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Katherine Switzer to be Inducted into NYRR Hall of Fame

Marathon
Trailblazers Germán Silva, George Spitz, Allan Steinfeld, and Kathrine
Switzer to Be Celebrated as 2014 NYRR Hall of Fame Inductees on
Thursday, October 30

 

President and owner of Amdur Productions and former sports editor of the
New York Times Neil Amdur will receive the prestigious George Hirsch Journalism award

 

Ceremonies to honor inductees will take place during TCS New York City Marathon Race Week on October 30 at 3:00 p.m.

 

New York, October 20, 2014‰ÛÓFour
of distance running’s greatest revolutionaries‰ÛÓGermán Silva, George
Spitz, Allan Steinfeld, and Kathrine Switzer‰ÛÓwill comprise the 2014
induction
class of the NYRR Hall of Fame, and president and owner of Amdur
Productions and former sports editor at the New York Times Neil
Amdur, will receive the George Hirsch Journalism Award, it was announced
today by Mary Wittenberg, president and CEO of
New York Road Runners, and George Hirsch, chairman of the board of New
York Road Runners. All five award-winners will be honored at the 2014
Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Press Conference and Presentation of
the George Hirsch Journalism Award on Thursday,
October 30, at 3:00 p.m. at the Race-week Media Center at the Jacob K.
Javits Convention Center.

 

The NYRR Hall of
Fame, adding its fourth induction class since its creation in 2011,
honors individuals for their extraordinary accomplishments in the sport
of distance running.

 

“The 2014 NYRR Hall
of Fame induction class has exponentially elevated the sport of distance
running to the level of awareness it stands at today, providing global
outreach to millions to lead healthy, active lifestyles
through running,” said Wittenberg. “Without the courageous leadership
of Germán, George, Allan, and Kathrine to selflessly strive for
excellence in the world of running, organizations like NYRR could not
have evolved in the ways we have.  We salute their impeccable
leadership and commitment to improving lives through running.”

 

Silva, of Mexico, is a
repeat champion of the New York City Marathon (1994, 1995) and the 2011
Abebe Bikila Award recipient, remembered best for recovering from a
wrong turn into Central Park 25.5 miles into his
first victory. “Wrong Way Silva,” as he became known, charged down the
last straightaway to win by two seconds after losing his share of the
lead by 12 to 13 seconds. In addition to his impressive athletics
résumé, which includes third place at the 1994 London
Marathon, a silver medal at the 1994 IAAF World Half-Marathon
Championships, and a pair of sixth-place finishes at the 1992 and 1996
Olympic Games in the 10,000 meters, he is renowned for his incredible
humanitarian efforts. He has donated winnings to bring
electricity to his village, organizes events to encourage running in
rural communities, and distributes running shoes to children throughout
Mexico.

 

Spitz is the father
of the five-borough New York City Marathon, which began in 1976. Spitz’s
idea for the five-borough marathon became a reality after he presented
the idea to the then Manhattan borough president,
Percy Sutton, and eventually persuaded NYRR president and marathon
co-founder Fred Lebow. He graduated with an economics and accounting
degree from Columbia University in 1949 after serving as a radio
mechanic in the Air Force during World War II. An avid
runner, Spitz has completed more than two dozen marathons.

 

Steinfeld is the
former president and CEO of NYRR and former race director of the New
York City Marathon. An NYRR member since 1963, he joined the NYRR staff
in 1978, working for and leading the organization until
2005. Born and raised in the Bronx, Steinfeld attended Hunter College,
where he became a star sprinter and learned to love the sport and
benefits of running. Upon graduating and earning his master’s degree in
electrical engineering and radio astronomy from
Cornell University, the 2009 Abebe Bikila Award recipient took the
sport of running to new levels, serving as the meet director of the
Goodwill Games, the New York Games, and the USATF Indoor National
Championships and as the chief referee of the 1984 men’s
and women’s Olympic marathons.

 

Switzer made history
in 1967 by becoming the first woman to run the Boston Marathon with an
official bib number, despite efforts made by event organizers to remove
her from the course. Switzer moved to Virginia
from Germany at a young age, finding empowerment in running, which
eventually led to her famous Boston Marathon performance. The champion
of both the 1974 New York City Marathon and the 1975 Boston Marathon
became a crusader for women’s sports as the director
of Avon Sports Programs‰ÛÓa series of women’s races that paved the way
for the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon in 1984. She is a prominent
journalist, author, and television commentator and has received numerous
awards for her accomplishments, including the
2003 Abebe Bikila Award, inaugural induction into the National Distance
Running Hall of Fame, the 2000 Fred Lebow Award, and 2011 induction
into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

 

The George Hirsch
Journalism Award recognizes excellence in the reporting, writing, and
broadcasting of the sport of marathon and distance running. Amdur is the
award’s fifth recipient since its establishment in
2010.

 

“Perhaps Neil Amdur’s
love affair with the sport of running began as a high school
quarter-miler at Plymouth High School in Pennsylvania. As a writer,
editor, and finally the sports editor of the
New York Times, Neil has a passion for track and field, and later
for distance running, that did as much as that of any other journalist
to heighten the public’s awareness of the sport,” said Hirsch. “His
biography of Vince Matthews, the 1972 Olympic
champion at 400 meters, was one of the best-received sports books of
its time.”

 

Amdur was a pioneer
among sports journalists, especially among running and track and field
reporters.  He covered Frank Shorter’s Olympic marathon victory in 1972,
the first five-borough New York City Marathon
in 1976, and thrilling New York City Marathon victories by Alberto
Salazar and Grete Waitz. He also covered the massacre at the 1972 Munich
Olympic Games and became the first journalist to write about being
onboard a hijacked commercial airplane. After serving
as a CBS football and tennis producer, he made it big as the
editor-in-chief of
World Tennis
magazine from 1984 to 1990 and as the New York Times
sports editor from 1990 to 2002. He scripted and appeared in numerous
films, authored many books, and continues to run his multimedia company,
Amdur Productions, which he incorporated
in 1975.

 

About New York Road Runners and the TCS New York City Marathon

The TCS New York City Marathon is the most
popular and inclusive marathon in the world, attracting the world’s top
professional athletes and a vast range of recreational runners. The race
began in 1970 with just 127 entrants racing four
laps of Central Park. Today, an estimated 50,000 runners from around
the world tour New York City’s five boroughs. Millions of fans cheer the
runners from the streets and watch the global television broadcast. The
race is part of the World Marathon Majors,
an alliance of the world’s six most important marathons that each year
determines the world’s top male and top female marathoner. Tata
Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting,
and business solutions organization, is the Premier
Partner of NYRR and is in its inaugural year as title sponsor of the
TCS New York City Marathon. To learn more, visit www.tcsnycmarathon.com.

 

The TCS New York City
Marathon is the premier event of New York Road Runners. Founded in
1958, New York Road Runners has grown from a local running club to the
world’s premier community running organization, whose
mission is to help and inspire people through running, to Run for Life.
NYRR’s commitment to New York City’s five boroughs features races,
community events, youth initiatives, school programs, and training
resources that provide hundreds of thousands of people
each year, from children to seniors, with the motivation, know-how, and
opportunity to run for life.  More than 200,000 students are served
locally and nationally through NYRR’s free youth running programs,
events, and resources, including more than 120,000
in New York City’s five boroughs. To learn more, visit www.nyrr.org.

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