extremely meaningful honor to be told that I will be inducted into the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame,” said Kuscsik. “With me always in my life as a runner are past and present members of the New York Road Runners who were the essence of encouragement for my treasured competitive running career; for learning and working on changing the rules for women so we could run marathons officially, have championships, and have the United States support the inclusion of the women’s Marathon in the Olympics.”
Gorman, 77, overcame many challenges in her early childhood and moved to the United States From Japan at the age of 28. She began running as an adult, recognizing her talent later in life than most athletes.
Gorman won the 1976 and 1977 New York City Marathons, and 35 years later, she remains the last American woman to win the race. She is the first and only woman to have won both the New York City and Boston marathons twice apiece. In 1978, Gorman broke the world record in the half-marathon with a time of 1:15:58. She was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2010 and has been recognized worldwide for her advances in women’s running.
On being inducted to the NYRR Hall of Fame, the very humble Gorman said, “I am not quite sure if I deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. I am glad my personal best was set in New York, but the time wasn’t fast enough. It was only my fifth marathon, and a year and nine months after I gave birth to my daughter Danielle. I should have set the ultimate goal much higher in order to keep pursuing more from distance running.”
New York Road Runners was founded in 1958 when a small group of passionate runners vowed to bring running to the people. Over the past 54 years, NYRR has grown from a local running club to the world’s premier community running organization. NYRR’s mission is to empower everyone, of all ages and abilities-beginners and competitive athletes, the young and the elderly, adult professionals and underserved schoolchildren-to improve their health and well-being through the power of running and fitness.
Headquartered in New York City, NYRR implements a unique nonprofit model that teams contributed and earned income to make all its efforts possible. To learn more, please visit www.nyrr.org
(c) 2012 RunningUSA, all rights reserved, used with permission