The Hal and Rose Higdon Running Activity Fund was started to encourage people to enjoy running wherever, whenever, and however they can.
Hal and Rose Higdon have been involved, either through competing or supporting, running throughout their whole lives. The Hal and Rose Higdon Running Activity Fund was established to continue that support of running in the community.
Hal Higdon began running as a student at the University of Chicago Lab School and continued running competitively at Carleton College in Minnesota, where he won several conference championships. After school, Hal competed 8 times in the Olympic Trials, notching his best finish as 5th place at the 1960 Trials in the 3000 meter steeplechase. In the 1964 Boston Marathon, Hal placed 5th overall and was the first American finisher with his time of 2:21:55. His World Masters Championships M40 record of 9:18.6 in the steeplechase (set in 1975) remains the oldest American masters records in the books.
Hal is a Contributing Editor for Runner’s World and is the magazine’s longest lasting writer, having contributed an article to RW’s second issue in 1966. He also is the author of more than three dozen books, including Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide and the recently published Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training. In 2003, the American Society of Journalists and Authors awarded Hal its Career Achievement Award, the highest honor given to writer members.
Rose Higdon has always been the one behind the scenes either in handing out water to Hal as he was competing or being the organizer of all the activities related to Running Expos, book promotion and treasury. She co-authored a book with Hal about her Italian\Albanian ancestry with the help of an Eli Lilly Creativity Grant. Besides raising their 3 children, she had a long career in teaching in the Chicago Public Schools and the Michigan City Area Schools where she was chosen for their Wall of Fame. In 1991, she was a Finalist for Indiana Teacher of the Year.
Hal participated in his first marathon (Boston) in 1959. By the Boston Marathon in 1964, Hal had figured out the training principles that he shares with runners today. He led through 19 miles before being passed by the eventual winner and held on for 5th place and 1st place American finisher, clocking a personal best 2:21:55. Over 111 marathons, Hal has tallied four overall victories and numerous age-group firsts. He and first-born son, Olympic Marathon Trials Qualifier Kevin, at one time held the Father\Son combined time marathon record as Kevin holds the family record with a 2:18:50. Although the Father\Son record is now broken, the Higdons own the Father\Son\Grandson combined time marathon record with Hal and Rose's first grandson Kyle, who ran a 2:43:40. Besides Hal and Rose, seven members of the Higdon extended family (pictured) have finished a marathon.
Over the years, