OMRR Hall of Fame
The purpose of the OMRR Hall of Fame is to recognize very significant and/or lifetime achievement in running performance and/or service to the running community. It was started in January 2003 with five inaugural inductees. Up to two individuals may be added each year.
Dan needs a story.
Gene needs a story.
Jo Van Arkel
Jo needs a story.
Rosie needs a story.
Lullel needs a story.
Jon Van Arkel
Jon needs a story.
Richard needs a story.
Rusty needs a story.
Robert needs a story.
Darlene needs a story.
Tony needs a story.
Becky needs a story.
Richard (born 9/10/1953) started running in 1980 when he started gaining too much weight from eating pizza buffet every day of the week. At age 26, he was your typical weekend warrior, playing softball or touch football, but he had never done any organized running. In April of 1980, Richard saw a couple of minutes of coverage on Walter Cronkite’s CBS Evening News about the Boston Marathon and thought to himself, “I can do that!” So he went to J.C. Penny’s and bought a pair of bright blue Adidas running shoes and headed out the front door for a couple of miles.
The first year of running (1980), Richard completed several 10K (6.2 mile) races, a 30K (18.6 mile) race, and a marathon (Dallas White Rock). Then, in 1981, he suffered a major setback due to a serious motorcycle accident, which kept him confined to bed for several months. In early 1982 he started hobbling again and by 1984 ran his second marathon, the Great Southern Marathon in Springfield, MO. Eventually, Richard would qualify for and run the Boston Marathon several times. During one stretch in 2002, he ran five marathons under 3:10, a major accomplishment for him. In 2005, Richard was the first Missouri runner outside of the St. Louis and Kansas City areas to complete a marathon in all 50 states (that’s him in the picture finishing his 50th, the Mayors Midnight Sun Marathon in Anchorage, AK). He now has completed 79 marathons and 4 ultra-marathons (31 miles, 52 miles, and 70 miles). Richard’s PRs (personal records) include a 3:06:58 marathon, a 1:29:49 half marathon, a 38:37 10K, an 18:33 5K, and a 5:07 mile, all accomplished after the age of 40.
Richard may be most well-known locally as the Webmaster of the Ozark Mountain Ridge Runner (OMRR) web site, www.omrr.org. Richard was teaching web site development at Southwest Missouri State University in 1999 and realized that OMRR needed a web site to provide local race results, upcoming events, and running tips. So omrr.org was created and has been serving hundreds of area runners since then. Richard also started several new running programs for OMRR, such as the Runner of the Year program (tracking and rewarding the running accomplishments of all levels of area runners throughout the year), the Meet-a-Runner program (profiles of area runners on omrr.org), and the Triple Crown of Racing series (select races that provide extra rewards for those who complete these events).
Another of Richard’s activities is race directing. He observed that OMRR sponsored two or three races each year, but none of them benefitted any charities. So he started the Run for the Ranch in 2000 to benefit the Good Samaritan Boys Ranch (Brighton, MO). Then the Valentine Run followed in 2001 to benefit the American Heart Association. Other races were created benefiting several local and national charities, raising several thousands of dollars over the years.
Richard has been married 34 years to Debbie and has ten children (Robert, Emily, Bonnie, Sarah, Rachel, Ben, Jenny, Melanie, Eliza, and Luke), along with several grandchildren. He also teaches Sunday School at Boulevard Baptist Church and is an Associate Professor of Computer Information Systems at Southwest Missouri State University. (written January, 2006)
Tom needs a story.
I began running in 1976, when I got married, and could not run ½ mile. Within a few weeks I worked up to a mile, then three.
Sometime soon, after starting running, we met a group of people, who would later become the Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners. Some of these people were Dr. Wayne McKinney, Clyde Johnson, Floyd Johnson, Dr. Jim Davis, and Mark Kastner. There were 12 of us who were the charter members of OMRR, and we met once a month at McDonald Arena for meetings. We started charging dues, sending out a newsletter, and meeting periodically to do group training. I served as secretary for two years and newsletter editor of the “Running Briefs,” for three years.
Floyd Johnson had started doing Saturday morning fun runs of three and five miles, and once I ran my first five miler, I was hooked. There was no charge, but one could earn patches through the National Jogging Association.
