Click on the above title for full article by Mark Winitz.
NAPA, Calif. — February 20, 2015 — The Kaiser Permanente Napa Valley Marathon announced today that three recent champions will return to the world-renowned Napa Valley and anchor a small, but talented, elite field on Sunday, March 1, 2015: Chris Mocko (San Francisco, Calif.), Devon Yanko (San Anselmo, Calif.), and Michelle Meyer (San Francisco, Calif.).
At the Napa Valley Marathon’s annual free Marathon College, held the day before the race, Joe Henderson (running author, editor, and coach) will moderate a unique 90-minute panel discussion, “Olympic Marathon Champions of 1976”, that will feature special guests Frank Shorter, Bill Rodgers and Don Kardong who competed on the 1976 U.S. Olympic marathon team. Shorter won the 1972 Olympic Marathon and placed second in 1976. His 1972 victory is generally credited as the race that ignited the U.S. running boom.
Kardong was fourth in the ’76 Olympic marathon. During that era, Shorter won the Fukuoka Marathon in Japan (the world championship marathon at that time) four years in a row (1971-1974). Rodgers won both the Boston and New York City Marathons four times each. Kardong won the Honolulu Marathon in 1978. All three runners are (U.S.) National Distance Running Hall of Fame inductees. Former New York City Marathon Race Director, Allan Steinfeld, will also participate on the panel.
Another National Distance Running Hall of Fame inductee, Dick Beardsley, and USA Track & Field Masters Hall of Fame member, John Keston, are featured speakers at the Marathon College. Beardsley is, perhaps, best known for his “Duel in the Sun” with renowned U.S. distance runner Alberto Salazar at the 1982 Boston Marathon. Keston, age 90, holds multiple world and U.S. age group running records.
The Marathon College is scheduled for Saturday, February 28 from 10 a.m. to approximately 3 p.m. at the Napa Valley Marriott Hotel & Spa. The Olympic Marathon Champions of 1976 panel discussion takes place from 12 to 1:30 p.m. NVM weekend also includes a Sports and Fitness Expo on Friday, February 27th from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday, February 28th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Marriott. Both the Marathon College and Sports and Fitness Expo are free for the general public.