This is a list of notable athletes, Olympians, entertainers, politicians and other people from different walks of life around the world who have participated in Masters Athletics, past and present.
Charlie Booth – Australia - Inventor of Starting Blocks
Booth sprinted for nine decades in Australia and is credited with the invention of starting blocks in 1929.
Alfred Proksch – Austria
Austrian Olympic Proksch was a champion pole vaulter at the age of 17 and competed internationally, placing 6th in the event at the 1936 Summer Olympics. He broke the Austrian record for the event on eight separate occasions. Even after turning 100, he continued to compete at the World’s Masters Championships, often unopposed in his age bracket. Having won 14 gold medals at the games after 1994, he was considered the world’s oldest active athlete. He was one of the last two known surviving track and field competitors from the 1936 Olympic Games to still be competing.
Erwin Jaskulski – Austria
Was the world record holder for the 100 meters, 200 meters and 400 meters in the 95- to 99-year-old and the 100-plus age groups. However, the record for 100 meter for 100 plus age group, which he set on November 16, 2002 at 36.19 seconds, was later broken by Philip Rabinowitz who finished in a time of 30.86 seconds.
Debbie Brill – Canada
High jump athlete who was the first North American woman to clear 6 feet at age 16. Her unique reverse jumping style was called the “Brill Bend” and was developed independently about the same time as Dick Fosbury was developing the similar Fosbury Flop in the U.S. She is an eleven-time national champion of Canada. Brill has held the Canadian National High Jump record since 1969, establishing her first record when she was 16. She set her final Canadian outdoor record in 1984 with 1.98 metres. Her indoor record of 1.99 metres was set in 1982. As of 2013, Brill’s Canadian records still stand. Brill won gold at the Pacific Conference Games in 1969 and 1977, the 1970 Commonwealth Games title and the 1971 Pan Am Games. She won bronze at the first World Cup in 1977 and silver at the 1978 Commonwealth Games. In 1979 Brill won a gold medal in the athletics World Cup held in Montreal, Canada. She was the world’s number one high jumper for 1979. In January 1982, Brill established a World Indoor High Jump record of 1.99 meters in Edmonton and was Commonwealth Champion in 1982 in Brisbane. In 1999, at the age of 46, Brill broke the world masters record (age 45+) when she cleared 1.76 metres in Gateshead. In 2004, she broke the age 50+ masters record by clearing 1.60 m in Langley. As of 2016, Brill’s world age group records still stand.
Earl Fee – Canada
An above average high school and collegiate runner, Fee returned to competitive athletics after a 33-year hiatus to join his sons Curtis and Tyler in a running program. At age 56, he ran his first race in Masters Athletics. Since then he has set over 50 age group world records including the still current records in the M75 300 metre hurdles, the M80 200 metre hurdles, the M80 400 metres, and the M65, M70 and M80 800 metres. He has taken his literary skills to write The Complete Book of Running “How to Be a Champion from 9 to 90” which was published in 2007. In 2010 he wrote 100 Years Young the Natural Way — Body Mind Spirit Training.
Ed Whitlock – Canada
Canadian long-distance runner and the first person over 70 years old to run a marathon in less than three hours with a time of 2:59:10 in 2003. In his 40s, became the oldest person to run a marathon in less than 3 hours in 2000, at the age of 69, with a time of 2:52:47. Since then, he has continued to extend this record when he ran a time of 2:58:40 at the age of 74. His best time since turning 70 was 2:54:48 when he was 73, a world record for men 70 to 74. As of 2016, he is still the only person over 70 to run a marathon in less than three hours. In 2006 he set the world record for the 75 to 79 age group with a time of 3:08:35 at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon and in the Rotterdam Marathon in 2007 with a time of 3:04:54. On September 26, 2010, Whitlock ran the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon in 1:34:23.4. After turning 80, Whitlock improved the marathon world record for his age category by almost 15 minutes to 3:25:43 at the 2011 Rotterdam Marathon in 2011. He then further improved on his age category world record at the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in 2011, lowering the record to 3:15:54. In 2012, Whitlock broke the Canadian and unofficial world half-marathon at the Milton Half-Marathon, running 1:38:59. In 2013, he lowered the record to 1:38:11 on the same course. Whitlock also holds 15 world age group records ranging in distance from 1500 metres to 10,000 m and age groups 65+, 70+, 75+, 80+ and 85+, as well as the three age group marathon records 70+, 75+ and 80+.In 2016, Whitlock, aged 85, ran the Toronto Marathon in 3:56:38, setting a new world record.