I ran my first marathon in Tulsa at Mohawk Park. in 1980. I finished in 4-1/2 hours and wondered if I would ever run again. I began seriously training at that point and ran my first sub-3:20 marathon in November, 1982 in St. Louis, becoming the first female from Springfield to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
During that time, we operated on LSD (long slow distance) endorsed by such running greats as Arthur Lydiard, George Sheehan, Joe Henderson, and Jeff Galloway. In preparing for marathons, I would log up to 85 miles per week, and never did less than 50. This type of training took its toll and before the Boston Marathon for 1983, I had severe stress fractures in both shins. (The doctor said that my shins looked like cracked sidewalks.)
By 1984, I had trained myself back to sub-3:20 shape and ran a 3:16:34 at Dallas White Rock, placing 19 out of 310 females and earning a trophy in my age group. Soon after, I found that I would be facing another type of discipline in raising our first son. (No Boston Marathon that year.)
We had learned, at this point, that running so many miles was not such a good idea, so we began cross training. Brian Reynolds started a Masters Swimming group at Drury College in 1982, and there we were three nights per week in the pool. Many times, I was the only female, and once I would hit the wall, he would blow the whistle again for another repeat, until I felt that I was having an out-of-body experience. We had also started biking and did time trials out at Willard on Thursday evenings. I found that I could accomplish the same fitness level without stressing my body so much by incorporating swimming & biking. Brian, along with the Springfield Swim Club, now SPA, also began the Ozarks Triathlon that year. I had a new passion. There was only one other female in town back then who did this type of training. Margaret Visio and I challenged one another on long runs, in the pool, and on the bike.
With a new baby in 1985, I resigned from my job at the Paul Mueller Company, which involved traveling around the country setting up trade shows. I became the full-time manager and co-owner of Ridge Runner Sports. At this time, I alternated with raising a son, putting on races, training, and going to school. (After piece-mealing my education for 18 years, I was thrilled to earn my B.S. in Marketing from SMSU one month before turning 40.)
Ozark Racing Systems was formed in 1982 to put on races and to lend continuity to these events. I became more involved with ORS in 1985 and in this capacity was involved in the original Sunshine Run, which began and ended at the Sunshine Tennis Center. There were many firsts during this period of time – the first Cox Medical Mile, the first YMCA Run, the original Jingle Bell Run, the Zoo Run, The Hardee’s 5 Mile which looped through Southern Hills, the Great Southern Marathon, the Heer’s Race, the St. John’s Women’s Run, the Bass Pro Race, and many more. Most of these races still exist and have improved with time. I have enjoyed shaping the course of running in Springfield in this capacity. Putting on these races has been as rewarding as participating in them.
By 1987, once again, I went to Dallas and ran a 3:18 marathon. Nine months later, I was blessed with another wonderful son. I did not run Boston that year, and they soon changed the qualifying time to 3:40 for women my age. Thanks a lot!
I have completed 16 marathons, 8 of them under 3:30. They do not get easier, but they all teach me something. I find that the longer it takes to complete each one, the harder they are. The longer you are out there, the more you leave of yourself on the course.
Some other firsts:
Cox kids training
RRS speed training
RRS 5K races
Campfire USA Adventure Race
Kidathlon at Village Green.
The future of running is exciting for Springfield. I look forward to expanding product lines here at Ridge Runner Sports. I look forward to making the races bigger and better with our new system and many more wonderful years in sharing the roads with great people.
Marathon – 3:16:34
Half – 1:32
15K – 63:01
10K – 41:07
5K – 19:36
Mile – 5:51
2nd overall – Ozarks Triathlon
Overall Winner – Shriner’s 10K
3rd overall – Springfield’s Great Southern Marathon
age group place – Tulsa Run
age group place – K.C. Hospital Hill Run
Matt Wegenka has basically been known as the best distance runner in Southwest Missouri for the decade of the 1990’s and beyond, although recently slowed somewhat by an injury. The name “Wegenka” has become synonymous with running excellence in this area. Matt excelled as a distance runner for SMS in the late 1980’s and then went on to absolutely dominate the local and regional road racing scene, even competing very successfully at the national level. His WAVA ratings were in the low to mid 90% range establishing him as a national class athlete.
