Ethiopia: Haile Gebrselassie Inducted Into NYRR Hall Of Fame, Class Of 2015
New York—Marathon world record-setters and all-time greats Haile Gebrselassie, Tegla Loroupe, Paula Radcliffe, and Paul Tergat will be inducted into the NYRR Hall of Fame, Class of 2015, with Gebrselassie also receiving the 2015 Abebe Bikila Award, and award-winning running journalist Marc Bloom receiving the 2015 George A. Hirsch Journalism Award, it was announced today by New York Road Runners.
Since its creation in 2011, the NYRR Hall of Fame has honored individuals for their extraordinary accomplishments in the sport of distance running. All five award winners will be honored at the 2015 NYRR Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Abebe Bikila and George A. Hirsch Journalism Award Presentations on Thursday, October 29, at 3:00 p.m. at the TCS New York City Marathon Pavilion in Central Park.
“New York Road Runners and those involved in the sport of distance running are incredibly fortunate to have witnessed the stellar performances and contributions of Paula, Tegla, Paul, and Haile throughout their careers,” said Peter Ciaccia, president of events for NYRR and race director of the TCS New York City Marathon. “Their record-setting and medal-winning runs raised the sport to new heights, and they have selflessly used their leadership in the sport as a positive platform for change and inspiring people of all ages and abilities to improve their lives through running.”
Loroupe, of Kenya, is a two-time New York City Marathon champion (1994, 1995) and the former world record-holder in the marathon. Her victory in New York in 1994 was the first major marathon victory by an African woman. She has also won marathons at Rotterdam (1997, 1999), Berlin (1999), and London (2000) and won three consecutive IAAF World Half Marathon Championships from 1997 to 1999. In addition to her decorated running career, Loroupe, one of 25 children, is strongly connected to bettering the lives of youth in her home country. She spearheaded the Tegla Loroupe Peace Academy that provides educational opportunities to children in the Greater Horn of Africa region who’ve been displaced or orphaned by conflict or HIV/AIDS.
Radcliffe, of Great Britain, is a three-time New York City Marathon champion (2004, 2007, 2008), four-time Olympian, and the world record-holder in the marathon with a time of 2:15:25. She began running at the age of 11, and despite a history of asthma and anemia, quickly developed into one of the most accomplished distance runners of all time. In addition to her wins in New York, she has recorded marathon victories in London (2002, 2003, 2005), Chicago (2002), and the IAAF World Marathon Championships (2005). She completed her last competitive marathon at the 2015 London Marathon, ending a legendary career that also included a world record at 10K and gold medals at two IAAF World Half Marathon championships and two IAAF World Cross Country championships.
Tergat, of Kenya, won the 2005 New York City Marathon by the smallest margin of victory in race history—one second. He became the first person in history to run under 2:05:00 and is one of the most decorated men’s cross country runners in history, winning five consecutive IAAF World Cross Country Championship titles from 1995 to 1999. Tergat, a two-time Olympic silver medalist, won the 2003 Berlin Marathon and the gold medal at both the 1999 and 2000 IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships. Since retiring from competitive running, Tergat has teamed up with the United Nations to serve as a World Food Programme Ambassador Against Hunger, a program that has had a presence in his village since he was a child.
Gebrselassie, of Ethiopia, is a four-time world champion and two time Olympic gold medalist in the 10,000 meters, an event in which he formerly held the world record. He is the first athlete in history to run under 2:04:00 in the marathon and he set more than two dozen world records during his career. He has won marathon titles at Amsterdam (2005), Berlin (2006-2009), Dubai (2008-2010), and Fukuoka (2006). At the 2007 NYC Half, he set the event record of 59:24, which still stands.
For his outstanding contributions to the sport of distance running, both on and off the race course, Gebrselassie will also be the 2015 recipient of the Abebe Bikila Award.
Gebrselassie has established himself as a successful businessman and a mentor to young runners via the G4S 4teen program, which brings together young athletes from all over the world to work toward the goal of winning a gold medal at the Olympic Games. The award is named for the legendary 1960 and 1964 Olympic marathon champion from Ethiopia and has been presented annually by New York Road Runners since 1978. Past recipients include Grete Waitz, Fred Lebow, Bill Rodgers, Allan Steinfeld, Paul Tergat, Germán Silva, and the 2014 recipient, Dr. Norbert Sander.
“We are very pleased to present Haile with this year’s Abebe Bikila Award, acknowledging a career of superb athletic and humanitarian achievements,” said Michael Capiraso, president and CEO of NYRR. “Haile mirrors the athletic talent and integrity of Abebe Bikila, attaining the highest accolades in distance running and giving back to the sport and his home country equally as much. From helping kids in the G4S 4teen program achieve their Olympic dreams, to providing hundreds of people in Ethiopia with jobs through his personal business ventures, Haile has transcended the role of an athlete and become an international philanthropist.”
The George Hirsch Journalism Award recognizes excellence in the reporting, writing, and broadcasting of the sport of marathon and distance running. Bloom is the award’s sixth recipient since its establishment in 2010.
“I do not think there has ever been a journalist who has brought more passion, professionalism, and knowledge to the sport of distance running, track and field, and cross country than Marc Bloom,” said George Hirsch, chairman of the board of New York Road Runners. “Our sport has been enriched by his four decades as an editor, writer, reporter and active participant.”
Marc Bloom has been involved in all aspects of track and field, cross-country and road running for 50 years. He was editor-in-chief of The Runner magazine from 1978 to 1987 and a senior contributor to Runner’s World for 20 years; most recently, he has been a senior writer for Running Times. He has written nine books, and he founded, and for 25 years published, The Harrier high school cross-country magazine, which featured the original national team rankings that helped grow the sport of high school cross country. His work has also appeared in New York Magazine, World Tennis, Skiing, Health, American Health, and Good Health, published by The New York Times.