The newly formed Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame, Inc. inducted its first class at the CRR Awards Banquet and Christmas Party, Dec. 10 at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse. Details of the Hall of Fame were kept secret until the awards banquet, so the three nominees—Michael Mann of Hampton, John Piggott of Williamsburg, and Joan Coven of Williamsburg—were surprised and thrilled at this honor. The Hall of Fame wall will be displayed at the Runner’s Source store in Hilton Village in Newport News.
Mann is a three-time winner of the CRR Grand Prix men’s overall title (2002-04), and despite his battle against lung cancer, was able to place second overall in the 2006 Grand Prix. His PRs are impressive: 15:18 (1994 Busch Gardens Drachen Fire 5K), 19:09 (2004 Cheatham Annex 6K), 24:58 (1998 Shamrock 8K), 31:20 (1997 Sallie Mae 10K), 44:14 (2005 Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler), 48:49 (1997 Richmond Frostbite 15K), 51:43 (1996 Yorktown Battlefield 10 Miler), 1:08:32 (2005 Shamrock Tuneup Series 20K), 1:09:16 (1999 Philadelphia Half Marathon), 1:26:08 (2002 Shamrock Tuneup 25K), 1:43:19 (2003 Shamrock Tuneup 30K), and 2:28:28 (2004 Shamrock Marathon).
Piggott has won more races than anyone ever on the Peninsula, over 130 overall titles. His PRs are: 15:17 (Daffodil 5K), 15:47 (Yorktown Freedom Run 5K), 25:52 (8K cross country), 26:09 (Phoebus 8K Run on the Fort), 32:19 (Elizabeth River Run 10K), 43:17 (Carter’s Grove 8 Mile), 51:10 (Yorktown Battlefield 15K), 52:53 (Yorktown Battlefield 10 Mile), 1:10:56 (Hampton Coliseum Half Marathon), 1:23:40 (Charleston 15 Mile), 2:30:14 (Shamrock Marathon) and 6:43 (JFK 50 Mile). A 1983 Lafayette High School grad, he has been racing for over 20 years.
Coven holds more CRR race age group records than anyone, a total of 29 at the end of 2006. Since broken, she held the all-time CRR women’s 55-59 record of 22:22 for 5K from 1999. She hardly slowed down at all to set the CRR’s all-time 60-64 record of 22:28 in 2002. And in 2006, after turning 65 in June, she twice broke the all-time CRR mark for women 65-69, first with a 23:49 at the Heritage Humane Society 5K at Ford’s Colony, then with a Virginia state record for women 65-69 of 23:18 at the Governor’s Land 5K, breaking the previous state record by almost two minutes.
Inducted into the second class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame were Rick Platt of Williamsburg, Valerie Plyler of Yorktown and Tom Ray of Kitty Hawk, NC. All were honored Sunday afternoon at the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Awards Banquet and Christmas Party at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse in Williamsburg, along with 37 CRR Grand Prix and 10 CRR Volunteer-of-the-Year award recipients.
The VPRR Hall of Fame was formed in 2006, jointly by the CRR and the Peninsula Track Club, with the first class announced at last year’s CRR banquet—John Piggott of Williamsburg, Joan Coven of Williamsburg, and the late Michael Mann of Hampton. All six in the Hall of Fame have run for years at the highest levels in CRR and PTC events.
Rick Platt, past president of the Peninsula Track Club (1975, 1976 and 1979) and current president of the Colonial Road Runners (since 1994) has been competing since 1964, his freshman year at The George School in Newtown, PA, where he set school records in the mile (4:30.0) and two mile (10:07.6). At William and Mary he ran cross country and track his freshman year, then was on the Tribe’s varsity swimming team (distance freestyle and butterfly) the next three years.
Returning to Williamsburg a year after his 1972 graduation, he trained with the W&M cross country and track teams, under coaches John Randolph, Baxter Berryhill and Roy Chernock, throughout the 1970s, running his lifetime road bests of 51:50 (1979 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler) and 2:23:55 (1977 Marine Corps Marathon), and track bests of 4:24 (mile), 9:35 (two miles), 14:40 (three miles) and 15:26 (5,000 meters), including winning the Virginia state AAU 5,000 meter title.
As a Masters (ages 40-and-over) runner Platt has set Virginia state records for the 5K (men 45-49, 16:14 at the 1996 Governor’s Land 5K; and men 50-54, 16:51 at the 2000 Vineyards of Williamsburg 5K) and for the 10K (men 50-54, 34:51 at the 2001 Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K; and men 55-59, 35:31 at the 2007 Monument Avenue race). For the CRR he holds the all-time club records for men 45-49 (16:14) and for men 55-59 (18:02 at the 2006 Heritage Humane Society 5K at Ford’s Colony), although his former 50-54 record of 16:51 was eclipsed by Steve Chantry’s 16:39 in 2005. He currently holds 25 CRR race age-group records, trailing only Joan Coven (29 records) and Tom Ray (26).
On an age-graded basis, Platt, 57, ran the three best road races of his life in 2007. With 80% considered national-class and 90% considered world-class, his previous bests through the years had been in the 87-88% range, including the Virginia state records, as well as a 33:08 at age 45 at the 1996 Elizabeth River Run 10K, and a 54:25 at age 46 at the 1996 Yorktown Battlefield 10 Miler. Platt ran an 89% age-graded race this year with a 1:18:32 at the Dismal Swamp Stomp Half Marathon in Chesapeake, and was over 90% at both the Monument Avenue 10K (35:31) and the Pikes Peek 10K in Rockville, MD (35:20). The 1:18:32 is currently the #2 time in the nation for men 55-59 in 2007, while the 10K times are #3 and #4 in the nation for 55-59.
Valerie Plyler, 48, began competitive running at age 22 (she did not participate in either high school or collegiate sports) at a PTC race in November, 1982, and since then has probably won more PTC and CRR races than any other female. She holds the CRR all-time record for women 45-49 with a 19:27 at both the 2004 Heritage Humane Society 5K at Ford’s Colony and the 2005 Warhill 5K, and has similar race age-group record times at the Queens Lake 5K (19:33), Mental Health 5K (19:34) and Vineyards 5K (19:28), all in 2006, when she was second overall female in the CRR Grand Prix. She holds 14 CRR race records, all but one in the 45-49 age group (an 18:36, at age 38, at the 1997 William and Mary Homecoming 5K).
Plyler’s lifetime road bests are 5:34 (Tidewater Striders mile), 18:11 (Hog Jog 5K at Mariner’s Museum), 30:08 (Shamrock 8K), 38:20 (Bay Days 10K), 1:03:08 (Yorktown Battlefield 10 Miler), 1:23:12 (Pomoco Group/Hampton Coliseum Half Marathon) and 3:15 (1994 Boston Marathon).
As a Masters runner, at age 44, Plyler ran a 5:38 on the roads at the 2004 Fredericksburg Downtown Mile. On the track she ran a 5:36 in a Tidewater Striders mile race.
Tom Ray, 74, has been one of the Peninsula’s top age-group runners, since starting running at age 50, and racing at age 55. The former Hampton resident now lives in Kitty Hawk, NC, but travels back to the Peninsula most weekends for PTC and CRR races and socials. Among his 26 CRR age-group records (two for men 60-64, 11 for 65-69 and 13 for 70-74) is the all-time club record for men 65-69, a 20:02 at age 67 at the 2000 Vineyards 5K. His best time for the 70-74 division, a 22:06 at the 2004 Mental Health 5K, is just 10 seconds off Andrew Polanksy’s CRR 70-74 record of 21:56. In the 55-59 age group, his best was a 19:14 at a Hampton race, and he has the 60-64 race record at the 1995 Williamsburg Winery 5K (19:59).