Domingo Tibaduiza – Colombia
Former long-distance runner from Gameza, Colombia, who represented his native country at four consecutive Summer Olympics: in the 10,000M (1972, 1976, 1980 and 1984), the 5,000M (1976) and in the men’s marathon (1980, 1984). He currently holds the Colombian national record for 5000M, 10,000M and 20,000M. He won elite road races in his career, with highlights including the 1982 Berlin Marathon with a time of 2:14:47 as well as the 1982 America’s Finest City Half Marathon and the Giro al Sas in 1978. Tibaduiza and his brother Miguel spent many years training and coaching in Reno, Nevada where his team included his family of three sons and a daughter. Among them, the family name dominated distance race results in the area for decades, as the brothers advanced into Masters Age divisions.
Arto Bryggare – Finland
Former Finnish hurdling athlete was a member of the Parliament of Finland from 1995 to 1999 and 2003 to 2007. His personal best time 13:35, made during trials in 1984 Los Angeles Games is still the record time in Finland and in Nordic countries. Bryggare made Finnish history by becoming the first Finn to medal in a sprint event shorter than 400 metres.
Martti Vainio – Finland
Finnish former long-distance runner whose achievements in major athletic championships include gold in the10,000 m race 1978 European Championships in Athletics in Prague and bronze in the same distance at the 1982 European Championships in Athletics in Athens. At the 1983 World Championships in Athletics he dropped to fourth place by a very short margin in the 10,000 m race and won the bronze in the 5,000 m. Vainio returned to the tracks once again in 1991. He ran the age group M40 Masters world record in 3000 m 8:05.08 in Mikkeli. Later, he also improved 10,000 m world record 28:30.88 at the Fanny Blankers-Koen Games in Hengelo. At the World Masters Athletics Championships in Turku, he won the M40 10,000 metres with the result 29:16.88.
Alain Mimoun – France
Algerian-born French long-distance runner who competed in track events, cross-country running and the marathon. He was the 1956 Olympic championin the marathon. He is the most medalled French athletics sportsperson in history. In 1999, readers of the French athletics magazine Athlétisme voted him as the “French Athlete of the 20th Century”.
Eamonn Coghlan – Ireland
Former track and field athlete who specialized in middle distance track events and the 5,000 metres. He is a 3-time Olympian and former world champion in the 5,000M. A successful amateur running career in Ireland led to a scholarship in the U.S. where he won numerous NCAA titles and set multiple records. His speciality was the indoor mile run and gained his nickname, “The Chairman of the Boards”, as a result of his great success on the U.S. indoor circuit. He broke the indoor mile world record on three occasions and also set a world indoor record over 2,000M. He finished fourth in the 1500M at the 1976 Summer Olympics, finished fourth again in the 5,000M at the 1980 Summer Olympics, and made the 5,000M semi-final in his last Olympic appearance at the 1988 Summer Olympics. After competitive retirement, he continued to race and became the first man over 40 years old to run a sub-four-minute mile. He released his autobiography, Chairman of the Boards, Master of the Mile, in 2008.
