Jan. 24, 2013
For immediate release

Former Marine Colonel used toughness to get things done

(Seventh in a series highlighting the eight members of the Sacramento Running Association’s inaugural Hall of Fame class. Today: Paul Reese).

Paul Reese had a hand in starting a lot of things related to running. He was a pretty good finisher, too.

The former U.S. Marine Corps Colonel founded the Clarksburg Country Run and the Lake Tahoe 72-Miler. He was an early member of the Buffalo Chips Running Club and served as race director of the Capitol-to-Capitol 140-mile run and the Sunkist 100.

Putting on his own running shoes led to a whole different series of adventures.

Reese, who died in 2004, covered 3,192 miles in 124 days during his run across the United States at age 73. He completed running across all 50 states in 1980, finishing in Hawaii. Reese logged 123,000 miles during his 35-year running career.

For his efforts, Reese will be inducted into the Sacramento Running Association’s Hall of Fame during a dinner on Saturday night at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento.

He joins the inaugural Hall of Fame class of Rae Clark, Eileen Claugus, Chris Iwahashi, Helen Klein, Billy Mills, Dennis Rinde and Linda Somers Smith.

“The thing about Paul is just how tough he was,” said John Mansoor, the Sacramento Running Association’s executive director. “You’ve got this pain? So what? Grind through it.

“He was a very nice guy, one of the toughest people I know.”

That toughness served the World War II and Korean War veteran well. Reese, a former Sacramento City school administrator, competed in the early Rocklin ultramarathons, the Lake Tahoe 72-Miler, the Comrades Marathon in South Africa and the Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run closer to home.

Reese finished his first marathon in his mid 40s, completing the Belmont Marathon in 3:40. At 63, he finished the Sacramento Marathon in 3:02:22 and the American River 50-Mile Endurance Run in 8:01:51.

After turning 64, Reese then went out a few months later and finished Western States in 26:52:00.

He also found time to write three books on running.

Mansoor recalled Reese’s efforts in launching the race that is now known as the Paul Reese Memorial Clarksburg Country Run.

“He started the Pepsi 20,” Mansoor said. “This was Paul’s way of trying to get high school kids to transition to the long run. For a lot of people, it worked.

“I didn’t do it. Paul kept telling me what a wimp I was. He could just tell you to quit whining and get going.

“He was definitely the person in this town in terms of starting a lot of things.”

Tickets for the Hall of Fame dinner are $50. Group and table of 10 reservations are welcome and can be made at www.runsra.org.

The dinner, which begins at 6 p.m. and includes a no-host cocktail hour, will also feature the presentation of Annual Achievement Awards to the Sacramento area’s top runners in track, road racing, cross country and ultra running.

High school honorees include Trent Brendel, boys cross country athlete; Maggie Bell, girls cross country athlete; Bob King, boys cross country coach; John DuCray, girls cross country coach; Edixon Puglisi, boys track athlete; Madeleine Ankhelyi, girls track athlete; and Donene Vukovich, girls track coach.

Brendan Gregg will receive the men’s college track athlete of the year, with Deborah Maier earning the women’s track athlete honor. Other college honorees include Trevor Halsted, men’s cross country athlete; Sarah Sumpter, women’s cross country athlete; Rick Anderson, men’s cross country coach; and Drew Wartenberg, women’s cross country and track coach.

Olympian Kim Conley, the women’s track athlete of the year, heads the open division. Other honorees include German Fernandez, men’s track athlete; Lindsay Tollefson, women’s cross country, road racing and marathon athlete; Kevin Pool, men’s cross country and road racing athlete; Tim Tollefson, men’s marathon athlete; Jacob Rydman, men’s ultra athlete; and Rory Bosio, women’s ultra athlete.

Masters honorees include Marcelo Lerda, men’s cross country athlete; Karen Jeffers, women’s cross country athlete; Chris Knorzer, men’s road racing and marathon athlete; Midori Sperandeo, women’s road racing athlete; Mary Coordt, women’s marathon athlete; Rich Hanna, men’s ultra athlete; and Jennifer Pfeifer, women’s ultra athlete.

Seniors honorees include Kevin Ostenberg, men’s cross country athlete; Sara Freitas, women’s cross country athlete; Iain Mickle, men’s road racing athlete; Janice Kesterson, women’s road racing athlete; Jacob Nur, men’s marathon athlete; Rena Lantz, women’s marathon athlete; Lee McKinley, men’s ultra athlete; and Karen Bonnett, women’s ultra athlete.

The SRA will also honor several super seniors: Adam Ferreira, men’s cross country athlete; Yvonne Nickel, women’s road racing athlete; Mike Ammon, men’s road racing athlete; Richard Powers, men’s marathon athlete; Nancy March, women’s marathon athlete; Larry Cawthon, men’s ultra athlete; and Barbara Ashe, women’s ultra athlete.

Men’s cross country athlete Robert Seldner, men’s road racing athlete Ronald Gross and women’s road racing athlete Rusty Barnett are the veterans honorees.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA events include the Super Bowl Sunday 10k Run on Feb. 3, the Credit Union SACTOWN Ten-Mile Run on April 7, the Gold Rush 100k on May 11, the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon on Oct. 27 and the California International Marathon on Dec. 8.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.