Maureen Roben is one of a few American women to qualify for four Olympic trials for the marathon. She has held the women’s Colorado half-marathon record with a time of 1:14:08 since 1986. In 1987 she was the top female marathoner in the country and graced the cover of Runner’s World Magazine. She attended the 1988 Olympics and placed seventh in the marathon. Through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training program, she’s prepared over 5000 athletes to complete marathons and half marathons. Maureen is the Co-Race Director of the Platte River Half Marathon, the Buckhorn Exchange Relay, and the Aetna Park to Park 5 and 10-Mile races. As the owner of Run Strong, a Denver based running club, Maureen prepares personalized programs, weekly workouts, and running related clinics including nutrition, injury prevention and form evaluation.
Considered one of the best female marathoners in U.S. history, Kim Jones could also be included in a list of the country’s top 5 marathoners, male or female. She has more high level placings in world class marathons than any other U.S. female marathoner in history with 17 performances under 2:33.
Kim’s experience as a marathoner is unrivaled and her ability to coach that event extends from the beginning level to world class. She is also uniquely qualified to work with people struggling with asthma and allergy issues as she has herself successfully overcome asthma problems to become a world class runner.
During her career as a marathoner Kim has trained with and learned from some of the best runners in the world (Steve Jones, Rob DeCastella, Benji Durden, and Mark Plattjes, Colleen DeReuck, to name just a few).
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.
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.
Shayne Culpepper (neè Willie) is a middle distance track and field athlete who has won multiple national titles and qualified twice for the Olympics: in 2000 in the 1,500m and in 2004 in the 5,000m. After winning the 2004 5,000m Olympic trials, she competed again at the 2004 Summer Olympics and placed 13th in the 5k at the first round, not allowing her to go on to the finals. Now retired, Shayne and her husband Alan Culpepper, fellow Olympian and CU alum, spend their time enjoying life with their four children and leading an after-school running program at Boulder’s Douglass Elementary School.
Bette Poppers was one of the first formidable female long distance athletes. She got a late start in the game, starting her running career at 34 years old (and seven months pregnant), but she quickly made a name for herself. Representing Colorado, she became one of the nation’s top Masters runners in the 1980s as well as went on to qualify for the Olympic marathon trials twice (1984 & 1988) after turning 40. Bette is now retired in Littleton.
• National age group record for 5k (23:30)
• National age group record for 10 miles (1:19:22)
• National age group record for 10k
Libby James didn’t enter her first race until her 40’s, but she made a mark from the beginning. The mother of four and grandmother of 12 set national records in the 5k (both 70-74 and 75-79 age groups) as well as the 10k (75-79 age group) and the 10-mile (75-79 age group). She set an age group world record in the 2011 Aetna Park to Park 10-miler with a chip time of 1:19:22 and is the 2011 Running Times Master Runner of the Year in age groups 70-74 and 75-79. In 2010 and 2011 she ran the Bolder Boulder with her oldest grandson when she was 63, and in 2000, she ran the Steamboat Springs Marathon with both her daughters. She currently has a business “oldBags,” (tea bag art) and has also finished the text for a picture book about an old woman who decides to run a marathon (“no research required” she says).
• Four-time Pikes Peak Marathon winner
• Six-time, four-sport U.S. Athlete of the Year
• Unbeaten in snowshoeing 1997 to 2001
• Multisport Athlete of the Year (‘95)
• U.S. Pro Duathlete of the Year (’97)
• U.S. Mountain Runner of the Year (’99)
Danelle Ballengee, “Coach Nellie”, is known as one of the world’s premier adventure sports athletes, boasting four Pikes Peak Marathon wins, three Primal Quest adventure race victories, and six “U.S. Athlete of the Year” wins in four sports. She is the top-winning endurance athlete in the world, having won several hundred events in various endurance sports including skyrunning, adventure racing, mountain running, rogaining, snowshoeing, triathlon, and duathlon. In 2006, she survived an incredible accident where she was stranded for 56 hours with a shattered pelvis when she fell about 60 feet after slipping on an icy rock while trail running near Moab, Utah. Today, Danelle is married with two young sons and splits her time between Dillon, CO and Moab, UT.
Given that she is 75 years old and has been a runner since the 1970s, Libby James can’t complain too much about the way her body is holding up.
“My feet are older than the rest of me, I think,” James said. “But it’s not serious stuff. It’s like callouses and corns and stuff that just bugs you.”
We should all be so lucky.
James, who will be inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame on Thursday night, is one fast grandmother… Read more at The Denver Post