99 U.S. 20K Championships 8th,
1999 U.S. 10 Mile Championships 7th,
99 KC Trolley Run 3rd,
1st Hospital Hill 12K Course Record,
98 River Run 3rd,
97 City of Lakes 25K 2nd 1:19:34,
97 Firecracker Fast 5K, 3rd 14:09,
2nd 1996 13:59, 6th 95 13:46,
1st 97 Cox Medical Road Mile 4:02,
1st 96 Cox Medical Road Mile 3:53 course record,
1st 96 Midnight Madness 10K,
1st 96 Festival of Races 10K,
95 USA Track & Field Championships Qualifier 5,000 meters,
92 U.S. Olympic Trials Track & Field Qualifier 5,000 meters 13:46.50 PR,
4th 91 U.S. Olympic Festival,
1st 91 Memphis in May 10K,
1st 91 Trolley Run,
1999 Chicago Marathon 2:22:33,
2nd Dam to Dam 20K 1999 and 2000.
Multiple Winner of Sunshine Run,
PR on Sunshine Run course 29:18,
Multiple Winner of Cox Medical Mile, Course Record Holder 3:53 road mile,
3 time winner of Springfield Marathon, Course record holder 2:27:54,
Winner of SMSU Alumni Run 15 times - course record holder 14:19,
Course record holder of Christmas Parade 5K,
Course record holder Turkey Trot 14:29,
Course Record Holder Kitchen Run,
Course Record Holder Conservation Run 10K 30:12,
Course Record Holder Maynard Cohick Half Marathon,
Course Record Holder Dogwood Canyon 8K,
Course Record Holder YMCA 8K,
Course Record Holder RRS 5K,
Course Record Holder Sedalia Half Marathon,
Have the course record in every Southwest Missouri Road Race I have run, except the Sunshine Run,
29:08 10K roads,
13:46.5 5,000 meters track,
13:46 5,000 meters road,
3:53 road mile,
8K 23:29, 25K 1:19:36,
State Record Holder for Road Distances 5K, 4 mile and 12K.
College: Went to Southwest Missouri State University on a track and cross-country scholarship. Was a two time conference cross-country individual champion and was a key part of three team championships. Was all-region cross country 1987, placing 7th at the NCAA Regional meet, highest finish ever by an SMS runner until Casey Owens (female) finished 6th this year 2003. Was an academic all conference numerous times. Upon graduating from College held two individual school records in track and was a part of 5 school relay records.
Personal: Married - Wife Sheila, 3 kids Josh age 9, Natalie age 8 and Luke age 4.
Have also race directed several races in the area and started the Jack Frost 5K when I was on the Finance Committee with Catholic Campus Ministries attending College at SMSU, race is still going strong today.
Charles Mabry (known as “Charlie” to the running community) began his running career fairly late in life at the age of 44 (1987). Charlie quickly emerged as a dominant force in the road racing, duathlon, and triathlon scene in Southwest Missouri and across the U.S. Charlie has not only been blessed with natural ability, but he has always been extremely disciplined and hard-working when it comes to his training regimen. Charlie knows what it is to overcome extreme adversity as he broke his collar bone and ribs in a biking accident while training for the 1998 Ironman Hawaii, one month before the event (and still participated), and lost a finger in a home maintenance accident, going on to win his age group in a half iron distance triathlon just a few months later. Not only is Charlie a phenomenal athlete, but he is known as a caring and supporting individual as he encourages those around him to achieve their potential.
Following is a brief summary of his athletic accomplishments (many of his age group victories in local races have been omitted because they are just too numerous).