Shaul Ladany – Israel
Is an Israeli Holocaust survivor, racewalker and two-time Olympian. He set and still holds the world record in the 50-mile walk (7:23:50), and the Israeli national record in the 50-kilometer walk (4:17:07). He is also a former world champion in the 100-kilometer walk. Ladany survived the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1944, when he was eight years old. In 1972, he survived the Munich Massacre. Ladany returned to competition two months later, against the wishes of the Israeli track and field authorities. The specialist in ultra-long distance walking competed in the 1972 World Championships, in Lugano, Switzerland where he won the gold medal in the 100-km walk, in a time of 9:31:00. In 1976, Ladany set the U.S. record in the 75 km walk for the second year in a row. He became the first person ever to win both the American Open and American Masters (40 years and over) 75 km walking championships and repeated the feat in 1977 and 1981. He has continued to compete with considerable success at the Masters level into his seventies. In 2006, he became the first 70-year-old to walk 100 miles in under 24 hours, setting a world record of 21 hours, 45 minutes, 34 seconds. In 2012, at the age of 75, he was still competing in 35 events a year, walking a minimum of 15 kilometers a day, and participating in a four-day, 300-kilometer walk from Paris to Tubize, near Brussels. He estimates he has walked 6,000–7,000 miles a year, for a lifetime total of over half a million miles. In 2008, his autobiography was published in English, entitled King of the Road: The Autobiography of an Israeli Scientist and a World Record-Holding Race Walker.
Kozo Haraguchi – Japan
Former track and field athlete and World Masters Athletics record holder in the 100 m sprint for men aged 90–94 (18.08 seconds, 2000) as well as the former record holder for men aged 95–100 (21.69 seconds, August 27, 2005). Haraguchi began competing in track and field events when he turned 65 with his exercise regimen which included a one-hour walk every morning.
Peter Koech – Kenya
Former long-distance runner from Kenya who won a silver medal in the 3,000 m steeplechase event at the 1988 Summer Olympics. He held the world record in this event for over three years, running 8:05.35 in 1989. It was the first electronically timed world record for the event and is still in the top 25 performers in history. He now lives in New Mexico and continued to run in the Masters division, winning the Boilermaker Road Race in 1998
Andrés Espinosa – Mexico
Now retired, Espinosa was a Mexican long-distance runner who specialized in marathon races. He finished ninth at the 1995 World Championships in 2:16:44 hours. He won the 1993 New York Marathon and achieved his personal best time of 2:07:19 hours at the 1994 Boston Marathon. He set the world Masters (+40) record for the marathon in Berlin Marathon 2003 (2:08:46), which lasted nearly a dozen years until it was broken by 2 seconds in 2015 by Evergreen Kenneth Mungara. He also won the Lisbon Half Marathon in 1994.
Martín Mondragón – Mexico
Retired long-distance runner from Mexico who won the 1988 edition of the Los Angeles Marathon. Virtually unknown before the race, the 34-year-old set the course record and his personal record at 2:10:19 which positioned the LA Marathon amongst the top marathons worldwide. He represented his country at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, where he finished in 57th place in the men’s marathon, clocking 2:27:10. He continued running in the Masters division winning the Boilermaker Road Race three times in the late 1990s.
Simon Poelman - New Zealand
Former New Zealand decathlete who has been described as New Zealand’s best ever all-round athlete. In 1987, he set a personal best of 8359 points which is still a New Zealand national record. As well as being the national decathlon champion seven times, he was also the New Zealand senior men’s national champion in several individual events including the 100m (once), 110m hurdles (seven times), long jump (twice), pole vault (three times), and shot put (once). He won the bronze medal at the 1986 Commonwealth games in Edinburgh and at the 1990 Commonwealth games, he won both the silver medal for decathlon and bronze in the pole vault. Poelman returned to competitive athletics in 2004, setting a Masters World age-group record, breaking a 23-year world mark for the decathlon.
Philip Rabinowitz - South Africa
Known as “Flying Phil”, he was a sprinter from South Africa who, on July 10, 2004, entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the fastest 100-year-old to ever run the 100 meters. Rabinowitz finished in a time of 30.86 seconds, breaking the previous world record of 36.19 set by Erwin Jaskulski of Austria. Rabinowitz tried to walk at least four miles (six kilometers) a day.
Bogdan Tudor – Romania
Romanian long jumper best known for his bronze medal at the 1994 European Indoor Championships.