Ray currently holds two Virginia state records, a 20:16 for men 65-69 at the 1998 CNU 5K, and a 1:13:55 for men 70-74 at the 2003 Yorktown Battlefield 10 Miler.
Ray’s high school did not have a track team, but he participated in baseball, basketball and football, making second-team all-state in football as a guard. His lifetime PRs, all after age 55 are 32:11 (8K), 38:39 (10K), 1:06:44 (10 miles), 1:28:15 (half marathon) and 3:21:31 (marathon). He has run 43 marathons.
Inducted into the third class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame were Rob Hinkle of Yorktown (formerly of Williamsburg), Andrew Polansky of Williamsburg and Lew Faxon of Lanexa (formerly of Hampton). All were honored Sunday afternoon at the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Awards Banquet in Williamsburg.
The VPRR Hall of Fame was formed in 2006, jointly by the CRR and the Peninsula Track Club, with the 2006 class including John Piggott of Williamsburg, Joan Coven of Williamsburg (now West Point), and the late Michael Mann of Hampton. The 2007 inductees were Rick Platt of Williamsburg, Valerie Plyler of Newport News and Tom Ray of Kitty Hawk, NC (formerly of Hampton).
Rob Hinkle, a chemistry professor at William and Mary, has been one of the leading open runners on the Peninsula for the past decade. He holds overall course records in two CRR races, the Heritage Humane Society 5K at First Colony (15:20 in 1998) and the hilly Stonehouse 5K (15:33 in 1999), as well as two PTC races, the Hilton 5K (15:29 in 2000) and the hilly Noland Trail 10K (35:06 in 2005). Hinkle is the only male runner to currently hold two all-time CRR five-year age-group records, having both the men’s 30-34 mark (15:20, at both the 1998 First Colony 5K and the 1999 Queens Lake 5K) and the men’s 40-44 mark (15:55, at both the 2004 Governor’s Land 5K and the 2005 Mental Health 5K). He also twice came within ten seconds of the men’s all-time CRR 35-39 mark of 15:18, having run a 15:28 at the 2000 Mental Health 5K and a 15:27 at the 1999 William and Mary Homecoming Run 5K (just one second off Alex Gibby’s W&M record). Going into 2008, Hinkle held 21 CRR race age-group records, a total exceeded only by three runners already in the Hall of Fame (Coven, Ray and Platt). Hinkle is the husband of Valerie Plyler, making them probably the only husband-wife inductees into the Hall of Fame for years to come.
Andrew Polansky is next on the CRR all-time record list, going into 2008, with 17 records. At one time he led the list for most CRR records, but Tom Ray broke a number of his records. One record Ray didn’t get is the 21:56 run by Polansky at the 1998 Heritage Humane Society 5K at First Colony, which is still the all-time CRR mark for men 70-74. Going into 2008, Polansky also had the all-time mark for men 75-79 (26:51 at the 2008 Queens Lake 5K), but that record was broken by Bill Fenwick of Williamsburg this year at both Vineyards and Ford’s Colony. Polansky has set three Virginia state records, one of which still stands, the 45:07 he ran at the 1998 Coast Guard 10K for the age 70-74 record. His previous state records were a 21:54 for men 70-74 at the 1998 Hilton 5K and a 1:15:15 for men 70-74 at the 1998 Yorktown Battlefield 10 Miler (broken by Ray with a 1:13:55 at the 2003 Yorktown race). Polansky, now 81, began running at age 45, and racing at age 50. His lifetime PRs, all after age 59, are 21:23 (5K), 35:12 (8K), 42:57 (10K), 1:11:52 (10 miles), 1:36:15 (half marathon) and 3:37:38 (marathon).
Lew Faxon was a past president of the PTC (1977 and ’78), and competed on the national and international level in cross country, roadracing and track. His international accomplishments include a second and third at the 1983 World Masters (ages 40+) Championships in Puerto Rico, and a first and third at the same meet in Italy in 1985. At the Pan American Games Masters meet, he had a second and third in 1980 in Puerto Rico, and two firsts in 1981 in Los Angeles. In U.S. national championships, Faxon had 11 firsts, seven seconds and seven thirds in indoor and outdoor track, cross country and road races. Locally, he was third overall at the 1976 Shamrock 5 Miler, first at the ’78 Tidewater 10K, fourth at the ’79 Elizabeth River Run 10K, and first at the ’82 Phoebus Days 8K and Bay Days 10K races. At age 49, he was the overall winner of the 1988 Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler. In Williamsburg, Faxon was a five-time Masters winners of the Anheuser-Busch Colonial Half Marathon with times of 1:15:34 (1981), 1:13:11 (’83), 1:13:04 (’84), 1:13:14 (’86) and 1:14:17 (’87). The 1:13:14 in 1986 is still the race record for men 45-49.
Inducted into the fourth class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame were former Bruton High School coach and past Peninsula Track Club president Barbara Biasi of Yorktown, longtime Daily Press sportswriter Ed Richards of Yorktown, and 86-year-old age-group standout Robert S. White of Hampton. All were honored January 10 at the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix Awards Banquet in Williamsburg, and January 23 at the Peninsula Track Club Awards Banquet in Hampton.
The VPRR Hall of Fame was formed in 2006, jointly by the Colonial Road Runners and the Peninsula Track Club, with the 2006 class including John Piggott of Williamsburg, Joan Coven of Williamsburg (now West Point), and the late Michael Mann of Hampton. The 2007 inductees were Rick Platt of Williamsburg, Valerie Plyler of Newport News and Tom Ray of Kitty Hawk, NC (formerly of Hampton). The 2008 class included Rob Hinkle of Yorktown (formerly of Williamsburg and Newport News), Andrew Polansky of Williamsburg and Lew Faxon of Lanexa (formerly of Hampton).
Barbara Biasi, 62, was selected for her coaching excellence, service to the Peninsula TC, and racing accomplishments. She was the head girls cross country coach at Peninsula Catholic High School from 1989-93, winning Tidewater Conference of Independent Schools titles three times (1991-93), was second at the State Independent Schools Championship in 1992, and was five-time TCIS Girls Country Country “Coach of the Year”. She then was Head Coach of girls cross country at Bruton from 1994-2008 and boys cross country from 1997-2008, as well as assistant coach of track (distance/middle distance) from 1994-2000. Her girls teams were Bay Rivers District champions three times (1996-97, 2003) and region champions twice (1997, 2003), winning Virginia High School Coaches Association “Coach of District (or Region) Champions” each of those years. For the PTC, Biasi was first vice president in 1988, then president (the first-ever female) of the club for 2 ½ years (1988-1990). In 1987 she was the PTC Grand Prix Overall Champion, and was first in the women’s category of the Grand Prix in 2005 and ’06. In 1993, she was 1st Masters (40-and-over) in the Hampton Roads Women’s Distance Festival Series. In 2001 she won the National Volunteer Award for the Road Runners Club of America (RRCA).
