Pittsburgh Marathon Hall inducts 4
Keith Dowling hasn't been back to Pittsburgh in nearly a decade, but that didn't make his induction into the Pittsburgh Marathon Hall of Fame any less special.
Dowling was one of four Class of 2011 members honored during a pre-race pasta dinner Saturday night at Stage AE on the North Shore, though none of the four were expected to be present.
"When I got that call, especially because it's been a while since I've been to Pittsburgh, it was a great surprise," said Dowling, who was a three-time All-American at Pitt and holds five outdoor track and field school records.
Dowling, an account manager for Reebok and who lives in Reston, Va., was the race director for the National Marathon in Washington from 2005-08.
The other three 2011 inductees were Malcolm East, S. Mark Courtney and Don Freedline.
East won the 1988 Pittsburgh Marathon, finishing in 2 hours, 19 minutes, 50 seconds. Courtney (Mercer) founded Runner's High, a popular race timing service. And Freedline, an All-American at IUP, owns a pair of fourth-place finishes at the Pittsburgh Marathon -- in 1985 and '86.
"These people have really done a lot for marathons," Hall co-chairman Don Slusser said.
Each of the Hall's 15 voting members, including the Tribune-Review's Karen Price, nominate three candidates each year based on their success at major competitions, longevity in the sport, geography and overall contributions to the sport. Candidates need a majority of votes to be selected, which often creates the need for multiple ballots.
The name of each inductee appears on a plaque at the Heinz History Center.
Also recognized last night were the Sole Survivors, the 12 men who have run all 21 Pittsburgh Marathons.
In addition to Slusser, that group includes: Dirk Kalp, Joe Bujdos, Bob Zukas, Tom Detar, Tim Hewitt, Terry Moore, Bob Graham, Don Toy, Marty Klanchar, Bob Crawford and Bill Rodney.
At a glance
Pittsburgh Marathon Hall of Fame inductees:
Keith Dowling (Reston, Va.)
S. Mark Courtney (Grove City)
Don Freedline (McMurray)
Malcom East (England)
Ed Fry (Indiana)
Cheryl Collins-Gatons (Greensburg)
Carl Hatfield (Bridgeport, W.Va.)
Don Norman (Pittsburgh)
Michele Fetting (Pittsburgh)
Don Slusser (Monroeville)
Tammy Slusser (Monroeville)