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Colorado Running Hall of Fame Announces 2013 Inductees

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Doug Bell | Copyright photorun.net

Doug Bell | Copyright photorun.net

The Colorado Running Hall of Fame Selection Committee announces the 2013 inductee class: Doug Bell, Nancy Hobbs, Jay Johnson, Lidia Simon, Marshall Ulrich, and Jane Welzel. The Colorado Running Hall of Fame recognizes Colorado residents for their achievement and contribution to the sport of distance running. The class will be inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame on Wednesday, April 10th at the Denver Athletic Club at 6:00 p.m.

Doug Bell has been running since the 1970′s and still holds several national age group records.  He has three Denver Marathon victories under his belt, in 1980, 1982, and 1986, and he set his marathon personal best of 2:23:24 at the 1981 Dallas White Rock Marathon.  As a Masters runner, Bell continued to excel, and was named 1991 USATF 40-44 Age Division Runner of the Year.  He set Masters Records in 1992 in both the 5K (14:36) and 25K (1:21:24), as well as set the American Indoor Mile record in 2006 in 4:49:62 at age 55.  He was the 2011 USATF Cross Country Masters 60-64 Age Division Winner and led his Master’s Team to the Team Championship.  He started Bells Running Store in Greeley in 1986 and continues to train in his own Bells Running Group.

Nancy Hobbs has been running trails and directing running events since the mid-80′s and her articles and photographs about the sport have been published in magazines including Runner’s World, Running Times, Trail Runner, and Ultrarunner.  She is the founder and executive director of the American Trail Running Association, a council member of the World Mountain Running Association, manager of the US Mountain Running Team (starting the women’s team in 1995), and chairperson of the USATF Mountain Ultra Trailrunning Council.  Hobbs lives in Colorado Springs, traveling extensively both nationally and worldwide to support and promote trail and mountain running.

Jay Johnson is an elite mountain runner and record holder.  He was an impressive high school distance runner, running a 2:28 marathon as junior at Paavo Nurmi in 1977, earning one of the top five times in the US.  He was the first American to win the World Mountain Championships in 1987, and also placed 9th in 1980, 22nd in 1991, and 24th in 1992.  He held the uphill record at the 32-kilometer Sierre-Zinal Mountain Race for many years at 1:45.  He won the Vail Hill Climb in 1987, as well as the Vogorno-Bardughee in 1988.  He founded the LaSportiva Mountain Cup in 2008, and is a donor & supporter of many US mountain running teams.  Johnson is a long-time Boulder resident and his wife Lilly, a two-time Bolder Boulder winner herself, manages Fleet Feet Sports there.

Lidia Simon is an elite long-distance runner, earning a silver medal in the marathon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where she represented Romania. She competed in five Olympic Marathons (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012). She is a six-time participant at the World Championships in Athletics, winning gold in 2001 and taking bronze medals at the Marathon World Championships in 1997 and 1999.  She holds three victories at the Osaka Ladies Marathon (1998, 1999, and 2000) and set her personal best during her win in 2000 at 2:22:54.  She placed 1st in the 2007 Toray Cup Shanghai Marathon. She also won the first edition of the combined Osaka Marathon in 2011, and then again in 2012.  Her half-marathon personal best time of 1:08:34 is the Romanian national record and she won the Bolder Boulder in 1999 and the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in 2011.

Marshall Ulrich is an elite extreme endurance athlete, as well as an accomplished speaker, author, trainer, and guide.  Ulrich has finished over 125 ultra marathons, climbed the Seven Summits, including Everest, all on first attempts, and has completed 12 expedition-length adventure races.  At the age of 57, Ulrich broke two transcontinental speed records when he ran 3,063.2 miles in 52.5 days from San Francisco to New York, about which he wrote his book, “Running on Empty.”  A record four-time winner of the Badwater Ultramarathon and still the record holder to the summit of Mount Whitney, Marshall has crossed Death Valley on foot, in July, a record 25 times, including the first-ever self-supported circumnavigation of Death Valley National Park.  Ulrich has also raised more than $850,000 for various charities.

Jane Welzel is a five-time Olympic Trials Marathon participant (1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, and 2000).  She has won several marathons including the 1979 Nittany Valley Marathon (2:48:47), the 1983 Philadelphia Marathon (2:36:18), and the 1988 Hokkaido Marathon (2:40:53).  Following a terrible car accident in 1984 that broke her neck and left her in a body cast for three months, Welzel amazingly recovered, again qualifying for the Olympic Trials, and was named Runners World Comeback Runner of the Year in 1988.  She went on to become the National Marathon Champion in 1990 (2:33:24) and then win the 1992 Grandma’s Marathon in 2:33:01, setting a personal best.   She was the 1996 USATF National 25K Champion (open and master) (1:29:47), both the 1996 and 1997 USATF Master Runner of the year, as well as the 1997 Runners World Master Runner of the year.

“The Colorado Running Hall of Fame honors those who have truly elevated the sport of running in our state,” said Creigh Kelley, Race Director of Kaiser Permanente Colfax Marathon.  “The inductees are chosen not only for their incredible accomplishments, but also their dedication to the Colorado running community.”

Past inductees into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame include Olympians Frank Shorter, Lorraine Moller and Arturo Barrios. The 7th annual induction ceremony and reception will be held on Wednesday, April 10th at the Denver Athletic Club at 6:00 p.m.  The event is open to the public, with a limited number of tickets available for purchase.

To learn more about the Colorado Running Hall of Fame or to purchase tickets to the induction ceremony, visit www.corunninghalloffame.com.

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