Biasi started running in 1983, and competing in 1985 (at age 38), but all of her lifetime personal records came between the ages of 40 and 45. Those PRs are 20:20 (1991 D.A.R.E. to Run 5K), 34:36 (‘92 Phoebus 8K Run on the Fort), 43:46 (‘88 Elizabeth River Run 10K), 57:46 (‘89 Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler) 1:11:22 (‘91 Watermen’s Museum 10 Miler), 1:38:52 (‘92 Pomoco/Hampton Coliseum Half Marathon) and 3:48:33 (‘89 Marine Corps Marathon, a Boston qualifier). She has held many CRR and PTC race age-group records, and was first overall (at age 46) at the 1993 Langley Victory Run 8K (34:44).
Robert S. White started running at age 62 at the encouragement of his sons Al and Robert, and set all his lifetime PRs at age 64 or 65, at one time holding five Virginia state road race records. He still holds the all-time CRR record for men 80-and-over, a remarkable 25:48 at the 2003 Governor’s Land 5K, a time slightly faster than the club record for men 75-79. Now 86, he still runs four miles a day every other day, and won the 70-and-over category at the Toys for Tots 5K (35:08) last Thanksgiving Day.
White’s PRs are 19:30 (5K), 40:42 (Coast Guard 10K), 1:08 (1988 CNU 10 Miler), 1:33:30 (1988 Colonial Half Marathon), 3:07:48 (1988 Shamrock Marathon), and in the Northwest River Run Series—1:27:26 (20K), 1:51:15 (25K) and 2:12:35 (30K). He also competed for five years for Newport News Shipbuilding/Tenneco at the Corporate Cup National Team competition. 1998 was his best year, as he ran the PR 1:33:30 at the Colonial Half Marathon, was first (by 23 minutes) in the 60-64 age group at the Shamrock Marathon (3:07:48), and won the 65-69 age group at the Marine Corps Marathon (3:13:40). At age 70 he ran a 35:34 at the Shamrock 8K. He also ran the 100th anniversary of the Boston Marathon in 1996 at age 72, and ran a 24:15 at age 76 at the 1999 Hilton 5K.
Ed Richards, 66, has been covering road racing, cross country and track for the Daily Press for over 20 years. He started as the sports editor of his high school newspaper in San Antonio, then worked as a summer intern for the San Antonio Light afternoon newspaper, while getting his B.A. in journalism from North Texas State in 1966. The Navy brought him to Virginia, where he was stationed at the Norfolk Naval Base and the Naval Amphibious Base in Virginia Beach. When he got out of the Navy in 1972, he started with the Daily Press as a sports writer, and still does that 38 years later, now part-time. He has covered many sports—football, basketball, track, gymnastics, swimming and field hockey, along with running and Community Sports.
Stephen Chantry, Jim Goggin and John Hort were the three inductees into the 2010 class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame, announced at the January 9th Colonial Road Runners Awards Banquet at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse in Williamsburg, and again at the January 22nd Peninsula Track Club Awards Banquet. This is the fifth inductee class into the Hall of Fame, coordinated by the CRR and the Peninsula Track Club.
The previous four Hall of Fame classes were Joan Coven, Michael Mann and John Piggott in 2006; Rick Platt, Valerie Plyler and Tom Ray in 2007; Lew Faxon, Rob Hinkle and Andrew Polansky in 2008; and Barbara Biasi, Ed Richards and Robert S. White in 2009.
Stephen Chantry is the most accomplished CRR member ever, based on his outstanding races on the roads, track and cross country, on a local, national and world-class level, frequently age-grading over the 90% level considered world-class. After turning 55 on Christmas Day 2009, Chantry added 11 more CRR age-group records in 2010, now totaling 25. The only others to exceed two dozen CRR age-group records are Joan Coven (2006 Hall of Fame class), Rick Platt (2007) and Tom Ray (2007).
Chantry holds the all-time CRR record for the 50-54 age group (16:39 at the 2005 Governor’s Land 5K) and for the 55-59 age group (16:57 at the 2010 Governor’s Land 5K). In 2009 he age-graded a CRR best 90.95% at Governor’s Land with a 16:45 time at age 54. At the 2009 Syracuse 5K, the USATF national road championship, he age-graded a lifetime road best of 92.20% with a 16:32. In 2010 Chantry broke the Virginia state record for men 55-59 by five seconds at the Queens Lake 5K with a 17:06, and improved that record time at Governor’s Land. For men 50-54, his 16:30 at the Mulberry Island 5K was one second short of the Virginia state record. He ran a 16:28 at the 2007 Carlsbad (CA) 5K, better than the Virginia record, but not counting since it was out-of-state.
Chantry was third overall for the 2008, ‘09 and ‘10 CRR Grand Prix series, after winning the overall Grand Prix title in ‘06 at age 51, the oldest CRR Grand Prix champion ever. This year he was the overall winner of the Walsingham Academy Perennial Days 5K at age 55, the oldest winner of a CRR race ever, bettering his record of age 54 after winning the 2009 Cheatham Annex 5K. Chantry excels even more on the track, where he routinely age grades over 90%, and where he has won eight individual USATF national titles (placing second ten times and third four times), was part of the American club record-breaking men’s 50-59 two-mile relay team (with the CRR), a record recently broken in February, 2011, and part of the world-record setting 3,200-meter relay team in 2005 (with a U.S. team). The highlight of his Masters track career came in March, 2010, when he won the world championships for men 55-59 in both the 1,500 meters (4:36.58) and the 3,000 meters (9:54.22), and placed second in the 800 meters (2:14.42), in Vancouver, British Columbia. In 2006, he won U.S. titles for men 50-54 in the indoor 3,000 (9:23.65), mile (4:47.86) and 800 meters (2:09.88), then won two more U.S. indoor titles in 2007, the 3,000 meters and the mile. In cross country, he was part of the national champion 50-59 team at the USATF Masters 5K Cross Country Championships in Greensboro, NC. Other notable road times include a 27:02 at the 2005 nTelos 8K, 1:17:30 a the 2005 Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, 34:23 at the 2007 Pikes Peak 10K (MD) and 35:36 at the 2010 Beach to Beacon 10K (ME).
Jim Goggin excelled on the roads and track in the 1970s and 1980s. He won the first Carter’s Grove Country Road Race in 1980 (42:30), won the overall title at the 2002 Yorktown Battlefield 5K (at the time the oldest runner to ever win a PTC race), and was part of the 2008 4 x 800-meter relay team (with Chantry) that won the USATF national title for men 50-59 with a time of 9:06.90, setting the U.S. club relay record, then defending the title a year later. He was fifth overall and first American at the 1977 Shamrock 5 Miler in Virginia Beach (25:20), trailing only four Kenyans.
Goggin’s lifetime PRs on the roads are 15:15 at the 1976 Portsmouth City Park 5K, 25:20 (8K), 31:54 (1977 Run for the Arts 10K in Newport News), 49:51 (1980 15K in Philadelphia), 52:10 (1979 Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in Washington, DC), 1:10:04 (1980 Colonial Half Marathon), and 2:30:56 (1981 Richmond Marathon). On the track he ran 50.7 (440 yards), 1:50.0 (880 yards), 2:10.0 (indoor 1,000 yards), 4:14 (mile), 9:27 (2 miles) and 14:47 (5,000 meters).