1990 (age 47)
Sedalia Half Marathon: 1st Master
Cohick Half Marathon: 1:21:56 (PR)
Boston Marathon: 3:06:52, 1,441 out of 9,362 runners
Be a Pig 5K: 17:22, 1st Master
Esprit 10K: 36:43, 1st Master
OMRR Duathlon: 1:49:54, 1st Master
Pikes Peak Ascent: 3:09, 1st Age Group (63 out of 1000+ total)
Fall Fest 10K: 35:25, 1st Master
Dallas White Rock Marathon: 2:53:37 (PR)
Other Personal Bests
Big Brother 5K: 17:05
Sunshine Run 10K: 35:16
Tulsa Run 15K: 55:49
1993 Sunshine Run 10K: 36:06
1993 Cohick Half Marathon: 1:26:17
1993 Hospital Hill Half Marathon: 1:24
1994 Hospital Hill Half Marathon: 1:25
1994 USA Duathlon Championship: 2nd in 50-54 age group
1994 World Duathlon Championship (Australia): 7th place in 50-54 age group
1996 Ironman Hawaii: qualified and participated
1998 Ironman Hawaii: qualified and participated
1999 Ironman Panama City, FL: 5th place in age group
2002 Ultramax Iron Distance Triathlon (MO): 1st in age group
2003 Ultramax Half Iron Distance (MO): 1st in age group
2003 Ozark Mountain 50K: 1st in age group (60-64), 7th overall out of 25
Ray Wageman, 80, is a member of the Springbike Club and the OMRR Running Club. He is employed as a lifeguard at G. Pearson Ward, Springfield Family Y.
Ray first learned to swim in a small creek at the foot of Cox Hospital, which ran through the property of his family farm. His parents lost the farm during the great depression and moved to a five-acre farm near Fassnight Park.
The Springfield Park Board had a swim program with a swim meet each Monday night between Fassnight Park, Grant Beach Park and Dolling Park. This competition became very keen for a number of years, according to Ray. Awards were red, yellow and blue ribbons. He accumulated enough to make a quilt!!! The high schools had no programs except the Senior High had a tennis tournament in the spring of each year in which he competed.
During the late 60’s and 70’s Ray was active with the Southern Hills Swim Club as manager of the swim team for several years and was also very active with the Springfield Swim Club in support of the swimming activities and various swim meets. He played a part in getting high school swimming started in our school system along with other active members of the swim club. He also spent many years on the lake, water skiing with his son and daughter.
Ray was active with the “Y” Indian Guide program and was Chief of the Long House for two years (In charge of the 13 tribes). He also managed a Little League Kiwanis baseball team for a period of four years. Ray became active with tennis at the age of 49 and continued playing many tournaments, local and national. His wife, Evelyn, also took up tennis and plays regularly to this day as he does.
To date Ray has completed 97 triathlons including local, state, national and four world championships: Avagion, France, 1989, Gold; Orlando, Florida, 1990, Placed 3rd, but dq’d on a technicality…ugh…sad story for Ray. He failed to wear a singlet on the run! Ray also placed in Cancun, Mexico, 1993, 4th place, and Halifax, Canada, 1992, Atlantic Games to which the U.S. was invited – gold.
Major wins for Ray: National: 9 – golds; 22 – silvers; 5 – bronze and numerous 4th, 5th, and 6th place finishes too.
Ray started running at age 50 and never let up. He has never done an Ironman or a marathon, but he has done several half marathons. His half-marathon p.r. was on Nov. 14th, 1987 at the Maynard Cohick with a 1:41:41 – 1st place in the 60-70 and again he ran the Cohick in 1989 with a 1:47:08 to take 1st again. His p.r. for the 10K was at the Sunshine Run, Oct. 11th, 1986 with a 43:50 – 2nd place. His 5K p.r. is a 21:15.
Ray has run 5K, 10K, time trials, road races and duathlons of various lengths. He has attended seven National Senior Olympics competing in track events, swimming and bike, tennis and triathlon events. He won all the triathlon events that he entered for National Senior Olympics except one, which was at Syracuse, NY. He always thought he would have won that one overall, had he not taken a wrong turn on the bike leg. He participated at St. Louis, MO twice, Syracuse, NY, Baton Rouge, LA, San Antonio, TX, Tucson, AZ, and Orlando, FL. At the National Senior Olympics, he always qualified in at least eleven events and usually competed in about nine, as several of the events would occur at the same time. In most of the events he would receive a medal or ribbon! Wow!
