Kenny Moore to be honored with George Hirsch Journalism Award, release, note by Larry Eder

Kenny Moore, photo courtesy of Constance Johnson

For most of the seventies, the only man worth reading, in my estimation, in Sports Illustrated was Kenny Moore. The 1968 and 1972 Olympic marathoner, who placed fourth in 1972, and an US record holder in the marathon, was legit. Moore had been trained under Bill Bowerman, and his development from a two miler to a marathoner were classic Bowerman. 

Moore first started writing for SI in the 1971, and wrote a piece on cross country. I particularly remember his pieces on Lasse Viren, and Sebastian Coe. In 1979, when his compilation book, Best Efforts came out, I read it cover to cover. That book was re read by myself and others on the long road trips to cross country meets, or when you were too tired to read something else. Like Once a Runner, I memorized Moore's writing. 

When Moore wrote the definitive biography on Bowerman, I was impressed. Lots to get in. His movie collaberation with Robert Towne on Without Limits was touching and honest, as was his work in Personal Best, Towne's movie in 1980 (where he acted). 

It is fitting that Kenny Moore, one of the keenest observers of our sport ever, is receiving the George Hirsch Journalism Award. George Hirsch was, and is, a champion for running journalism. His launch of the Runner elevated running journalism. George Hirsch's time at the top of Runners World gave the brand two decades to evolve from a national to a global brand. I am not sure of anyone else who could have done that. George Hirsch got that content was king long before it became a buzzword on the digital highway. 

 NYRR did a nice job in developing this award. It is one of the few award ceremonies that I am sure to attend. 

Kenny Moore to Be Honored with George Hirsch Journalism Award


Two-time Olympian and six-time San Francisco Bay to Breakers 12 K champion has significantly contributed to the world of running through journalism and film


New York, October 24, 2012--For a career that has spanned a quarter of a century covering athletics for Sports Illustrated, as well as the authorship of several books on the sport, Kenny Moore has been named the 2012 recipient of the George Hirsch Journalism Award, presented by New York Road Runners, it was announced today by NYRR president and CEO Mary Wittenberg.


Moore will be honored at a news conference on Friday, November 2, during ING New York City Marathon race week. He will receive an award designed by Tiffany & Co., an official sponsor of the ING New York City Marathon.


The George Hirsch Journalism Award recognizes excellence in the reporting, writing, and broadcasting of the sport of long-distance running. Any journalist or broadcaster who has regularly demonstrated excellence in magazine, newspaper, radio, TV, and website coverage of the sport is eligible to be honored. 


Moore is preceded by 2011 honoree Amby Burfoot, editor-at-large of Runner's Worldmagazine and author of The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life. Longtime track and field journalist Dick Patrick was the inaugural honoree in 2010.


The award is named for George Hirsch, the founding publisher and president of The Runnermagazine from 1978 to 1986, and the worldwide publisher of Runner's World from 1987 to 2003. Today, Hirsch is the chairman of the board of directors of New York Road Runners.


"Knowing what George Hirsch has done to serve our sport, this award has made me humble almost, but not quite, beyond words," said Moore. "It's hugely gratifying to know my writing has struck readers as useful. In fact, it's been nothing but a privilege and joy to be able to follow champions from Abdi Bile to Joan Samuelson home from their triumphs, and make known the vividness of their character. Looking back, I realize each one has left me the better, the more faithful, [and] the more exuberant in pursuing all things good and Olympian."


Moore, 68, began his journalism career withSports Illustrated while completing his Masters degree in creative writing at the University of Oregon. His widely respected journalism career is matched by his competitive running record: Moore is a two-time Olympian in the marathon (he finished 14th in the 1968 Mexico City Games and fourth in the 1972 Munich Games), a former holder of the American Record in the marathon, the 1967 National AAU cross country champion, the 1971 National AAU marathon champion, and a six-time winner of San Francisco's Bay to Breakers 12K road race.


Moore began his journalism career in 1971 as a contract writer for Sports Illustrated. He was promoted to senior writer in 1980. After ending his 25-year career with Sports Illustrated, Moore began a two-year project, co-writing and producing Without Limits, the well-known biographical film about Steve Prefontaine and Bill Bowerman. A few years later, he began to work on the first biography of Bowerman, a legendary coach at the University of Oregon and a co-founder of Nike Inc. In 2006, Moore completed his book, Bowerman and the Men of Oregon. His contributions have already earned him induction into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame and the George Sheehan Award.


"Kenny Moore has devoted his career to showing the world what the most influential competitors and coaches of all time have done for the sport of running," Wittenberg said. "His meaningful achievements not only reflect the special spirit of a distance runner, but also that of George Hirsch. We are honored to present him with this award for his countless contributions to our sport."


Moore currently lives in Eugene, OR.


About the ING New York City Marathon

NYRR's premier event, the ING New York City Marathon is the most loved and most inclusive marathon in the world, attracting elite athletes and recreational runners alike for the challenge and thrill of a lifetime. The race has grown tremendously since it began in 1970 with just 127 runners racing four laps of Central Park. Now, more than 47,000 participants from all over the globe flock to New York City every November for an adrenaline-filled road tour of all five boroughs, starting on Staten Island at the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and ending in Central Park. Some run for prize money or bragging rights, others for charity or their personal best. All are cheered on by more than two million live spectators and a TV audience of 330 million.


For more information:

NYRR Newsroom: 

NYRR Media Twitter: @nyrrnews  

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