In high school, for Xaverian High (Norwood, MA), he was the 1971 New England Catholic 880 champ. At Boston College he was a three-time New England indoor two-mile relay champ (1972, ’74 and ’75), third (’74) and fourth (’75) in the New England indoor 1,000 yards, a five-time individual qualifier for the IC4A track championships, and a two-time qualifier for the indoor NCAAs. He was second at the 1975 outdoor New England championships at 880 yards, and was the most valuable runner for Boston College in 1975.
Goggin co-founded the HFC Striders Running Club (MA) in 1972, was a member of the PTC from 1976-1987, and a member of the CRR from 1987 to present, where he is a longtime vice president of the club. He coached at Bentley College from 1977-79, and at William and Mary from 1979-86. He directed the Walsingham Road Race from 1984-88, and founded and directed the Jamestown High School Swamp Run 5K from 2001-06. At Clara Byrd Baker Elementary he has coached the Boys and Girls Running Clubs, starting in 2006.
John Hort was the driving force behind the Peninsula Track Club throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, as a race volunteer (early 1980s), president (1984-85), executive race director (from 1986 to 1993), and key finish-line coordinator through the late 1990s. He joined the PTC in 1979. He measured and certified many of the PTC events to USATF standards. He started the PTC Grand Prix Race Series, the PTC Scholarship program, the Adopt-a-Highway program, and the Adopt-a-Family program. In 1991 he earned the highest volunteer honor given by the Road Runners Club of America, the Rod Steeele Outstanding Volunteer Award. He was race director for the Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler for five years (that event is now a Colonial Road Runners race), and also race director for the PTC’s Summer Fun Run Series. Hort was also an accomplished runner. He ran cross country and track at Washington and Lee High School in Arlington, and captain of both. In 1954 he won the Virginia state 880-yard run championship. At Western Maryland College, he was also captain of both cross country and track teams, and set the school record in the 880-yard run with a time of 1:59.7. That record will always stand, as the distance has changed to the 800 meters.
On the roads, Hort ran in the 18’s for 5K and in the 38’s for 10K. He completed 21 marathons, including four Bostons, 2 Marine Corps, one New York City, one Bermuda and two Grandfather Mountains.
Joe Harney, Larry Turner and Lori Eady Melle were the three inductees into the 2011 class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame, announced at both the Peninsula Track Club and Colonial Road Runners Awards Banquets in January. This is the sixth inductee class into the Hall of Fame, coordinated by the Peninsula Track Club and Colonial Road Runners.
The previous five Hall of Fame classes were Joan Coven, the late Michael Mann, and John Piggott in 2006; Rick Platt, Valerie Plyler and the late Tom Ray in 2007; Lew Faxon, Rob Hinkle and Andrew Polansky in 2008; Barbara Biasi, Ed Richards and Robert S. White in 2009, and Stephen Chantry, Jim Goggin and John Hort in 2010.
Joe Harney of Hampton has been president of the Peninsula Track Club since 2003, and is currently in his 10th term of office, becoming the “FDR” (Franklin Delano Roosevelt) of the PTC. No other president of the PTC has served for more than three years. Joe was named the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) Virginia President of the Year. He has worked the finish line for hundreds of PTC and CRR road races, usually as the pull tag crew leader. As a runner the highlight of his career was running in the 1996 Boston Marathon, the 100th anniversary of that storied event. It was his first and only marathon (he got in through the lottery), and it was four years after quadruple bypass surgery. His extended family was there to cheer him on at the finish line, timed in 7:01:32, and a Boston TV station featured his race. With his name on his race shirt, thousands of spectators chanted, “Go Joe, Go Joe” throughout the Boston tradition. Harney’s seven half marathons included the inaugural Rock ‘n’ Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon in 2001. Born on July 10, 1938 in Jamaica Plain, MA (part of the Boston metro area), Joe went to high school at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Jamaica Plain, where his sporting highlights were being part of the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) New England baseball championship team, as a second baseman, both his junior (1955) and senior (1956) years. He played a bit of basketball (obviously not a center!), but the school had no football team. That love of baseball continues to this day as Joe often wears Boston Red Sox caps and shirts, and he was once a fan of the Boston Braves National League team (which has since moved to Milwaukee, then to Atlanta).
For college Joe went to night school at the Bentley School of Accounting and Finance in nearby Waltham, MA, but was eventually transferred from Boston to Baltimore. In 1963 he made the move to the Peninsula, first living in Newport News, then in Hampton. He was an active stockbroker from 1965 to 2000, but still stops by the office a couple days a week. He started running thanks to Jim Fixx’s “Complete Book of Running,” which was published in the 1970s. Joe’s first runs were around the Farmington neighborhood of Hampton, off Todds Lane, as well as at Newport News Park.
Eventually he discovered the PTC, and the rest is history. His racing career is on vacation, with a sore foot limiting his training to the treadmill and walking, and doing cardio three times a week at the Sentara Hampton Fitness Center, and weights another three times a week. He doesn’t miss the racing, saying “I really enjoy volunteering. People miss out when they don’t volunteer.”
Seaford’s Larry Turner was president of the Peninsula Track Club in 1980 and ’81, and also vice president of the club in 1980 and 1995. He was the overall PTC Grand Prix champion in 1999, and was first male in the PTC Grand Prix in 2001, 2002 and one other year. As PTC Race Director/Liaison, he was instrumental in the success of the 1983 and 1991 NCAA Division III National Cross Country Championships, hosted by Christopher Newport College, and was Head Referee/Starter for the 1987 NCAA Division III Southeast Regional Cross Country Championships, both at Newport News Park and its golf course. He was Head Track Official from 1986-93 for the CNC track program, and worked numerous CNC cross country conference meets. On the roads, Turner has worked countless finish lines for both the PTC and the CRR.
As a runner, Larry has PRs of 2:48:01 (1981 Shamrock Marathon), 1:22:01 (1980 Colonial Half Marathon), 60:00 (10 mile split at the 1981 Colonial Half Marathon), 60:52 (1984 CNC 10 Miler), 48:37 (1981 Carter’s Grove 8 Miler), 36:29 (1985 Elizabeth River Run 10K), 29:15 (1984 Shamrock 5 Miler), 29:27 (1986 Shamrock 8K), 22:58 (1994 Cheatham Lake 6K) and 17:39 (1980 St. Jerome’s 5K).
On the track Larry ran times of 2:19 (800 meters), 4:53.8 (1500 meters at the 1986 Virginia Masters meet), 5:07 (mile) and 17:49 (5000 meters) at various PTC summer all-comers track meets, Todd Stadium and CNC meets, and the Virginia state Masters championships. Larry and another past PTC president, Dick Pierce, were regulars at the CNC track for weekly workouts. It was Pierce who nominated Turner for the Hall of Fame.
In high school Turner played football and baseball at Hampton High, but did not run track. In college at Carson-Newman College (TN) he played baseball his freshman year, and was an intramural track runner in the 400 meters and 1,600-meter relay.
Other racing highlights include winning twice (1995 and 2000) the Carson-Newman ROTC Homecoming 5K, where he was also first alumni in 1998 and ’99. He was 12th overall in the 1979 Virginia AAU Sub-Masters-Masters Cross Country Championships on the hilly William and Mary “Dunbar Farms” course in 38:11 for the 10K. He was third for men 50-54 at the 1995 RRCA National Championship 10K in Knoxville, TN, and was second for his age group at the 1999 Virginia RRCA state championship 8K. And he place third in both the 1500 and 5000 meters at the 1986 Virginia TAC state track meet at CNC.