Evy Palm – Sweden
Former long distance runner from Sweden who represented her country at the 1988 Summer Olympics, finishing in 24th place in the women’s marathon at the age of 46. In the lead up to the Olympics, she set the current Masters W45 World Record in the 10,000M and is a three-time winner of the Stockholm Marathon. She won the City-Pier-City Loop half marathon in The Hague in 1988.
Chris Black - United Kingdom
Scottish hammer thrower, who represented Great Britain at two consecutive Summer Olympics, starting at the Montreal Olympics in 1976. He held the Scottish record for the hammer throw from 1983 to 2015.
Dalton Grant - United Kingdom
British high jumper who won a total number of four national titles for Great Britain in the men’s event. His personal best jump is 2.36 metres, achieved at the 1991 World Championships in Tokyo. He has a personal indoor best of 2.37 metres. In 1997 at the World Championships Dalton opened with a world record jump of 2.32 for an opening height. He was a board director of the London 2012 Olympic bid team and he was also a captain of the Great Britain & Northern Ireland team.
David Moorcroft - United Kingdom
Former middle-distance and long-distance runner from England and former world record holder for 5000M whose athletic career spanned the 1970s and 1980s. He subsequently served as the Chief Executive of UK Athletics from 1997 to 2007. Moorcroft has become the UK chairman of iGlobalFitness, the first of its kind to offer a worldwide network of personal fitness training services for both the corporate and consumer market.
Nick Rose - United Kingdom
Former British international track and field athlete who competed in a variety of middle distance and long-distance running events. He is the current European record holder in the 10K run (road) and British record holder in the 4×1 mile relay event. He set the world record in the half-marathon in 1979 and also held the British record in the indoor 2 miles event, a record which stood for 24 years exactly. Rose competed at the 1980 Summer Olympics in the 5000 metres event and took the silver medal at the 1982 Commonwealth Games. Rose competed only once at the World Championships in Athletics, finishing in seventh in the 10,000 m in 1983. Rose made his second Olympic appearance at the 1984 Summer Olympics, this time competing in the 10,000 metres event, finishing twelfth in the final. He won the national championships in the 10000 metres race in 1984. He continued to run into the masters division, winning the Boilermaker Road Race in 1993.
Al Joyner - United States
1984 Olympic gold medalist in the triple jump. He was also the husband of three-time Olympic gold medalist and world 100m and 200m record holder Florence Griffith Joyner, and is the brother of three-time Olympic gold medalist and world heptathlon record holder Jackie Joyner-Kersee.
Al Oerter - United States
Four-time Olympic Champion in the discus throw. He was the first athlete to win a gold medal in the same event in four consecutive Olympics and is an inductee of the IAAF Hall of Fame.
Alan Cranston - United States
American politician and journalist who served as a U.S. Senator from California from 1969 to 1993.
Alisa Harvey-Hill - United States
As a middle distance runner was ranked in the U.S. top ten in the 1500 meters 8 years in a row from 1986–1993, achieving number 1 in 1993. After taking 1994, she returned to the list in 1998 and 1999. She also made the U.S. list in the 800 metres six times between 1988 and 1996. In 1998 she became the 24th American woman to break 4:30 for a mile. She is still an active Masters competitor, holding several world records and pursuing more as she moves into a new age division
Benny Brown - United States
Olympic gold-medal winner in the 1976 4×400 Men’s Relay running the second leg. He teamed with Herman Frazier, Fred Newhouse and Maxie Parks. He was a part-time coach for Cal State Fullerton’s track team. Cal State Fullerton hosts the Ben Brown Invitational track and field meet every year in early March. It is the best track and field meet in southern California in March.
Bill McChesney - United States
American long-distance runner from Eugene, Oregon. As of 2014, he is Oregon’s record holder in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Graduated from South Eugene High School and earned All-American honors in cross-country and track and field while attending the University of Oregon. He qualified for the 1980 U.S. Olympic team in the 5,000 meters and was ranked first in America and fourth in the world in the 5,000-meters during the 1981 season.
