The Colorado Running Hall of Fame Selection Committee announces the 2014 inductees into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame: Constantina Diţă, Simon Gutierrez, Anita Ortiz, Rick Trujillo, and Priscilla Welch. The 8th annual induction ceremony and reception will be held on Wednesday, April 9th at the Denver Athletic Club. Olympic running legend Frank Shorter, an inductee in the inaugural 2007 class, will be the keynote speaker. The Colorado Running Hall of Fame recognizes Coloradans for their remarkable achievement and influence on the sport of distance running.
“Three mountain runners are included in the eighth class of inductees into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame, which will be honored on April 9 at the Denver Athletic Club.
Simon Gutierrez, Anita Ortiz and Rick Trujillo, who all had outstanding careers in mountain running, will be joined by Constantina Dita, who won the women’s marathon at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Priscilla Welch, who won the New York City Marathon in 1987.”
Read more: Colorado Running Hall of Fame names five for 2014 class – The Denver Post
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Constantina Diţă is one of the most successful Romanian athletes of all-time, currently holding the Romanian national road records for the 5K, 10K, 15K, Half Marathon and the Marathon.
Diţă finished 20th in the marathon at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens and went on to win the Chicago Marathon later that year, running a personal best of 2:21:30. After winning the marathon bronze at the 2005 World Championships, she became the World Half Marathon Champion. She won a silver medal at the 2006 IAAF World Road Running Championships and took third place at the 2007 London Marathon. In her career highlight, Diţă won the women’s marathon at the 2008 Summer Olympics in 2:26:44, becoming the oldest Olympic marathon champion in history (male or female) at age 38. She lives and trains at altitude in Boulder and continues her running career, competing the marathon at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
2014 Colorado Running Hall of Fame:
Priscilla Welch began her remarkable running career at the age of 35, when she quit smoking and took up running under the guidance of her husband and coach, Dave Welch, and ran the 1980 London Marathon. Four years later, she qualified for the British Olympic team at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, placing sixth in the inaugural women’s Olympic marathon. On her 40th birthday, Welsh qualified for the Masters division and began setting age group world records. In 1987, she won the New York Marathon in 2:30:17. This was coupled with her second place finish in London where she set an age group world record running a 2:26:51, earning the sixth fastest time in the world in 1987, and holding the women’s masters marathon world record for 21 years. Welch again set an age group world record in the 1988 Boston Marathon in 2:30:48, holding the record for 14 years. Welch continued to run until a 1992 bout with breast cancer curtailed her career and she moved from her longtime home of Boulder to Tabernash, in the high country of Colorado, later relocating to Bend, Oregon.
2014 Colorado Running Hall of Fame:
Lidia Simon is an elite long-distance runner, earning a silver medal in the marathon at the 2000 Sydney Olympics where she represented Romania. She competed in five Olympic Marathons (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012). She is a six-time participant at the World Championships in Athletics, winning gold in 2001 and taking bronze medals at the Marathon World Championships in 1997 and 1999. She holds three victories at the Osaka Ladies Marathon (1998, 1999, and 2000) and set her personal best during her win in 2000 at 2:22:54. She placed 1st in the 2007 Toray Cup Shanghai Marathon. She also won the first edition of the combined Osaka Marathon in 2011, and then again in 2012. Her half-marathon personal best time of 1:08:34 is the Romanian national record and she won the Bolder Boulder in 1999 and the Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll Half-Marathon in 2011.
2013 Colorado Running Hall of Fame:
Frank Shorter is an American former long-distance runner and is credited with igniting the running boom in the United States of the 1970s. Frank Shorter is the only American athlete to win two medals in the Olympic marathon event. He won the gold medal in the marathon at the 1972 Summer Olympics, after finishing fifth in the Olympic 10,000m final. He also won the silver medal in the marathon at the 1976 Summer Olympics.
Shorter first achieved distinction by winning the 1969 NCAA 10,000m title during his senior year at Yale. He won his first U.S. national titles in 1970 in the 5000m and 10,000m events. He also was the U.S. national 10,000m champion in 1971, 1974, 1975 and 1977. Shorter won the U.S. National Cross Country Championships four times (1970, 1971, 1972, 1973). He was the U.S. Olympic Trials Champion in both the 10,000m run and the marathon in both 1972 and 1976. He also won both the 10,000m and the marathon at the 1971 Pan American Games. Shorter was a four-time winner of the Fukuoka Marathon (1971, 1972, 1973, 1974). A long-time resident of Boulder, Colorado, Frank co-founded the Bolder Boulder in 1979.
Lorraine Moller is a former athlete from New Zealand who competed in track athletics and later specialized in the marathon. Lorraine’s international career lasted over 20 years and included three Commonwealth and four Olympic Games. She won the bronze medal in the marathon at the 1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona at the age of 37. In 1985, Lorraine broke the New Zealand 1,500m record, running 4:10.35 at Brussels. Lorraine ran her first marathon on in 1979, winning Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota in 2:37:37. The time was the fastest ever by a New Zealander and the sixth fastest ever run by a woman. She then won her next seven marathons. She was a triple winner of the Osaka Ladies Marathon, and in 1984 won the Boston Marathon. Lorraine ran the marathon in four Olympic Games: 1984, placing 5th (2:28:34); 1988, placing 33rd (2:37:52);1992 placing 3rd (2:33:59); and 1996 placing 46th (2:42:21). She also won the silver medal at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, running 2:28:17, her lifetime best.