The Maine Running Hall of Fame Board of Directors is pleased to announce its 2020 slate of inductees.
The Maine Running Hall of Fame was established in 1988 with the intent to recognize individuals and events that make significant contributions to the sport of running in Maine.
The nine inductees include Kelly Brown, Ralph Fletcher, Gladys Ganiel, Louie Luchini, Kevin McDonald, Glendon Rand, Andy Spaulding, Maureen Sproul and Tim Wakeland.
“These nine individuals have made significant contributions to the sport of running in Maine,” the MRHOF said in a news release.
The Maine Marathon, previously recognized as the Casco Bay Marathon, is being inducted in the race category in recognition of their combined history of 37 years in Maine.
The induction cycle occurs every two years coincident with an induction ceremony. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the induction ceremony is being postponed until 2021. A specific date will be determined at a later time.
The following is a summary of the MRHOF 2020 inductee contributions to the sport of running in Maine:
Kelly Bennett Brown, previously of Lewiston, Maine, began her running career at Lewiston High School. She quickly established herself as an outstanding runner achieving recognition as a Maine State College Cross-Country Champion. Brown has consistently finished in the top five female runners in Maine’s most prestigious races. Throughout her running career, Brown has been an active member of running clubs including the Whirlaway Racing Team, the PR Racing Team and Dirigo Racing. She coached the track team at Lewiston High School and continues to compete at a high level, placing in her age group as a Masters’ level runner.
Ralph Fletcher of Auburn, Maine, began his running career at Edward Little High School in Lewiston, Maine. He continued running competitively for the University of New Hampshire. Fletcher later entered Maine’s road racing scene as a successful Masters’division runner. Fletcher has coached high school cross-country teams at both Leavitt and Edward Little High Schools. He is a co-founding member and race director for Lewiston-Auburn’s Triple Crown Road Racing Series. Fletcher continues to compete in road races, running into his 70’s.
Gladys Ganiel O’Neill, a native of Harrington, Maine, began her running career at age 13. She established herself as an outstanding high school runner with three State Class C Cross-Country Championships, together with three Class C titles at 3200 meters and two at 1600 meters. Ganiel placed sixth in the national Foot Locker cross-country championship and went onto run for Providence College. At Providence, she was a member of the NCAA Division I national cross-country championship team and was the ECAC 10,000-meter champion. Ganiel has continued running globally in both South Africa and Ireland. She now lives in and represents Ireland, and was chosen as an alternate for Ireland’s Olympic Marathon Team in 2016.
Louie Luchini, of Ellsworth, Maine, began his running career at Ellsworth High School where he earned multiple State Championships in both cross country and track. He placed second at the Footlocker National Cross-Country Championship. Luchini then went on to Stanford University winning 11 All-American citations. While at Stanford, he set the still standing American-Junior (under 20) 5000-indoor record and has the 7th all-time best Junior performance in the 10,000. Luchini ran professionally for Nike and currently is a cross-country coach at Ellsworth High School.
Kevin McDonald of Lovell, Maine, began his running career at age 13. He established himself as a strong competitor at Lawrence High School in Falmouth, Massachusetts and went on to Springfield College. McDonald has coached both indoor track and cross-country teams for both Lake Region Middle School and Fryeburg Academy. He has also served as the meet director for Lake Region Middle School track events. McDonald directed Team Dirigo at the USATF Cross-Country Nationals. He has served as the co-director for the Lovell 4.5 mile road race and has been involved with the Maine USATF for the last two decades.
Glendon Rand, of Brewer, Maine, began his running career at Brewer High School, running cross country as well as indoor and outdoor track. In track, Rand was the 1980 state 2-mile Champion. He then went on to run at the University of Maine, again competing in three running sports. Rand was the cross-country team captain in ’83 and ’84, and in 1984 was the Maine Collegiate champion in the 5K. He is one of the founders of the Sub-5 Track Club. Rand teaches at Brewer High School, coaching cross country and outdoor track for 35 years. He started the Maine Cross-Country Festival of Champions meet which draws international runners.
Andy Spaulding, of Freeport, Maine, began his running career at Searsport High School as a 2-mile State Champion. He continued with running at the University of Maine, placing 3rd in the North Atlantic Conference 10,000 and 6th in the New England Outdoor Track and Field Championship 10,000. Spaulding placed third in the USATF-NE 5K Road Championships and continued competing for the Greater Lowell Road Runners. He has won the Maine division of the Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race twice. Spaulding’s racing victories in Maine include the Midwinter Classic 10K, the Bridgeton 4 on the 4th and the Oxford Hills 8K. Spaulding competed in the Maine Master’s Nationals in 2011, 2012 and 2015. He is a founding member of the Dirigo Running Club in Maine.
Maureen Sproul, of New Gloucester, Maine, began her running career 40 years ago when she jumped into a local Thanksgiving Day road race. She got hooked on running and started training for competitive road racing. At that time, Sproul was one of a small group of women runners in Maine. She has run well over 500 races since that time, including all 22 Beach to Beacon 10K’s. Notably Sproul has consistently placed amongst the top runners in her age group. She has also competed in numerous alpine series events, including the annual Mount Washington race.
Tim Wakeland of Dedham, Maine, began his running career at the age of 14, training with his dad. He went on to compete in track and field in high school, earning six State track and cross-country titles. Wakeland continued running at Iowa State University where he earned NCAA Division I All-American status in cross-country and had personal bests in the mile, 3-mile and 3,000-meter steeplechase. In Maine’s road races, Wakeland has won the Cranberry Island 5K, the Bangor 4th of July 3K and the Ronald McDonald House 5-mile. Wakeland has run with Team Maine in the Eikiden Road Relay and the Maineacs Cabot Trail Relay Team. He has run all 17 legs of the legendary 186-mile Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia.
The Maine Marathon, is being recognized as a legacy race which takes place in Portland, Maine. This event has become a staple of distance running in Southern Maine. The race originated as the Casco Bay Marathon in 1978, then sponsored by Union Mutual (UNUM), and continued annually for nine years. After a brief hiatus, the race was resumed as the Maine Marathon in 1992, and has continued as an annual event through 2019. It is now recognized as the Gorham Savings Bank Maine Marathon and is scheduled to take place virtually this fall. The combined distance running events are celebrating 37 years as major road races in Maine. Each year a portion of the Maine Marathon’s proceeds have been donated to local charities which to date have totaled more than $5.2 million.