Bill Rodgers - United States
Legendary American runner and former record holder in the marathon who is best known for his four victories in the Boston Marathon, including three straight 1978-1980 and the New York City Marathon between 1976 and 1980.
Bill Wambach - United States
American amateur track and field athlete who competes at the Masters level. He broke the national high-jump record for the 80- to 84-year-old division with a jump of 1.26 meters at the 2006 Badger State Games. He was named the “Male Athlete of the Year” by the National Congress of State Games. On July 10, 2011, he added the American M85 record, jumping 1.17m at the USATF Midwest Masters meet. Two months later at the Wisconsin Senior Olympics, he improved upon that mark jumping 1.18m, though that mark has yet to be recognized as a record. He is one of the two stars of a feature-length documentary film by Andrew Napier called Mary and Bill, featuring Wambach and Mary Stroebe, a 90-year-old woman who runs in Triathlons.
Billy Johnson - United States
Former American football player known as Billy “White Shoes” Johnson who played in the NFL from 1974-1988. He is known for being one of the first players to display elaborate celebrations in the end zone.
Bob Humphreys - United States
Former professional baseball player as a pitcher over parts of nine seasons (1962–1970) with the Detroit Tigers, St. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs, Washington Senators and Milwaukee Brewers. Humphreys was a member of the 1964 World Series champion Cardinals.
Bob Schul - United States
Former long-distance runner who is the only American to have won an Olympic gold medal in the 5000M at the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Along the way, Schul became a top Masters runner (33.55 for 10,000M and 76:00 for half marathon at age 50; 17:56 for 5000M at age 60).
Boo Morcom - United States
At the age of 19 he was the best pole vaulter in Massachusetts and his fame spread as he pole vaulted on an athletic tour of Canada with three other athletes including Babe Ruth. Morcom competed in the pole vault at the 1948 Summer Olympics for the U.S. He continued to compete in athletics as he advanced in age, competing in college meets through his 40s. As an early pioneer of Masters Athletics, he held the world record for the pole vault as he passed through each of the age divisions between age 50 and 70, plus world records in the high jump, long jump, decathlon, and pentathlon. He continued to vault past age 75, still ranked number one. Due to the advent of fiberglass vaulting poles, his world record in the M55 division was higher than his best vault in the Olympics almost three decades earlier. In 1987, at the age of 66, he was still able to jump 12’6″ in the pole vault, as high as any high school athlete in the state of New Hampshire.
Bud Held - United States
Notable for his performance throwing the javelin, was a member of the United States’ 1952 Olympic team and missed making the 1956 Olympic team by an inch. He won a gold medal in the 1955 Pan American Games with a throw of 69.77 meters. Held continued to compete in Masters events where he set a U.S. national Masters javelin record in 1970 of 69.88 m. In 2008 at the Club West Masters Track meet in Santa Barbara, Held set the age 80+ World Record in the pole vault adding to the M75 World Record he already holds.
Carol Moseke – United States
Track and field athlete competing in the discus throw. She represented the U.S. at the 1968 Summer Olympics, and won the gold medal in the women’s discus throw event at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg. She was a four-time champion in the women’s discus at the USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships. She has continued to compete in various Masters age groups and holds the current American record in the W65 Shot Put, the W60, W65 and W70 records in the Discus, and the W70 World record in the Javelin.
Charles Dumas - United States
American high jumper who was the 1956 Olympic champion. Dumas was the first person to clear 7 ft. whose memorable jump on June 29, 1956 in the US Olympic Trials in Los Angeles, breaking a barrier previously thought unbreakable.
Chuck Smead - United States
American long distance runner who made his most significant mark on the sport winning the silver medal in the Marathon at the 1975 Pan American Games in Mexico City. In the 1970s he was one of the early luminaries of ultramarathoning, yet as a Masters Athlete he is not above sprinting 100 metres. He was twice ranked in the United States top 10 in the marathon. He continues to be active, winning the M60 division of the 2012 USA Masters 5 km Cross Country Championships. Smead has also been credited with spreading the sport of ultramarathoning into Europe.
