PASSING OF A HERO

John Thomas

John Thomas

An ArmoryTrack.com news release has informed us that two-time Olympic high jump medalist John Thomas of Brockton, Massachusetts passed away Tuesday, January 15, 2013 at the age of 71.

A soft-spoken gentleman, Thomas was revered – especially in his native New England – as one of his sport’s most enduring icons.  He was also among my personal boyhood heroes, joining former mile record holder Jim Ryun, St. Louis Cardinals baseball star Stan Musial, and St. Louis Hawks basketball All-Star Bob Pettit. With great fortune I got to know “JT” during my quarter-century living in Boston.  Meeting your heroes later in life and finding that they embody all the qualities you’d  imagined of them as a young fan is one of the pleasures life can offer.

The following is from last March 25th’s High Jump Heroes which speaks to the seeds of a life long passion planted in a young boy’s heart by heroes like John Thomas and his great Russian rival Valery Brumel. Continue reading

USATF ANNOUNCES HALF-MARATHON CHAMPIONSHIP SCHEDULE

USA Track & Field announced today that Houston, Texas and Columbus, Ohio will be the sites for the next four men’s and women’s USA Half Marathon Championships.  Houston will host the 2014 and 2015 championships, while Columbus will be the host city in 2016 and 2017.

Houston has a long history of staging national championship events, including the 2012 men’s and women’s U.S. Olympic Trials – Marathon, the 1992 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials and 12 U.S. Half Marathon Championships since 2005.

“We are excited to have Houston and Columbus play hosts to our USA Half Marathon Championships from 2014 through 2017,” said USATF CEO Max Siegel in a released statement. “We look forward to working with both cities to deliver what promises to be four years of elite competitions that will highlight the talents of our nation’s best runners.”

The men’s and women’s national half-marathon championship races will be run in conjunction with the Aramco Houston Half Marathon in Houston. The events will be held in January in 2014 & 2015.

“This is the ideal way to celebrate our 10th year with Aramco Services Company,” said Wade Morehead, Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee. “We would like to thank USATF as we are honored to take on this responsibility again and we look forward to bringing the U.S. Half Marathon Championships back to Houston in 2014.”

Columbus, Ohio’s previous experience hosting a national championship came in 1992 when it served as site for the 1992 U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials.

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