FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 16, 2016
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RunVermont Announces 2016 Hall of Fame Inductees
Burlington, Vermont (May 16, 2016) – RunVermont is pleased to announce the 2016 inductees into the RunVermont Hall of Fame. The 2016 honorees represent a wide array of contributions to Vermont’s vibrant running community. All of the individuals have devoted years of service to the sport of running and have been active participants with a large breadth of engagements.
The RunVermont Hall of Fame now honors recipients in several categories:
Charter Members – the original members from the Vermont City Marathon Hall of Fame who received recognition for participation is every edition of the race from its inception in 1989 until 1998.
Runners of Distinction – those individuals, with a sustained running presence in Vermont, who’s running achievements and results place them in a performance category that separates them from their peers and contemporaries.
Coaches – those individuals who have made sustained and recognizable contributions to the development of Vermont’s running communities, events and runners that distinguishes them from their peers and contemporaries.
Advocates – those individuals who have made significant contributions to the Vermont running community to develop opportunities for runners, supported and/or produced running events and been instrumental in the development of the sport as a whole.
The 2016 RunVermont Hall of Fame Inductees are:
Matt Chandler – Matt Chandler is a coach. By definition and profession, he is also a teacher. A competitive runner and triathlete in his own right, he is that special kind of person who took his own love of running and chose to share it with so many others. Back in the late 1980’s only a handful of students at Edmunds Middle School considered running cross country. They had to depend on hard work and creative fundraising to even buy their first uniforms. Interest steadily grew over the years and now as many as 60 kids participate each year. In other words, one in every six students at Edmunds runs on Matt’s team.
But Matt’s influence on the sport of running extends far beyond his team at Edmunds. In 1989, Matt started the Chittenden County Championship Meet. Today the event has grown to involve over 500 participants and has become a showcase for up and coming endurance athletes as well as a celebration for kids of all abilities who love to run.
Matt’s positive attitude and supportive nature help all of his athletes feel comfortable taking the risks associated with tying competitive running and pushing through struggles. He has proven that the discipline of competitive running does not have to be at odds with the organic process of looking out for the greater good. Personal effort combines with team work. Leadership in its purest form is promoted. The result is human beings who gain an appreciation for a sport they may well enjoy for the rest of their lives. This is what Matt Chandler has brought to this discipline for nearly 30 years.
Mark Chaplin – A strong case can be made to call Mark Chaplin the dean of high school running in Vermont. He has arguably served longer than anyone current high school coach; a total of 43 years and counting. But it is more than just how long Mark has coached, it is the fact that he has coached for only one school in all that time; U-32 High School in East Montpelier.
Today, you will still find Mark coaching at that “school on the hill,” and his boys and girls teams in cross country, track and field, as well as Nordic skiing have won a combined 34 state championships with Mark at the helm.
A common value for all of these teams has been the fellowship that is shared among the athletes. Working together, getting the most out of one’s abilities, respecting one another, and, most importantly, having fun are the cornerstones of the programs Mark has built.
Jim Miller – Jim is an accomplished runner at a multitude of distances from the 440 to the marathon and perhaps most impressive among his lengthy list is the duration of his running career. As a standout runner in high school and college Jim continued to pursue his passion post college when he qualified to compete in the Olympic Trials Marathon in 1980 and 1984. And he hasn’t stopped competing ever since. And he continues to set new marks right into 2016. In 2015 Jim ran under 2:50 in both the Vermont City and Portland marathons. His mark in Portland last fall broke a decade’s old age group record. And he continues to set new marks right into 2016. And just this past February, Jim took a first place overall in the Marathon of the Treasure Coast in Stewart, FL at the age of 57. This collection of marathon results makes him one of the few runners to have broken 3 hours in 5 different decades and he’s under consideration for a World Record for the greatest elapsed time between a runner’s first marathon victory and the most recent marathon victory.
Judi St. Hilaire – a native Vermonter from Lyndon, Judi is perhaps Vermont’s most accomplished runners. Judi has excelled at every level of competition from high school to the Olympic stage. As a holder of many Vermont scholastic records, a Division I standout for UVM and an accomplished competitor on the national and international levels, her career took her to an appearance in the 1990 Barcelona Olympics in the 10,000 meters. Judi has held, or holds, distance running records in races and institutions around Vermont and New England and she serves as both an inspiration for today’s young athletes and as an ambassador for a sport that has been a lifelong passion.
The formal induction ceremonies will be conducted at a reception on Friday, May 27th, 2016 at 6pm in the Hilton Hotel as a part of the weekend festivities of the 2016 People’s United Bank Vermont City Marathon and Relay.
RunVermont is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization committed to the promotion of running as a life-long activity through complementary programs that celebrate the athletic spirit, are recognized nationally, and embrace the Vermont community. In addition to its premier Memorial Day weekend events; Peoples United Bank Vermont City Marathon and the MVP Health Ready, Set, Run Festival. RunVermont presents the FirstRun Burlington 5k each January, Half Marathon Unplugged in April, Island Vines 10k in September, Ready, Set, Run spring and summer youth running programs as well as consulting, timing and race services support for other Vermont running events.