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Duane Gaston

Year Inducted: 2012









Duane started running at the age of five under the supervision of his dad (Elver) who was a high school coach in the Dayton area for 32 years. Duane is a 1970 graduate of Northmont high school where he lettered all four years in both cross country and track. His senior year the CC team went to the state meet and finished in 6th place. He set a school record of 9:33 for the 2 mile on the track. 

He attended and graduated from Indiana State University in 1974. His freshman year he placed 3rd in the 3000m Steeplechase at the Missouri Valley Conference Championship and set a ISU school record in the 3000m Steeplechase (9:27). Injuries plagued him the next three years in college.  

Duane ran for the Kettering Striders from 1971 to 1978. During that time and beyond he made a name for himself on the road racing circuit. He ran well enough to gain attention from Nike who sponsored him in their Athlete Assistance Program from 1978 to 1983. 

During that time Duane had a number of outstanding performances. He twice finished 2nd in the Dayton River Corridor Classic (1981, 1982). He was a 4 time winner of the Dayton Daily News River Run; 3 time winner of the Cincinnati Thanksgiving Day race (1972, 1975, 1981); 3 time winner of the Cincinnati Heart Mini-marathon (1980-1982); 2 time winner of the Louisville Metro Marathon (1978, 1979); 4 time winner of the Kentucky Derby Half-marathon. His course record (1:03:24) set in 1982 stood for 30 years and was just broken this year. His PR’s include 10K (28:53); 15K (44:35); half-marathon (1:03:11); marathon (2:19:00). He qualified for the Olympic Trials in his debut marathon in 1978 at Louisville. 

Tragically, Duane’s running career was cut short in 1982 when he was struck by a car during a 14 mile training run in Lexington, KY. He had six operational procedures resulting in a total knee replacement ending his racing career while still in his prime. 

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