Colleen De Reuck - South Africa – United States
Long-distance runner from South Africa, who became an American citizen in 2000. She had a long career, running into her 40s, and made a total of four appearances at the Summer Olympics. Her first major success came in 1995 and 1996, when she won the Honolulu Marathon and the Berlin Marathon. She continues to run and finished third at the Houston Half Marathon in 2009, finishing in 1:12:14.
Cornelius 'Dutch' Warmerdam - United States
American track and field athlete and long-time pole vault world record holder who is considered to be among the all-time greatest vaulters. Vaulting throughout his career with a bamboo pole, Warmerdam was the first vaulter to clear 15 feet (4.57 m), accomplishing that feat at UC Berkeley in 1940. During his career, Warmerdam vaulted 15 feet 43 times in competition, while no other vaulter cleared the mark a single time. Warmerdam surpassed the pole vault record seven times in a four-year span and three of those marks were ratified as world records. His highest outdoor vault was 15′ 7-3/4″ (4.77 m), achieved at the Modesto Relays in 1942, a record which stood until 1957. He continued competing as an early practitioner of Masters Athletics and is still ranked in the world all-time top ten list in the M60 Decathlon. Warmerdam is a member of several halls of fame, including the National Track and Field Hall of Fame and the Millrose Games Hall of Fame.
Delano Meriwether - United States
Made his mark as a runner at the Amateur Athletic Union USA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon in 1971 when he won the 100 yard dash. In 1972 Meriwether was the United States Indoor Track and Field Champion but due to a knee injury he was unable to compete for selection for the United States 1972 Olympic Games team. After another injury prevented his chances of being selected for the 1976 Olympics, he retired from regular competition to concentrate on medicine. For a number of years he ran in masters events and his 200 meter run of 20.8 seconds in 1978 is still a current national record in the 35-39 age group.
Dick Fosbury - United States
American retired high jumper, who is considered one of the most influential athletes in the history of track and field. Besides winning a gold medal at the 1968 Olympics, he revolutionized the high jump event, with a unique “back-first” technique, now known as the Fosbury Flop, adopted by almost all high jumpers today. He continues to be involved in athletics and serves on the executive board of the World Olympians Association. Fosbury is a current member of the “Champions for Peace” club, a group of 54 famous elite athletes committed to serving peace in the world through sport, created by Peace and Sport, a Monaco-based international organization. Fosbury and fellow Olympians Gary Hall and Anne Cribbs are founders of World Fit, a non-profit organization that promotes youth fitness programs and Olympic ideals.
Dwight Stones - United States
American television commentator and a two-time Olympic bronze medalist and former three-time world record holder in the men’s high jump. During his 16-year career, he won 19 national championships. In 1984, Stones became the first athlete to both compete and serve as an announcer at the same Olympics. Since then, he has been a color analyst for all three major networks in the United States and continues to cover track and field on television. He served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of Track and Field at the 2008 Summer Olympics.
Ed Burke - United States
American hammer thrower famous for carrying the U.S. flag at the 1984 Olympics. His best result at the Olympics was the 7th place in the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He also threw in the 1968 Summer Olympics, coming in as a favorite after setting the U.S. record of 235′ 11″ at the 1967 AAU Championships in Bakersfield, California. Just shy of his 40th birthday, he made the U.S. team at the first IAAF World Championships and achieved his lifetime best of 243′ 11″ in the process of qualifying for his third Olympics at age 44. He was the first American to achieve qualifying for Olympic teams 20 years apart. Being the oldest member of the team and a remarkable story, he was selected to carry the flag in the hometown Olympic Opening Ceremonies by the team captains. More than 21 years after his second retirement, he returned to competition in the 65-year-old division and promptly set the World Record for his age division. After turning 70 in 2010, he did it again in his new age division.
