UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The eleventh class was inducted to the Nation Distance Running Hall of Fame Saturday, at the 2012 Boilermaker Expo at MVCC. Glenn Cunningham, Horace Ashenfelter and Jacqueline Hansen were the three new inductees, the first since 2010.
Hansen, a pioneer in women's running who won 12 of her first 15 marathons, including Boston in 1973, was the only one there in person. Cunningham, a sliver medalist at the 1936 Olympics in the 1,500 meters as well as a multiple world record holder, passed away in 1988. Ashenfelter, a 17 time national champion and gold medalist in the 3,000 meter steeplechase at the 1952 Olympics, was unable to make the trip. Cunningham's daughter Sandi accepted the plaque in her father's honor, while Roger Robinson, husband of inductee and special guest Katherine Switzer, accpeted for Ashenfelter.
Another former inductee and special guest at the ceremony, "Boston" Bill Rodgers, talked to NEWSChannel 2 about the role Hansen played in advancing women's running.
"She set women's world records, but almost more important than setting records, because records all fall, teriffic achievement because it's a global sport. But that she pushed for other women to come into the sport and change the sport and have international competition at the olympic level for women in the US and all over the world. So Jacqueline's been a great spokesperson for the sport," Rodgers said.
ESPN running analyst Larry Rawson once again served as the master of ceremonies and told stories about all three inductees.