Julie Hay Mercado
Year Inducted: 2021
Julie Hay Mercado is a native of Three Rivers, Michigan and attended Hillsdale College where she was a four-time All-American in cross country and track. After college, Julie took a break from running competitively. When she returned to the sport in her late 30’s, she began to build a running resume that has been unequaled in the Dayton area among female distance runners in the last ten years.
A frequent racer for the Runners Plus Elite team, Julie has won not just the Masters title, but the outright Women’s title of nearly every Ohio River Road Runners Club (ORRRC) race contested in the team series. And, when the race is age and gender graded, she often wins it outright, defeating all the men. She scores in the 90th percentile frequently, which grades her as “world class” in the masters ranking system.
Like many of her peers already in the DDRHOF, Julie has signiﬁcant achievements on the road, track, and grass. Julie is a two-time USATF National age-group Champion.
Julie’s list of masters and open victories is too extensive to list here completely. She has been the top masters ﬁnisher at these highly competitive races: ORRRC Turkey Trot, Columbus 10K, Columbus half-marathon, Indy 500 Festival Mini marathon, Indianapolis Monumental half-marathon, Minster Oktoberfest 10K, Ladies Rock Dayton 4-miler, Big Hoopla 4-miler, Dayton River Corridor Classic, Holiday at Home 5K, Lou Cox 5K and many more.
Some of her more signiﬁcant wins as a masters runner include: setting the course record for her age group (F45 - 49) at the Indianapolis Monumental half-marathon with a time of 1:22:01 in 2019 … 2016 USATF Masters National Champion W40-44 5000 meters (18:16) … 2016 USATF
Masters National Champion W 40 - 44 1500 meters (4:55) … 2015 USATF Masters T&F Championships W40 – 44 5000m, 2nd place (18:21) … 2014 USATF Masters 5K Cross Country Championships W40 - 44, 3rd place (19:00) … 2017 USATF Club Cross Country Championships W40-44 (All-American).
Highlights from her college days include: 1994 - 16th at NAIA college cross country national championship … 1995 Indoor track 5000m - 2nd in National Championship … 1995 outdoor track 5000m 6th in National Championship … 1996 outdoor track 3000m - 4th in National Championship … 1996 outdoor track 5000m – 7th National Championships.
Julie’s PR’s include:
Track: 1500m (4:42); 3000m (10:02); 5000m (17:31); 10,000m (37:08)
Road: 5K (17:26) 2019 Lou Cox 5K … 5 mile (28:49) 2016 ORRRC Turkey Trot … 10K (36:16) 2017 Columbus 10K … half-marathon (1:21:31) 2016 Columbus half-marathon … marathon (2:53:14) 2020 Houston marathon.
She has run all her road PR’s as a masters runner! Julie is truly an inspiration to all runners, not only due to her running skills, but also for her captivating positive energy and encouraging attitude.