Besides his running prowess and many contributions to the PTC, Turner, now age 68, is famous for many other things. He has the “shortest stride known to mankind,” is notoriously late to race starts, has played golf at countless golf courses throughout the country, and has visited countless taverns and pubs while traveling. He was also one of the founders of the “Slug Track Club,” an unofficial group of good friends, who are seen after many PTC races talking for hours in the parking lot, telling tales about their glory days in running.
Lori Eady Melle of Hampton and Newport News was a trendsetter as one of the first elite female road racers in the Hampton Roads area, excelling in the mid- to late-1980s. Best at the 5K to 10K distance, Melle had PRs of 17:26 (5K), 30:05 (1987 Back River 8K), and 36:24 (at age 24 in the 1986 Coast Guard Semper Paratus 10K, still the course record). She won the 1987 (50:23) and 1989 (51:31)Yorktown Victory Run 8 Milers, and the 1986 Carter’s Grove 8 Miler (50:34), and also had PRs of 1:06 for 10 miles and 1:34 for the Colonial Half Marathon.
Her rival at that time was Lorraine Hochella. An example of their back-and-forth rivalry was the 1987 PTC Women’s Distance Festival 5K, where Hochella won in 17:22, and Eady was close behind in 17:36. At that year’s Back River 8K, it was Eady first in 30:05 and Hochella second in 30:43. Hochella went on to national-class performances, winning the Grandma’s Marathon in 2:34, and qualifying for multiple Olympic Trials in the marathon and track 10,000 meters, but it was her rivalry with Eady that was the start.
In high school Lori was on the Newburgh (NY) Free Academy cross country, indoor and outdoor track teams, where she ran a 12:02 at states in the two mile, and was Dutchess County champion in cross country in 18:14. Also in cross country she had the Ogden Mills Park course record of 19:02 and ran a 19:16 on the storied Van Cortland Park course in Manhattan.
Bruce Davis, Rhonda Venable and Jennifer Quarles were the three inductees into the 2012 class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame, announced the last two weekends of January, first at the Peninsula Track Club awards banquet at the Edgehill Association Clubhouse in Yorktown (Jan. 19th), then at the Colonial Road Runners awards banquet at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse in Williamsburg (Jan. 26th). This is the seventh inductee class into the Hall of Fame, coordinated jointly by the PTC and the CRR.
The previous six Hall of Fame classes were Joan Coven, the late Michael Mann, and John Piggott in 2006; Rick Platt, Valerie Plyler and the late Tom Ray in 2007; Lew Faxon, Rob Hinkle and Andrew Polansky in 2008; Barbara Biasi, Ed Richards and Robert S. White in 2009; Stephen Chantry, Jim Goggin and John Hort in 2010; and Joe Harney, Larry Turner and Lori Eady Melle in 2011.
As the club’s computerized results expert, Bruce Davis of Yorktown has volunteered for more Peninsula Track Club races than anyone in the club’s 55+ year history, having scored 442 races (and counting) among his 575 volunteer efforts. He has also been the PTC’s “On Your Mark” newsletter editor since 1994, approximately 200 issues. The PTC newsletter was awarded the Outstanding Small/Medium Club Newsletter in 1998 for the RRCA (Road Runners Club of America) Eastern Region, and won the RRCA National Award for Outstanding Small Club Newsletter in 2010. Bruce earned PTC Grand Prix volunteer awards from 1990 until he started giving them out himself. He became the PTC’s primary race scorer after Bruce Emmert moved away from the Peninsula in 19____.
Among his 196 races, starting in 1989, Bruce has run two marathons and 13 half marathons. His first race was the former Polioplus 5K, on the old Oyster Point Business Park course in April 1989. Bruce’s personal records are 23:35 (1994 Kiln Creek 5K), 39:05 (1994 Shamrock 8K), 50:19 (1996 Elizabeth River Run 10K), 1:09:24 (1995 Carter’s Grove Country Road 8 Miler), 1:24:37 (1996 Christopher Newport University 10 Miler), 1:54:34 (1992 Pomoco/Hampton Coliseum Road Race Half Marathon) and 4:36:24 (1991 Marine Corps Marathon), all after he turned 40 (except the marathon). His racing highlight is winning the PTC Summer Fun Run Series 5 Mile Prediction Run in ______.
In high school, and in college, Bruce was a member of his school’s marching bands. At the University of Missouri (for journalism school), the band was known as the “Marching MIZZOU, the Big M of the Midwest”. Proud of his college, Bruce’s vehicle (a 19_________) and its license plate (MIZZOU ___) is a familiar sight, always near registration or the finish line of all PTC races.
Not a serious competitor like many PTC members, Bruce runs for fun and enjoyment, and his favorite races show that enthusiasm, including the Indy 500 Mini-Marathon (a half marathon race back when the finish was on the track at the legendary Brickyard), the Shamrock Masters 8K (in the old Virginia Beach Pavilion, where you ran, drank beer, and watched everyone else finish the later races), the Spirit of Gettysburg 5K and the Antietam Run Thru History 10K (both on Civil War Battlefields), the Elizabeth River Run 10K in Norfolk (the original course from the Armed Forces Staff College), the Annapolis 10 Miler (the premiums—shirt, jacket, bag, etc.—are given out only after you finish), the Coast Guard Day 5K (“the prettiest 5K course on the Peninsula”), the East Coast Surfing Championships 5K (“run then watch the surfers”), the VP Fair 3K/10K on the Fourth of July in St. Louis (one year he took off in the wrong race, and ended up running both courses), and the Halloween Hunger 5K in Williamsburg (“everyone needs a good story of a race gone bad”).
At the PTC banquet, Jaime Cox won the contest (a gift certificate to Point 2 Running) for guessing closest the total number of races Bruce has volunteered, newsletters he has edited, and races he has run.
Rhonda Venable of Yorktown, formerly of Hampton, is one of only two runners to be a three-time PTC Overall Grand Prix Champion, winning in 1995, ’96 and ’97 (Susan Hagel is the other 3-time winner). Rhonda is also a two-time past president of the PTC, and was also a club vice president, the Litter Getter coordinator, the Women’s Distance Festival race director, and co-director of the Bay Days 10K. She coached the Bethel High School boys cross country team for 10 years (including qualifying for the state championships in 2004-05, the only coach to do so). Along with husband Dave, she has coordinated the popular Trailzilla Race Series at Sandy Bottom Nature Park for a decade (held in June and July). She also has won the PTC Volunteer Award two years.
Venable’s PRs include a 19:57 (Ft. Eustis 5K), 41:30 (Coast Guard 10K), 1:10 (Watermen’s Museum 10 Miler), 3:30 (twice at the Shamrock Marathon, and once again at the Kiawah Island Marathon), 4:47 (Seashore State Park 50K), 8:51 (Umstead 50 Miler, second female), 12:48 (100K), and 24:21 (2011 Javelina Jundred 100 Miler).
As the leader of “Rhonda Tours” she has organized friends from the PTC most summers, and completed a four-day hike in 2009 of the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, a double rim-to-rim hike of the Grand Canyon, the Laurel Highlands (PA) 70 Mile Run and Relay, the Trans Amer-Cana International Relay, the Colorado Outward Bound Relay, the Grand Teton Relay, the Michigan 3-Day Relay (three different years), and the Reach the Beach Relay (New Hampshire).
