Dec. 20, 2012
For immediate release

Mills, Rinde, Claugus, Somers, Clark, Klein and Reese ready for induction

Scan the list of the Sacramento Running Association’s first Hall of Fame class and marvel at the depth of running talent with local ties.

Billy Mills. Dennis Rinde. Eileen Claugus. Linda Somers. Rae Clark. Helen Klein. Paul Reese.

Those seven are scheduled to be inducted on Jan. 26 at a dinner at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento. KCRA anchor Deirdre Fitzpatrick will serve as master of ceremonies.

“The whole point of the Hall of Fame is to recognize all the great running that gone on in this area,” said John Mansoor, the SRA’s executive director.

“It’s long overdue. We think we have a great area for running. We need to start recognizing these people.”

The first class is loaded with talent and familiar names. Mills is the best known, his stunning run to the gold medal in the men’s 10,000 meters at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo remaining one of the great upsets in Olympic history.

Mills surged past favorite Ron Clarke of Australia and Mohammed Gammoudi of Tunisia to set a then Olympic record of 28 minutes, 24.4 seconds, nearly 50 seconds faster than his previous best. He remains the only American to win an Olympic gold medal at that distance.

The other inductees enter the Hall of Fame with impressive accomplishments.

Rinde, a former Casa Roble High School and Sacramento State standout, set the gold standard for local marathoners with a 2:14:13 effort in the 1984 California International Marathon. He also finished seventh in the 1981 Boston Marathon in 2:12:01 and qualified for three U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Claugus, an early standout in the Buffalo Chips, ran a personal best 2:37:16 in the 1982 Chicago Marathon. She owns the second-fastest time by a local woman in the CIM, delivering a 2:40:04 effort in 1985.

Somers, who ran for UC Davis, won the 1993 CIM and the U.S. national women’s marathon title with a 2:34:11 performance. She repeated her national title the following year with a 2:33:42 effort at Grandma’s Marathon. Somers recorded the fastest time by a local woman with a 2:33:40 clocking in the 1989 CIM and has qualified for seven U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.

Clark is a well-known ultra runner who was inducted into the U.S. Ultra Hall of Fame in 2011. He won the U.S. 100k Championship in 1988 with a sub-7 hour performance, set an American record by winning the 1989 U.S. National 100-Mile Road Championship with a 12:12:19 effort and in 1990 captured the U.S. National 24-Hour Track Championship by covering an American record 165.3 miles.

Klein didn’t start running until she was 55. She then developed in an inspiring distance runner, completing more than 200 ultras and marathons and setting a numer of world and American age-group records. She shattered the world age group mark for women 80 and older with a 4:31:32 performance at the 2002 CIM and broke the 85 and over world mark with a 5:49:11 finish in the 2007 CIM.

Reese was a pioneer in the ultra running community and a long-time race director who founded the Clarksburg Country Run. A founding member of the Buffalo Chips, he set numerous national age-group records in his 40s through his 80s and wrote several books about his running life.

“The best of the best,” Mansoor said of the first group of inductees. “It’s a great class.”

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

The dinner, which begins at 6 p.m. and includes a no-host cocktail hour, will feature the presentation of more than 100 Annual Achievement Awards to the Sacramento area’s top runners in track, road racing, cross country and ultra running.

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 recently concluded California International Marathon, 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 and the Lake Natoma Four Bridges Half Marathon on Oct. 27.

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