Who wouldn’t want to be inducted into a Hall of Fame? And if it’s a Hall of Fame for running, with some music blended in, all the sweeter.
Some 103 runners have qualified to be inducted into this year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Hall of Fame. After Sunday’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & Half Marathon, that number will swell to 162.
Last year, 97 runners earned Hall of Fame medals. For induction, runners must knock off 15 of the series’ marathons or half marathons.
Then, there are the fabulous famers. Come Sunday, five athletes will have run in the maximum 25 races this year. A look at the Fab Five.
In 2014, Flynn was working on his doctoral dissertation in geography at Oklahoma State University. Tired of spending countless hours pecking at the computer, Flynn said, “I need to clear my head.”
So he headed to a park and began running.
Last December, he knocked off the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half, first half marathon.
“I haven’t missed one since,” said the 37-year-old IT consultant. “As a geographer, I like to travel.”
Twenty-four of his races this year half been half marathons. On Sunday, Flynn attempts his first 26.2-miler.
His favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll city is San Diego. “It’s Southern California, on the beach, a coastal town. It was just so beautiful,” he said.
His favorite race was Vancouver. “It’s along the water, scenic views, everything was in peak fall colors. Everywhere you looked it was gorgeous.”
He got a high five in San Jose at Mile 11 from Meb Keflezighi, which helped him break 2 hours in the half for the first time.
Said Flynn, “I love how Meb is an ambassador for the sport to runners of all levels.”
Heveran’s love of running has spread to her 59-year-old mother, Jamie. Earlier this week, Jamie celebrated her two-year anniversary of stopping smoking. After one year of being tobacco free, Jamie began knocking off 5Ks and 10Ks. This year, she stepped up the distance and on Sunday will become a Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer, finishing 15 half marathons.
“I’m totally inspired by my mother,” Amy said. “She got that runner’s bug where if she’s not racing, she feels like she’s missing out.”
Heveran, 37, lives in Chicago and is a high school P.E./health teacher. Leaning to her Windy City roots, Heveran lists Chicago as her favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll stop. “The course is absolutely beautiful,” she said. “The energy on the streets is amazing. It’s a true Chicago experience.” Raleigh, N.C., is her favorite Rock ‘n’ Roll race. “It’s small and quaint, has hills. It’s a challenge.”
A 48-year-old civil engineer, Heilers hails from Kansas City, Mo. He ran in high school and college, then the work thing got in the way and he packed on 55 pounds. Heilers began running again in 2006 and at 6-feet-3, has shed 40 pounds, down to 175.
His trips to Dublin, Liverpool and Madrid this year represented his first ever excursions to Europe. Madrid proved to be his favorite. “I ran with a friend and took it easy,” he said. “I got to see parts of the course, instead of racing.”
His favorite city, though, is Vancouver, British Columbia.
“Canadians are nice,” he said. “Western Canadians are even nicer.”
Like all Rock ‘n’ Roll runners, he likes the bling. The Hall of Fame medals look like a microphone, hollowed out in the back.
“They hold six ounces of beer,” said Heilers, who no doubt has filled his medal to the brim.
Moyer turns 60 in January. He has been running for more than half his life and was moved to pound the pavement when his father died of a heart attack at 54. His favorite city on the Rock ‘n’ Roll calendar is New Orleans, where he once lived.
“People in New Orleans have a different way of looking at life,” Moyer said of the city famous for jazz, food, Bourbon Street and much more. “They have fun as you go along.”
At 6 feet, 6 inches, 215 pounds, Moyer ix XL as runners go. The man moves at a brisk pace, as his half marathon personal best of 1:35 attests. Moyer works for IBM. He said one of his 2016 Rock ‘n’ Roll highlights was pulling off the TexMex double, running a half marathon in the morning in Dallas, hopping a plane, then jogging 13.1 miles at 7,382 feet elevation come evening in Mexico City.
“That,” he said, “was kind of cool.”
Three weeks ago in Las Vegas, Ricker became the first woman to join the Century Club, running her 100th Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series event. Now she’s stepping into the Hall of Fame.
“What I tell people who ask why I do what I do, I say, ‘There’s no better way to see a city than 26.2 miles on foot,’” said Ricker.
At 46, Ricker has accomplished much in life. She beat breast cancer eight years ago. At 5-feet-2, she once weighed 190 pounds and she wanted to cross off running a marathon on life’s Bucket List.
Six months later she accomplished the feat.
Ricker lives in Austin, Texas, and works as a CPA.
Vancouver, British Columbia, is her favorite international race. Savannah, Ga., tops her domestic chart.
“I love the Savannah neighborhoods,” she said.