Competitively, Rhonda was part of the second-place team in national points standings for Ride & Tie (a combination of running and horseriding competition with one horse and two runners over a 30-mile course), as well as top five individual nationally in Ride & Tie. She was part of the winning teams in the 2008 Mud Run, the 2010 Grand Teton Cache Relay-Ultra Division (6 runners, 195 miles), and the 2001 Amer-Cana International Relay (220 miles). Other highlights are the UROC 100K (6th female), Virginia Beach Fat Ass 50K (1st overall men and women), Camp Lejeune European cross country (2nd female), and the Trans Rockies 5-Day Race (180 miles).
Jennifer Quarles of Williamsburg is a six-time Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix champion, and was the CRR’s Grand Prix runner-up in both 2011 and ’12. Originally from Yorktown, where she played field hockey as Jen Domin at Tabb High, Quarles picked up running in her late 20s when she moved to Williamsburg with husband Dan (and daughters Haley and Avery). In the past decade Quarles has won more women’s first-place overalls at CRR races than anyone ever. Her personal records span a wide range of distances, from an 18:12 at the 2006 Yorktown Fourth of July 5K to an 8:19 for the Uwharrie (NC) 40 miler. In between her PRs are 30:52 (2006 Ford’s Colony 8K), 39:59 (2011 Breast Health 10K), 50:39 (2006 Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler), 1:23:29 (2006 Shamrock Half Marathon) and 2:59:11 (2005 Richmond Marathon).
Notable races by Quarles include wins at the 2004 Grizzly Marathon (Choteau, MT, 3:26), the 2005 Moab Marathon (Utah, 3:16), the 2011 Norfolk Freedom Half Marathon (1:29) and the 2012 Run for the Dream Half Marathon in Williamsburg (1:29 adjusted time). She won $1,000 prize money at the 2003 Chesapeake Bay Bridge Marathon (3:23), and completed the 2004 Boston Marathon, despite 85-degree heat (“ran easy and had a blast”).
Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico, Ed Moran, and Dick Pierce
Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico, Ed Moran, and Dick Pierce were the three inductees into the 2013 class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame, announced the last two weekends of January, first at the Peninsula Track Club awards banquet at the Edgehill Association Clubhouse in Yorktown (Jan. 18th), then at the Colonial Road Runners awards banquet at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse in Williamsburg (Jan. 25th). This is the eighth inductee class into the Hall of Fame, coordinated jointly by the PTC and the CRR.
The previous seven Hall of Fame classes were Joan Coven, the late Michael Mann, and John Piggott in 2006; Rick Platt, Valerie Plyler, and the late Tom Ray in 2007; Lew Faxon, Rob Hinkle, and Andrew Polansky in 2008; Barbara Biasi, Ed Richards, and Robert S. White in 2009; Stephen Chantry, Jim Goggin, and John Hort in 2010; Joe Harney, Larry Turner, and Lori Eady Melle in 2011; and Bruce Davis, Rhonda Venable, and Jennifer Quarles in 2012.
Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico, 56, of Newport News won the 2013 Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix title, the oldest female ever to win the overall award. Her eight overall wins in CRR Grand Prix races in 2013 included Queens Lake, Walsingham (a Virginia state women’s 55-59 record of 20:01), Warhill, Sweatin’ for Scholarships, York River State Park, Colonial Heritage (19:55), Ford’s Colony 8K (33:29), and Run for the Hills 10K (42:33). She came close to her 20:01 state record, and the 20-minute barrier at both Crapolfest (20:07), and Governor’s Land (20:04), both on USATF-certified courses, age grading over a world-class 90% level in each. After turning 55 in September, 2012, Mercedes initially broke the Virginia state 55-59 record at the December, 2012 Sentara Sleighbell 5K with a time of 20:12, smashing the previous mark of 20:49 by Susie Klutz of North Carolina from 1996.
Castillo-D’Amico was also the 2009 Peninsula Track Club Grand Prix champion, a year she and husband Andrew D’Amico were fixtures at the finish line volunteering for countless races. Mercedes also broke the age-group record five straight years, including three overall wins, at the Coast Guard 5K in Yorktown, first in the 50-54 category, then in 2013 in the 55-59 category. She bettered the previous Virginia state 10K record for women age 55-59 (42:38 by Barbara Mathewson of Virginia Beach in 2005) three times in 2013, a 41:53 at the Fort Eustis 10K, a 42:26 at the Monument Avenue 10K, and a 41:40 at the Elizabeth River Run 10K, but only the Monument Avenue time officially counted due to course measurement technicalities beyond her control. The Ft. Eustis 10K course certification had expired two months before that race, and the Elizabeth River Run had a construction-related course change the week of the event, but was not re-certified.
Castillo-D’Amico was also third for her 50-54 age group at the USATF national 8K road championship, part of the Run for the Dream race weekend in Williamsburg. She is a Zumba instructor and personal trainer, and much of her running success comes from the intense daily Zumba workouts to accompany her running training.
Ed Moran, 32, a four-time All-American while at William and Mary, and who lived and trained in Williamsburg from 2000 to 2012, is the fastest long distance runner ever on the Peninsula, excelling on the roads, on the track, and in cross country. He holds the all-time Colonial Road Runners records for both the 5K (a Virginia state record 14:13 at the 2010 Run the D.O.G. Street 5K in Williamsburg) and the 8K (a 23:58 at the 2011 Icelandic Seafood Fest 8K in Newport News), both times also the fastest ever run on the Peninsula.
He also had impressive road wins at the 2011 Run the D.O.G. 5K (14:38) and the PTC’s 2006 Yorktown Freedom Run 5K (14:39), but his fastest road times were in national championships—a 22:53 at the 2007 USA 8K Championship, a winning 28:19 at the 2010 USATF 10K Championships, a 44:27 at the 2009 US 15K Championship, and a 46:51 at the 2011 USA 10 Mile Championship. At the longest road distances, Moran ran a 1:02:51 at the 2012 New York City Half Marathon, and a ninth-place 2:11:47 at the 2011 New York City Marathon, both times the fastest ever run by a Peninsula resident.
He also excelled on the track, with lifetime bests of 4:00.01 at the 2008 Falmouth (MA) Mile; a 7:47.86 for 3,000 meters (2008) and 13:20.25 for 5,000 meters (2010), both in Sweden; and a 27:43.13 at Stanford (2007). He was fourth in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials 10,000 meters (27:52.10), just missing the Olympic team, but won the 2007 Pan American Games 5,000 meters. In cross country he was on the U.S. team to the 2008 and ’09 IAAF World Cross Country Championships. He holds Christopher Newport University indoor track facility records at both the 3,000 and 5,000 meters.
After a year at the University of Richmond, Moran transferred to William and Mary in August 2000 as a sophomore. H received his undergraduate BBA degree in 2003, with a double major in finance and government, his MPP (Masters of Public Policy) degree in 2005, and his MBA degree in 2011. His mother moved to Williamsburg in 2007, so although now living in Northern Virginia, he still visits the Peninsula regularly.
Moran retired from competitive racing, due to injury, in early 2012, and is now coaching. While in Williamsburg, he was the race director of the 2011 Yorktown Victory Run while an MBA student at William and Mary (the race is organized annually by the W&M Mason School of Business), was an assistant track coach at W&M (2005-09 as a full-time assistant and 2009-11 as a grad assistant), and worked at the Colonial Sports running store (2004-06). At age 32, he is the youngest ever inducted into the Hall of Fame, but had a longer racing career than most of the previous inductees, over 17 years of serious running at the highest levels.
