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Andy Schachat's On the Run: Time has come for NH road racing Hall of Fame

November 02. 2013 4:26AM

They say if you have a goal and you speak of it to others, the chances of the goal being met are improved. Hopefully, that also goes for writing it down and sharing because today that is exactly what I am going to do.

I have a goal for the upcoming year and I figure if I let the New Hampshire running community know what I am thinking, the plans will come to fruition. So, folks here is what I am thinking: By this time next year there will be a New Hampshire Road Race Hall of Fame.

In order for an entity to establish a Hall of Fame it should meet three criteria: history, tradition and prestige. The Granite State road race scene has that. For decades, runners have proven themselves on the New Hampshire roads, and beyond, and their accomplishments should be preserved in a special way. There is no better way to do that than with a Hall of Fame.

New Hampshire has something else going for it. The state is small enough that it is easier to monitor what goes on than in larger states. I would think it would be hard for runners in eastern Massachusetts to know what goes on in the western part of the state or for folks in New York City to keep up with the Syracuse or Buffalo running scenes. New Hampshire is small enough, geographically and population-wise, for runners all over the state to run together. That makes for easier monitoring of the entire state's running accomplishments.

The plan is to create a New Hampshire Road Race Hall of Fame the same way the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame was created a few years ago. A committee will be formed and charged with the responsibility of electing the first group of inductees. The group will accept nominees from any and all who wish to nominate someone.

On a specific date, nominations will close and the list of nominees will be distributed to each committee member. Each member will then vote for up to five nominees and will list the nominees in order, one to five. Points will be assigned to nominees on a committee member's list, the point total determined by where the nominee falls on the list. It will be probably be 10 for first, eight for second, six for third, four for fourth and two for fifth. The point totals will be added up and the committee will then vote how many nominees will be inducted.

After the first year anyone inducted to the Hall of Fame will be allowed to vote in future years.

What was just described is how the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame has been operating for the past few years. Yours truly is on that Hall's committee and I can tell you it has worked well. More important, it has been well received. The success of the Mount Washington Road Race Hall of Fame has served as an incentive for starting a state-wide Hall.

Who will be the members of the original committee? That information is not ready for public consumption. Some individuals have been contacted, but there are still some specifics to be ironed out before the the names will be disclosed. If a New Hampshire Road Race Hall of Fame is created and no one knows about it, will be no different than that tree falling in the forest thing. That's why there are also plans to align with a New Hampshire race and hold an annual Hall of Fame ceremony. Just like the committee members, the specific race will not be identified until everything is finalized.

One of the realities to starting, and sustaining a Hall of Fame, is the debate about who gets in and who is left out. For fun, I have challenged some long-time New Hampshire running folks to come up with a list of the most worthy candidates. The discussions, debates, and disagreements have been plentiful. There have been so many great people that have contributed to the history of New Hampshire road races that not every deserving person can be elected in the first few years. That reality can lead to disappointment and hurt feelings. Unfortunately it cannot be avoided and it can't be the reason for not starting a Hall.

These are great times for the New Hampshire road race community. There are more people running more races than ever before. That is why it is time for a New Hampshire Road Race Hall of Fame. It is time to salute runners, race directors, volunteers, sponsors, and anyone else whose efforts have stood above the rest. I figure it has to start somewhere and with someone. I also figure I might as well be the person to get the ball rolling. So, I guess if this was the National Football League and this was Draft Day there would be one thing left to say.

The New Hampshire Road Race Hall of Fame is on the clock.

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Running shorts: The running community of the North Conway area is doing what it can to help in the search for North Conway teenager Abigail Hernandez, who has been missing since Oct. 9. To help the cause please go to ... Speaking of the White Mountain Milers, the winners of the WMM Half Marathon, held on Oct. 27, were Concord's Connor Jennings and Zuzana Trnovcova of Nashua....The first Trick or Trot 3K, held on Oct. 27 in Manchester, had more than 1,500 finishers. It may have been largest New Hampshire race ever in its first year. ... The Great Bay 5K in Stratham, held Oct. 26, had 995 finishers, barely missing the 1,000 Club, the name given to New Hampshire races with at least 1,000 finishers. The winners were Nate Jenkins of North Andover, Mass., and Beverly Antunes of Somerville, Mass. ... Give it up for Lt. Col. Scott Poteet of Durham, who competed in the 2013 Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii. Poteet finished in 9 hours, 38 minutes, 27 seconds, ranking 343 out of 2,134 participants. It was his 14th Ironman (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, 26.2 mile run). ... Looking ahead there is the Stache Dash 5K for Prostate Cancer in Manchester on Nov. 17.

Andy Schachat's running column appears every other week in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Email him at

Andy Schachat On the Run