Running Hall of Fame
Year Inducted: 2014
5 mile... 23:22
10 mile... 47:10
John is one of the fastest runners to ever come out of the Dayton area. He was considered one of the best distance runners not only in Ohio, but on the national level from 1980-1986. He won numerous local and regional races during that time period along with competing at the highest level nationally.
High School / College
He excelled in both track and cross country at Fairborn Park Hills high school gaining All Ohio Honors in both cross country (1974) and track (1974-75). He ran 4:16 in the mile and 9:16 in the 2 mile while in high school.
At Ohio State University, John was hindered by numerous injuries, but still was All-Big Ten as a freshman in track with a 30:23 10K. He was Big Ten freshman MVP for cross country (1975) and track (1976). He also earned All-Big Ten honors again as a senior in cross country (1979). He lettered four times in both cross country and track while at OSU.
John ran against the best in the nation and routinely beat many of them in distances ranging from 5 miles to the marathon. He ran sub 29:00 numerous times at the 10K distance while competing in national races including Peachtree (1981) and Crescent City Classic (1983). His 10K PR (28:40) was ran in 1984 in Kent, Ohio.
He still holds the course record for the tough Cincinnati Heart 15K (44:03) which he set in 1983. John covered the 10 mile distance with blazing speed in races like the Bobby Crim (48:01) and Cherry Blossom (47:20) both in 1985; and the New York City Central Park race (47:10) in 1981. That’s a 4:43 pace for 10 miles!
In 1980 John ran 1:16:17 at the Youngstown Peace Race 25K finishing 3rd just a few seconds behind Kyle Heffner and Benji Durden (both were members of the Olympic marathon team that year). All three men broke the American record for 25K that day. In July 1980, John won the New York City Diet Pepsi 10K beating Bill Rodgers by 3 seconds. He ran 29:23 for the win. In 1981 John finished 2nd overall at the Bay to Breakers 7.6 mile race in San Francisco. He was the leader most of the race until the famous Hayes Street Hill where Olympian Craig Virgin passed him and won by a few seconds.
John not only won most of the local and regional races he entered during the 1980-1986 period, he also set course records for many of them.
A note of interest in John’s racing career is that he was one of eight runners suspended by The Athletics Congress (TAC), the precursor to the USATF, for accepting prize money to race. This list included Olympians Benji Durden, Greg Meyer, Pete Pfitzinger, and Patti Catalano. Bill Rodgers and Herb Lindsay were also named but later cleared. This is a significant event as it was the beginning of changes made in the USATF process for allowing runners to earn a living racing. This is historical and John was a part of it.
After not racing for over ten years, John entered the RRCA 5K National Championships last year and won the Grand Masters division in 17:55 at the age of 56 years.
5 mile (23:22) in 1985 at Edinburgh-Glasgow Relay; 10K (28:40) in 1984 at Kent, Ohio; 15K (44:03) in 1981 at Cincinnati Heart Mini; 10 mile (47:10) in 1981 at New York City Central Park; half-marathon (1:04:14) in 1980 at Dayton River Corridor; 25K (1:16:17) in 1980 at Youngstown Peace Race; marathon (2:16:12) in 1983 at Columbus.
John qualified for four Olympic Marathon Trials (1980, 1984, 1988, 1992).