Dick Pierce was a two-time president of the Peninsula Track Club (1985-86), as well as one of the three founders of the Slug Track Team (he is called Slug #3), a semi-official running social group often seen in the parking lots after PTC races. He started running at age 39, but set all of his lifetime bests in 1984 at age 45, including a 17:32 for 5K, 27:56 for 8K, 36:30 for 10K, 1:00:32 for 10 miles, 1:21:16 at the Colonial Half Marathon, and a 2:51:03 at the Shamrock Marathon. Years later in the 65-69 age group, he ran impressive times of 35:16 at the Shamrock 8K and 1:37:30 at the Pomoco Group Hampton Coliseum Half Marathon, going undefeated in 2004 in 14 races in that 65-69 age group. He qualified for and ran the 2009 Boston Marathon at age 70.
Larry Turner, one of the other founders of the Slug Track Team, himself a past PTC president and a member of the Road Racing Hall of Fame, is a long-time friend who has run countless workouts with Pierce on the CNU track. At that time their racing times were sometimes overlooked in the glory days of American roadracing, but which look better and better as the years go by. Turner is fond of saying, “We were STUDS back then, and didn’t know it!” At one time Pierce held eight Colonial Road Runners age group records.
Turner wrote that Pierce’s running accomplishments, “plus his PTC presidency, volunteering, years as a track and cross-country official (assistant starter at the 1983 and ’91 NCAA Division III cross country nationals), several times Clerk of the Course at numerous CNU regional and conference meets, and a track official at CNU for many years, equates to a Hall of Fame worthy body of work.” He was also Ronnie Garner’s assistant at the 1985 TAC/Virginia Track Meet (the predecessor to the USATF).
Turner continued, “While Dick didn’t have a lot of ‘git down speed,’ it’s a shame that ultras were not popular during his 40’s and 50’s, even 60’s, because Dick could run all day at a good race pace, and never got hurt, plus he had a great mentality (stupidity?) for long distances.”
Pierce has not been active in PTC races the past couple years, after a tanker truck ran into his car in Carrollton, with major injuries, but he had a knee replacement last October. He is able to play golf, though, another of his passions. His fellow Slug Track Team and PTC friends still expect to see him out on the roads at a PTC race sometime, no matter what the speed.
George Fenigsohn, Chris Papile and Langston Shelton were the three inductees into the 2014 class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame, announced the third and fourth Saturdays of January, first at the Peninsula Track Club awards banquet at the Edgehill Association Clubhouse in Yorktown, then at the Colonial Road Runners awards banquet at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse in Williamsburg. This is the ninth inductee class into the Hall of Fame, coordinated jointly by the PTC and the CRR.
The previous eight Hall of Fame classes were Joan Coven, the late Michael Mann, and John Piggott in 2006; Rick Platt, Valerie Plyler and the late Tom Ray in 2007; Lew Faxon, Rob Hinkle and Andrew Polansky in 2008; Barbara Biasi, Ed Richards and Robert S. White in 2009; Stephen Chantry, Jim Goggin and John Hort in 2010; Joe Harney, Larry Turner and Lori Eady Melle in 2011; Bruce Davis, Rhonda Venable and Jennifer Quarles in 2012; and Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico, Ed Moran and Dick Pierce in 2013.
For the second consecutive year, a former William and Mary track athlete was inducted, four-time All-American Moran last year, and George Fenigsohn this year. There is one huge difference, though. Moran was a world-class runner, who just missed qualifying for the 2008 Olympic team at 10,000 meters, has the fastest road times ever run on the Peninsula at both the 5K (14:13 at the 2010 Run the D.O.G. Street Challenge in Williamsburg) and the 8K (23:58 at the 2011 Icelandic Seafood Fest in Newport News), and had track bests of 4:00.01 (mile), 13:20.25 (5,000 meters) and 27:43.13 (10,000 meters), and who ran a 2:11:47 debut at the 2011 New York City Marathon.
In contrast, Fenigsohn himself will tell you he was not that talented of a runner, starting at Newport News High School under the legendary coach Julie Conn, although he tried hard. He tells the story of former W&M track coach Harry Groves, a notably blunt person, taking him aside, and saying, “George, you run so slow, you might as well be walking!” And that’s exactly what he became, a race walker in 1967 while competing for W&M in track meets. Fenigsohn has been the premier race walker on the Peninsula since then, almost 50 years. He is the first race walker inducted into the Hall of Fame, both for his accomplishments as a race walker, but also for his dedication to the sport through the years, conducting countless race-walking clinics or workshops, and encouraging many others to take up the sport. He has justifiably been known for years as the “Race Walking Guru of the Peninsula.”
Fenigsohn’s race walking PRs are 7:35 (mile), 26:08 (5K), 56:22 (10K) 1:31 (8 miles) and 1:56 (20K). Despite what Groves said, he was actually relatively fast as a runner, at least by local road racing standards, going 5:00 for the mile, 17:36 for the 5K, 37:07 for the 10K, and 1:26 for the half marathon. But it is his race walking accomplishments that got him into the Hall of Fame. While at W&M he raced indoors at New York City’s Madison Square Garden and in Baltimore; and at the Pan American Games Trials 20K in 1968. Later, as a Masters racewalker, he competed in the Penn Relays in 1999 (with his 10K PR of 56:22), and at the National Senior Games in 2003 (placing third in the nation at the 1,500 and 5,000 meters).
Fenigsohn was twice honored by the Peninsula Sports Club, was first place several times in the Virginia Senior Games, and has been nationally ranked in his age group for racewalking. A Poquoson resident, and with a doctorate in counseling, he is now a counselor for Thomas Nelson Community College in Hampton, and a therapist for Rock Landing Psychological Group in Newport News. Earlier he was a family life teacher in the York County school system.
Chris Papile, from Newport News, is one of the unsung and almost forgotten runners from the 1980s, who the current generation of runners has no clue about how good they really were. And that’s one of the purposes of the Hall of Fame, to recognize these runners for their many accomplishments. Papile was most noted for his marathons, of which he ran 21, including four Bostons and two New Yorks. His marathon PR of 2:34:49 came at New York City in 1981, but he also ran two 2:35s, one 2:36, and one 2:38. At age 42, he ran a 2:42:12 at the 1995 Philadelphia Marathon.
Papile did not run in high school at Ferguson High (playing baseball and football instead), nor in college (undergrad at Christopher Newport College, law school at the University of Richmond), picking up the sport later in life. His PRs, all between 1981 and 1984, include a 5K split of 15:50 on the way to a 32:12 at the 1982 Coliseum Mall 10K, 26:20 for 8K (1982 Shamrock), 32:08 for 10K (1982 Bay Days), 43:30 for 8 miles (1983 Carter’s Grove) 53:30 for 10 miles (1982 CNC 10 Miler), 1:12:15 for the half marathon (1984 Colonial Half) and 1:23:09 for 15 miles (1983 Yorktown). He also completed the JFK 50 miler in 1986 in 7:51:23. After years of practicing law, he became a judge in Norfolk last year.
But perhaps Papile’s most amazing accomplishment was running at least 100 miles per week for 258 of 287 weeks during a 5½ year span, from Jan. 16, 1983 to July 7, 1988, with only eight days off. That truly shows a deep love of running that has deservedly gotten him into the Hall of Fame.
