IRRA Presents Running Specialty Hall of Fame Awards Banquet, by Larry Eder

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At a well attended banquet on Tuesday night, November 10, the Independent Running Retailers Association announced the class of 2009 who was entering the Running Specialty Hall of Fame. (The event was sponsored by Brooks, Crocs and Running Insight magazine).

The 2009 Lifetime Achievement Awards went to Dick Beardsley and Alberto Salazar. A short film clip on their 1982 duel was shown and the race where Beardsley and Salazar ran neck to neck was as thrilling now as it was to see in 1982. Dick ran 13 straight personal bests in the marathon, a Guinness book of world records. Albert won three straight NYC, one Boston and set ARS at the 5,000m and 10,000 m, as well as world records for the marathon. Both gave heartfelt speeches.

In the class of 2009, for Vendor-Influencer, Fred Doyle of Saucony and the late Kihaciro Onitsuka of ASICS were inducted. Fred was introduced by Richie Woodworth, President of Saucony, with a very thoughtful commentary. Richie called Fred " the Mayor of Running, ". Not a better description could be made of one of the nicest guys in our sport--it was an award well deserved. The Kihaciro Onitsuka was introduced by J. D. Denton, who reminded us that Mr. Onitsuka developed his first successful shoe, a basketball shoe, after having an octopus salad at his parent's home. Jim Hoff, the VP of Sales, proudly accepted the award on behalf of ASICS.

The Class of 2009 Retailers were Jane & Doug Alred, First Place Sports and Curt Munson, Playmakers. Both award winners gave thoughtful acceptance speeches but showed, more than anything, the clear enjoyment people have at being in this business!

The Expo starts Wednesday, from 10-6, and also runs on Thursday, from 8 to 1 pm.

For more on IRRA, please click on http://www.theirra.com/

For more on the sport, please click on http://www.runningnetwork.com

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