Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Running USA 2012 Hall of Champions Dinner and Auction Celebrates, Honors the Sport

Mammoth Track Club third Allan Steinfeld Development Award recipient; Joan Benoit Samuelson inducted into Hall of Champions

HOUSTON - (January 15, 2012) - At the Running USA Hall of Champions Dinner and Live Auction on Sunday evening at the Hyatt Regency Houston, distance running was celebrated and honored with the third Allan Steinfeld Development Award winner, one Hall of Champions inductee and a lively auction. The fun evening presented by Competitor Group was part of Running USA 2012: The Industry Conference, and the 9th edition with the theme "Passing the Torch: Running Toward the Future" opened to a record registration of more than 450 attendees in the Bayou City.

The Mammoth Track Club, based at altitude in Mammoth Lakes, Calif., was announced as the third Allan Steinfeld Development Award winner. The development award was named after Allan Steinfeld, a long-time leader in the sport, who jump-started the U.S. distance running resurgence when as head of the New York Road Runners he allocated $20,000 seed money ($1 per U.S. entry at the 2000 New York City Marathon) for the development program Team USA Distance Running. The team development program, launched in November 2000, produced training groups such as Team Running USA (two Olympic medals in 2004 and major marathon wins) and Team USA Minnesota (winner of the inaugural development award) and inspired the formation of others.

"Since 2001, the Mammoth Track Club has led the U.S. distance running resurgence and inspired other training groups and U.S. athletes to train hard and dream big. We applaud and salute their impressive achievements and running passion, and collectively we look forward to their continued success during this Olympic year and beyond," said Susan Weeks, Running USA CEO.

"All of us at the Mammoth Track Club are extremely excited to be granted the Allan Steinfeld Development Award for 2012. Allan and the entire Running USA organization are visionaries in the world of long distance running. The work that they have done over the past 12 years is hugely responsible for the resurgence of American distance running. Without the generosity of this organization and their members, groups like the Mammoth Track Club would not be in existence today," said Terrence Mahon, Mammoth Track Club head coach and founder.

"This grant award will allow us to keep pushing the level of American running to new heights. Thank you so much for your support and belief in the Mammoth Track Club. There are so many great running centers around the country right now, so for us to win this award means a lot to the athletes and coaches that are working tirelessly every day. Thanks again for your support," Mahon added.

The Mammoth Track Club, Team Running USA until 2009, has been the most decorated and successful group of U.S. distance runners over the past decade-plus. Since 2001, this training group has produced seven Olympians, earned two Olympic medals, has won more than 70 national titles and four major marathons and has also set more than 20 U.S. records and one world road record.

The 12-member training group includes 6 men (Scott Bauhs, Josh Cox, Mike McKeeman, Meb Keflezighi (2004 Olympic medalist), Jon Pierce and Patrick Smyth) and 6 women (Angela Bizzarri, Amy Hastings, Deena Kastor (2004 Olympic medalist), Anna Pierce (2008 Olympian), Jen Rhines (three-time Olympian) and Morgan Uceny) and 4 staff (Terrence Mahon, head coach and Mammoth Track Club founder; Bob Larsen, head coach and co-founder of Team Running USA; Rita Klabacha, team assistant coach and exercise physiologist, and Dennis Kline, strength coach.

For more information on the team, go to: www.mammothtrackclub.com

In addition, at the Sunday evening awards banquet and live auction, the ninth class of Running USA Hall of Champions was recognized for her contribution and dedication to the sport. The 2012 inductee, the 39th overall, was:

* Joan Benoit Samuelson (Freeport, ME), Olympic champion / record setter / race founder / legend / ambassador

"There can be no legitimate hall of fame in running without Joan Benoit Samuelson. Certainly U.S. women's long distance running reached the general public because of the exploits of Joan Benoit in her quest for the gold medal at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Over the past 28 years, she has inspired runners, both female and male, and her influence on the sport continues to be extraordinary," said Scott Dickey, President of Competitor Group. "It's a well-deserved tribute and Competitor Group is proud to support Running USA in honoring the greatest in the industry and the Hall of Champions induction sets the stage for a tremendous 2012 conference in Houston."

Overall, the conference's live auction raised more than $49,000 for the Mammoth Track Club and other Running USA programs.

For more information on Running USA 2012 and its annual award winners, visit: RunningUSA.org or contact Ryan Lamppa at (805) 696-6232 or ryan@runningusa.org 

 this article Courtesy of Running USA wire

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