Melody Fairchild was called the greatest high school distance runner in U.S. history. She was the first high school girl in history to break 10 minutes in the 2-mile (9:55.9) and although she struggled initially at the University of Oregon in the mid-1990s, she came away a 3,000m indoor NCAA champion and an Olympic trials qualifier in the 10K. Melody Fairchild was considered a star constantly on the rise from her earliest years, until 2000, when after a disappointing showing at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials, her name disappeared from race results for a decade. Fairchild, now 39 and living in Boulder, is rising once again and back at the top of the race results, this time on the trails. In 2012 she made the U.S. Mountain Running Team and went on to the World Mountain Running Championships in Italy, where she placed eighth, helping Team USA earn a gold medal for the first time since 2007. She then helped Team USA win another gold medal at the World Long Distance Mountain Running Challenge at the Jungfrau Marathon in Switzerland. In 2007 she founded the Melody Fairchild Running Camp for High School Girls in an effort to help other athletes overcome the struggles she experienced first-hand in her own running career.
Dan Reese is the middle of three brothers who ran for the University of Colorado at Boulder. As a Buff, the 1987 graduate was a two-time All-American in cross-country and a longtime record-holder in the 3,000m steeplechase. Afterward, he was a bronze medalist at the 1995 Pan Am Games. Dan comes from a huge family of Colorado runners. Dan’s older brother, Sam Reese, was a cross country All-American, his younger brother, Tom Reese, was a three-time All-American (while coached by Dan), and older brother Dave, is a former Denver Marathon champ, a former Northern Colorado athlete and a former running coach at Mullen High School. Adding to that list is Dan’s son, Michael Reese, who is running for the Buffs now. When not working or running, Dan enjoys spending time with his family and coaching his kids.
PattiSue Plumer is a retired American long-distance runner who ran twice in the Olympics. She ran first in 1988 in Seoul, South Korea where she finished 13th in the 3,000m. In 1992 in Barcelona, Spain she ran in the 1,500m, finishing 10th, and the 3,000m, finishing 5th. On July 3, 1989 she set the American record in the 5,000m at 14:59.99, and was the first woman to beat one of Mary Decker’s sweep of all distance running American records during the 1980s. She won the 1990 Fifth Avenue Mile, setting a course record which remains unbeaten. Patti Sue attended Stanford University, where she won the 1984 NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship at 5000m and the NCAA Women’s Indoor Track and Field Championships at two-m,iles in 1983. She won multiple national titles at 3,000m and 5,000m and was a three-time runner-up in the 1,500 meters. She received her Juris Doctor (J.D.) from Stanford Law School and worked as a lawyer for several years. She now coaches cross-country and track at Stanford University in Northern California.
Adam Goucher is an American Olympic track and field athlete. While attending the University of Colorado, Adam won two NCAA indoor track titles in the 3,000m and an outdoor NCAA track title in the 5,000m. After three top ten finishes, he finally won the NCAA Division I cross-country title. In 2000, he made his first Olympic team, placing first in the Olympic trials in the 5000m. He was 13th in the 5000m at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, despite serious battles with back troubles. In 2008, he attended the US Olympic Trials in hopes of qualifying in the 5k and 10k. His time of 13:56.25 in the semifinal of the 5k was enough to advance to the finals, but after holding the lead for several laps, he dropped out of the race with two laps remaining. He finished seventh in the 10k final, failing to qualify for the Olympics, but besting his previous 10k personal record. He currently resides in Portland, Oregon, with his wife, Kara Goucher, also a professional runner, and their son, Colton Mirko.
Elva Dryer (neè Martinez) is a three-time qualifying track and field Olympian: placing 3rd in the 5,000m at the 2000 Olympic trials; second in the 10,000m at the 2004 Olympic trials, finishing 19th in the event; and 15th in the 10,000m at the 2008 Olympic trials. During her college career at Western State, Elva won two NCAA D-II cross country titles, and was national champ in the 3,000m four times, the only person to achieve that feat. Dryer was the top American finisher at the 2007 ING New York City Marathon, placing 6th (2:35:15). She married Russ Dryer, a former All-American cross-country runner and fellow Western State alum, and he has coached her ever since. Elva’s hobbies include crocheting and reading.