After a successful high school career, Langston Shelton, a physical education teacher from Grafton, started running again in 1982 at age 35 with the notorious “Kamikaze” training group that ran 15 miles every Saturday morning, from the Newport News Park Campgrounds to the Yorktown Visitor Center and back.
At Giles High School in southwestern Virginia, Shelton was the Virginia state cross country champion, his team also winning the state title in Williamsburg in the early 1960s. After resuming his running career, he joined the PTC and was vice president for several years, most notably selling PTC clothing out of his van for many years.
Shelton’s lifetime PRs all came in his early to mid 40s, and include a 16:01.5 for 5K (Oyster Point), 27:26 for 8K (Langley AFB), 57:57 for 10 miles (Yorktown Battlefield), and 1:17:06 for the half marathon (Colonial). While still running daily, he took a break from competitive running, from age 45 to age 55, while raising his three kids, Adam, Michael and Rachel.
Shelton’s second comeback included winning the 60-64 age group at the Colonial Half four straight years, and only a bout of the flu kept him from a clean sweep. He still ran sub 20-minute 5Ks until age 63. At age 65, he broke the Monument Avenue 10K race record for the 65-69 age group with a 43:32 in 2011 (bettering Ben Dyer’s mark), and had previously run a 40:57 at Monument Avenue at age 62. He still holds the Queens Lake 5K record for men 60-64, a fast 19:41 at age 62 in 2009. Shelton had a sub-6:45 pace for a 53:57 at age 62 in the Yorktown Victory Run 8 Miler, and ran 21:10 at age 65 at the Governor’s Land 5K.
Two Williamsburg runners, Randy Hawthorne and Mark Tompkins were the two additional inductees into the 2015 class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame, announced the third and fifth Saturdays of January, first at the Peninsula Track Club awards banquet at the Edgehill Association Clubhouse in Yorktown on Jan. 16, then at the Colonial Road Runners awards banquet this coming Saturday at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse in Williamsburg. This is the tenth inductee class into the Hall of Fame, coordinated jointly by the PTC and the CRR.
The previous nine Hall of Fame classes were Joan Coven, the late Michael Mann, and John Piggott in 2006; Rick Platt, Valerie Plyler and the late Tom Ray in 2007; Lew Faxon, Rob Hinkle and Andrew Polansky in 2008; Barbara Biasi, Ed Richards and Robert S. White in 2009; Stephen Chantry, Jim Goggin and John Hort in 2010; Joe Harney, Larry Turner and Lori Eady Melle in 2011; Bruce Davis, Rhonda Venable and Jennifer Quarles in 2012; Mercedes Castillo-D’Amico, Ed Moran and Dick Pierce in 2013; and George Fenigsohn, Chris Papile and Langston Shelton in 2014.
For the third consecutive year, a former William and Mary track athlete was inducted. Two years ago it was Ed Moran, who holds the all-time Peninsula road records for the 5K (14:13 at the 2010 Run the D.O.G. Street 5K) and the 8K (23:58 at the 2011 Icelandic Seafood Fest in Newport News), and who ran a 2:11:47 at the 2011 New York Marathon. Last year it was Fenigsohn, the premier race walker on the Peninsula for the past 50 years, but who was actually inducted this year, as health problems a year ago kept him from accepting his awards at either the PTC or CRR banquets.
Randy Hawthorne is perhaps the most important reason the William and Mary men’s and women’s cross country and track teams have sustained such a high level of excellence for the past half century, especially in distance running. Tribe athletic directors, coaches and runners come and go, and there have been countless All-Americans, conference championships, and team and individual qualifiers for the NCAA, IC4A and ECAC Championships, but there has been one constant through the years—Hawthorne. As the president of the Spiked Shoe Society (since 1972 for the track alumni and friends booster club), the fundraising arm for track and field, and cross country, for the William and Mary Athletic Educational Foundation, Hawthorne has personally raised over $6 million for the program, to support scholarships, coach’s salaries, travel and administrative costs through the years.
There are now 48 named scholarships for W&M track, all due to Hawthorne. He published Track Talk, a newsletter about W&M’s track teams for 31 years, from 1976 to 2007. For his efforts, he has already been inducted into the William and Mary Athletic Hall of Fame (1989), received the Alumni Service Award from the Society of the Alumni (1999), the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, jointly with his wife Shelby, for volunteerism (2003), a Tribe Club Appreciation Dinner (2005), the Aubrey Mason Sr. volunteer-of-the-year award (2006-7, again jointly with Shelby), and finally, the Alumni Medallion, the highest honor the Alumni Society can award (2007).
The Hawthornes have hosted annually a Christmas Party, and a Colonial Relays alumni and coach’s party, at their home overlooking Lake Matoaka. They have worked countless cross country and track meets at the college, as well as February’ Colonial Half Marathon.
Although Hawthorne emphasizes his inductions into both the W&M Athletic and Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Halls of Fame, was not due to his running, he is actually a very good runner. He started running in 1957 as a sixth grader. He was a member of the 1962 Washington-Lee High School team (Arlington) that won the Virginia State 1A Championship in cross country, as well as the Northern Virginia Regional and the W&M Invitational, all his senior year. On the roads Hawthorne has run 15 marathons, with three under 2:50, including his PR 2:48:47 at the 1980 New York City Marathon. Training as much as 90 miles per week, and with a lifetime total of 115,000 miles, he ran a 1:18 at the first Colonial Half Marathon in 1979, finished the JFK 50 Miler in 1982, and has broken the 34-minute barrier for the 10K (a PR 33:57).
For the Colonial Road Runners, Hawthorne, professionally an accountant, has been the club treasurer since 1994. He was second in the 60-and-over category for the CRR Grand Prix in 2007. He has won Peninsula Track Club Grand Prix awards the past three years (including first male runner-up in 2013), largely due to points earned from volunteering. At W&M, class of 1967, then track coach Harry Groves took him aside and said he’d help the team more as a manager. Hawthorne accepted, and the rest is history, and the W&M track program will never be the same.
Mark Tompkins, on his running alone, meets the standards for the Hall of Fame, but his contributions to the sport go well beyond that. He has been the cross country and track coach, first at Walsingham Academy, and now at Bruton High School for many years. And in March, 2014 he founded the Greater Williamsburg Distance Running Club, organizing workouts and races for youth runners (40 total).
In running, his road PRs include a 14:58 (5K), 25:04 (8K) and 31:42 (10K), all in 1999. He ran a 55:09 at the 2009 Yorktown Battlefield 10 Miler, and a 1:12:56 at the 2005 Running Crab Half Marathon. On the track his bests include a 3:53 for the 1,500 meters, 4:13 for the mile, 8:29 for 3,000 meters, and 15:05 for 5,000 meters. He competed in cross country and track for the U.S. Naval Academy from 1995-99. After turning 40 last October, he ran a 16:08 at the Southeast Footlocker Championships 5K cross country, winning the Masters competition. He is a three-time men’s overall champion of the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix.
As part of his coaching, Tompkins was race director once for the W&M Homecoming Run 5K (while at Walsingham), then twice for the Queens Lake 5K (while at Bruton), both CRR Grand Prix events. His Bruton runners have won numerous honors, including female Daily Press Athlete of the Year (Carley Shannon in 2012), and three Virginia Gazette Athletes of the Year (Caroline Wilke, Michi Cody and Shannon). He is the meet director for the Big Cat Invite, a cross country meet for 37 teams and 1,200 athletes in October.