Ed Stotsenberg - United States
As a long time runner and respected American philanthropist, Stotsenberg donated funds to improve the Pepperdine University track and field facilities, now named in his honor. He also used his financial management skills to form the foundation of the Santa Monica Track Club which became one of the most successful track clubs of the 1980s, accounting for 25 Olympic medals in a little over a decade. As a Masters long distance runner, Stotsenberg won several medals in the World Masters Athletics Championships and at one point in time held the World Record for 1500 metres in his age division. He also funded a grant at the University of Southern California to study aging athletes like himself.
Eddie Hart - United States
Former American track and field sprinter, winner of the gold medal in 4 × 100 m relay race at the 1972 Summer Olympics. Hart won the NCAA championships in the 100 m in 1970 as a University of California student. At the US Olympic Trials in 1972, both Hart and Rey Robinson repeated the world record, running the 100 m in 9.9 seconds and were favored to win the race at the Olympic Games. But in Munich, they were both eliminated in the 100 m race because their coach, Stan Wright, unknowingly using an outdated Olympic schedule to determine the starting time of their quarterfinal heat, failed to deliver them to the track on time. This failure due to disorganization created much controversy. Hart also ran the anchoring leg in the American 4 × 100 m relay team, which won a gold medal and equalled the United States’ own world record of 38.19. Hart continued to run and in 1989 set the Masters World record in the 100 m that lasted for 14 years.
Evelyn Lawler - United States
Competed for the United States in the 80 metres hurdles at the 1951 Pan American Games, finishing 6th. She is perhaps better known as the mother of multiple Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis and Olympian, World Championship bronze medalist and sports announcer Carol Lewis. Lawler graduated from Tuskegee University and at one point in time she held the American record in the 80 metres hurdles. She continued to participate in Masters Athletics but eventually retired from the sport because she kept getting injured.
Francie Larrieu-Smith - United States
American track and field athlete who was the third female American athlete to make five American Olympic teams. She is notable for one of the longest distance running careers beginning with the 1972 Olympics as a 19-year-old running the 1500 metres, then the longest distance race for women, and again in the 1976 Olympics. She also qualified for the 1980 Summer Olympics but did not participate because of the 1980 Summer Olympics boycott. Her best performance was when she finished 5th in the Women’s 10,000 M in 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul. Her final appearance was finishing 12th in the marathon in the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona where, as the elder stateswoman of American track and field at age 39, she was selected to be the flagbearer in the opening ceremonies. She was the youngest female 1500 meter runner the U.S. has ever sent to the Olympics and the oldest female in any track and field event. She was elected into the National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1998. She was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 1999. Runner’s World magazine named her “The Most Versatile runner of the Quarter Century”.
Frank Shorter - United States
Former long-distance runner who is the only American athlete to win two medals in the Olympic marathon with gold at the 1972 Summer Olympics and silver at the 1976 Summer Olympics. His Olympic successes, along with the achievements of other American runners, are credited with igniting the running boom in the United States during the 1970s. From 2000 to 2003, Shorter was the chairman of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, a body that he helped to establish. Shorter was inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame in 1984 and the USA National Track and Field Hall of Fame in 1989. A long-time resident of Boulder, Colorado, Shorter co-founded the Bolder Boulder in 1979. The annual 10k race is a popular Memorial Day event, which culminates with a tribute to U.S. Armed Forces at Folsom Field at the University of Colorado. A life-size bronze statue of Shorter stands outside the stadium.
Fred Lebow - United States
Was a runner, race director, and founder of the New York City Marathon. He presided over the transformation of the race from one with 55 finishers in 1970 to one of the largest marathons in the world with over 50,000 finishers in recent years. He was posthumously inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2001. During his career he completed 69 marathons in 30 countries. Along with the NYCM, he also organized the Empire State Building Run Up, the Fifth Avenue Mile, and the Crazy Legs Mini Marathon, the first strictly women’s race. Lebow was also president of the New York Road Runners Club for 20 years. In 1995, Fred’s Team was established in honor of Lebow. Every year, athletes of all abilities join Fred’s Team to compete in marathons, half-marathons, triathlons, bike races and other endurance events around the world to raise funds for pioneering research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Since 1995, Fred’s Team has raised more than $52 million.