Marathon legends Alberto Salazar, Nina Kuscsik, and Miki Gorman will be inducted into the NYRR Hall of Fame in a ceremony on November 1 during the week leading up to the ING New York City Marathon, it was announced today by New York Road Runners president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.
Salazar, a three-time New York City Marathon champion; Kuscsik, a two-time winner and a beloved pioneer of women’s running; and Gorman, whose second victory, in 1977, makes her the last American woman to win the race, will be officially inducted at the Hall of Fame Ceremony at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, November 1, at the ING New York City Marathon Media Center presented by Timex.
The three will join last year’s inaugural class, former NYRR president Fred Lebow and nine-time New York City Marathon winner Grete Waitz of Norway.
New this year, banners will be raised in Central Park of the 2012 inductees, along with those of Lebow and Waitz, lining the finish line.
“Alberto, Nina, and Miki have each made such prominent and noteworthy advances in the world of distance running, and on behalf of NYRR, we are honored to induct them into our Hall of Fame,” said Wittenberg. “They will forever be an integral part of NYRR and the spectacle that the marathon is today. Nina and Miki are brave athletes, opening endless doors and opportunities for female runners, and Alberto’s legacy lives on, shining through in America’s best runners due to his unparalleled coaching abilities.”
Salazar, 54, won the 1980 New York City Marathon in 2:09:41, then the fastest American debut ever at the distance. It would be the first of Salazar’s three consecutive wins in the race. He also won the 1982 Boston Marathon in what became known as the “Duel in the Sun,” and made the U.S. Olympic Marathon team in 1980 and 1984, as well as setting U.S. records at 5000 meters and 10,000 meters on the track and five miles on the roads. In 1994, after years of battling injury, Salazar won the prestigious Comrades Marathon, a 56-mile ultramarathon in South Africa.
In his post-racing career, Salazar has coached top distance runners such as Galen Rupp, Dathan Ritzenhein, Kara Goucher, and Mo Farah, the 2012 double Olympic champion from Great Britain.
“I feel very honored to be inducted into the NYRR Hall of Fame,” said Salazar. “The three New York City Marathons I won were the highlight of my career, and I feel privileged to continue to be associated with the greatest marathon in the world.”
Kuscsik, 73, is an icon in the running world, winning the New York City Marathon in 1972 and 1973 and the Boston Marathon in 1972, the first year women were officially allowed to compete in that race. She has completed 80 marathons in her lifetime. Even bigger was Kuscsik’s political impact on the sport, pushing the AAU to allow women in their races and helping petition the IAAF to include the women’s marathon in the Olympic Games. She also helped legendary NYRR president Fred Lebow found the NYRR New York Mini 10K.
“It is truly an unexpected, extremely meaningful honor to be told that I will be inducted into the New York Road Runners Hall of Fame,” said Kuscsik. “With me always in my life as a runner are past and present members of the New York Road Runners who were the essence of encouragement for my treasured competitive running career and for learning and working on changing the rules for women so we could run marathons officially, have championships, and have the United States support the inclusion of the women’s Marathon in the Olympics.”
Gorman, 77, was born to Japanese parents in occupied China, and overcame childhood deprivation to move to the United States at the age of 28. She didn’t begin running until well into adulthood, and was 41 years old when, in 1976, she earned the first of her two consecutive New York City Marathon victories. Gorman is still the only woman to have won both the New York City and Boston marathons twice. In 1978, Gorman broke the world record in the half-marathon with a time of 1:15:58.
“I am not quite sure if I deserve to be inducted into the Hall of Fame,” said Gorman. “I am glad my personal best [2:39:11] was set in New York, but the time wasn't fast enough. It was only my fifth marathon, and a year and nine months after I gave birth to my daughter Danielle. I should have set the ultimate goal much higher in order to keep pursuing more from distance running.”
“Our races are to our sport what Wimbledon and the Australian, U.S., and French Opens are to tennis, and what the Masters, U.S., and British Opens and PGA Championship are to golf. Each race has the history, the tradition, the honor roll of legendary champions, and a special place in the eyes of all to make them stand apart from the other events.” Mary Wittenberg