Ray did service in the Army Air Corps during WWII. His main claim to fame was that he finished tour of missions over Germany as a radio operator on a B-17. Unfortunately for Ray, he was called back to duty for the Korean War. He was employed by CAA as an aircraft communicator before being recalled to duty for the Korean conflict. He was employed by Springfield Newspapers—district manager for 34 years and Bass Pro Shops for 15 years. All of which he says was very interesting work that he feels fortunate to have been a part of.
According to Ray, “Of the many activities which I have participated in, swim, bike, run, tennis, roller skating, water skiing, fishing, ice skating, I would have to say that I enjoy biking most. If I could be the best in the world in any sport, it would have to be tennis for a number of reasons: No. 1, you do it all yourself and No. 2, you get a good many solid hits with every game. In baseball, you are lucky to get one good hit a game; golf, maybe 18 at the most if you are really good. With golf, I don’t enjoy looking for that little white ball!”
“My past employment and athletic endeavors have given me many experiences, friends and has opened many doors. I have been blessed with good health for which I am grateful. In my next life, I would like to be given a good voice and be able to sing like Murio Lanza, and also be able to qualify for the Tour de France…Great! Cheers!”
Gerald Glass is very well known to just about everyone associated with OMRR. He is a past president of OMRR and has been running very competitively for the past 19 years. At the age of 62, he finished 3rd in the Senior Division of the Boston Marathon, one of about 37 marathons total. He says that the marathon is his favorite racing distance. At the age of 50, Gerald set all his PR’s ranging from a 17:12 5K to a 2:56 marathon. At the age of 60, he was still running an 18:25 5K and a 3:06 marathon! Can you imagine that kind of speed at those ages over that range of distances? Commenting on his outlook toward running, this high achiever said, “I started at the age of 45, running for health and fitness, and still find that important, but I have since become somewhat addicted to the competition, running 35 to 45 races a year. I also enjoy the camaraderie that’s a part of the running community. It’s a pleasure to associate with individuals who have such a positive outlook on life.” Unfortunately, this running animal has been slowed recently by a serious illness, but should be back in the fray soon.
Clyde Johnson was the first president of Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners twenty-five years ago (1978). His running career dates back to the 1940’s when he ran track for Syracuse University. While serving in the military during World War II, he learned to run distance by doing a 7-mile run each Saturday. In the 1970’s, he won a third place in the World Masters Games, a very significant accomplishment. He has run 13 marathons, including Boston and Pikes Peak. He and a group of Ridge Runners even ran from Springfield to Silver Dollar City. His trophies from local races are too numerous to even mention. He may not remember, but he even talked Richard Johnson (no relation) into running his first race ever back in 1980 (Beat the Heat). This runner has definitely had an extremely positive effect on the sport in the Ozarks.
Floyd Johnson was the other co-founder of Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners. He helped kick off the racing craze by organizing fun runs back in the 1970’s. He often trained with Maynard Cohick. The 5K that accompanies the Cohick half-marathon is named in his honor. Floyd is being inducted posthumously.
Bob Mahoney is still very active on the local, regional, and national racing circuit, at the age of 75! He is definitely a motivating factor for all of us who want to keep on running no matter what our age. When he was 54, he broke 40 minutes in the 10K for the first time. Earlier that same year, he set the Missouri record for the Heart of America Marathon (one of the toughest in the U.S.) for ages 50-54 by clocking in at 3:07:07, a record which still stands. He set several state records for his age group this year, including the 10K at the Sunshine Run and the half-marathon at Cohick. His age-graded time for the Run for the Ranch half-marathon was 1:18. He was influenced by running guru, Dr. George Sheehan who said that running was his essence and that it was through running he discovered his human spirit and became himself and fulfilled himself. Bob is still going strong and plans to set more records this year.
Dr. Wayne McKinney
Dr. Wayne McKinney is one of the cofounders of Ozark Mountain Ridge Runners. He taught biomedical science at SMSU for 25 years and is well known for conducting his Health Related Fitness Profile from 1986 to 2000. Wayne was the first area runner to complete the Pikes Peak marathon and conducted the first estimated time runs in the Ozarks back in the 1970’s. He has logged some 48,000 running miles and actually suffers from a serious illness related to running—he was bitten by an insect during a New Mexico run that resulted in a rare form of cancer, for which he is now receiving treatment.