The Maine Running Hall of Fame was started in by Bob Payne to celebrate the rich history of running in Maine.
In 1987, veteran distance runner Bob Payne of Raymond began thinking about the need for a runners’ hall of fame in Maine. In the spring of 1988, Payne presented his idea to the Maine Track Club. “The club was supportive and suggested that we reach out to all the running clubs in Maine.” said Payne.
The intent of the Hall was to honor those distance runners and track and field athletes who had made particularly outstanding achievements, and to honor others who had made outstanding contributions to the sport of running in Maine. “I thought that a lot of running history in Maine was being lost,” said Payne. His goal was to preserve as much of it as possible.
Running clubs which responded included the Central Maine Striders, Sub-5 Track Club, and Penbay Pacers. The first organized meeting followed soon afterward in Brunswick, and in attendance were Ed Rice, Chuck Morris, Jerry Saint Amand, Ken Dolley, Jane Dolley, Warren Dean, Diane Fournier, Dennis Morrill, Dick Goodie, Paul Cole, Eric Ellis, George Towle, Danny Paul, Wendy Sayres, and Bob Payne.
“It was felt that this was a good idea and a smaller group should continue to form the Maine Running Hall of Fame,” said Payne. By October, the group was down to a standing committee of Danny Paul, Jerry Saint Amand, Joe Dahl, Ed Rice, Wendy Sayres, Warren Dean, Diane Fournier, Bruce Spaulding, Ken Dolley, and Bob Payne.
Donations to help support the Hall of Fame were received from
the Central Maine Striders and the Maine Track Club, which in the years ahead would continue to lend support. In December, 1988, a formal public announcement was made concerning the establishment of the Maine Running Hall of Fame. The announcement also invited the public to submit nominations.
In the months that followed, several more meetings were held, including some in Bangor so that people in the area could participate. By the time the committee met in March, 1989, 14 individuals had been nominated and four were chosen for inductions that first year. They included Olympians Joan Benoit-Samuelson and Bruce Bickford, Ralph Thomas, and Ken Flanders. Andrew Sockalexis was subsequently added to the inaugural group by a vote of the board of directors.
The following people have served on the Board over the years:
Bob Payne, Founder, Chair (1989 – 1991; 1993 – 1995)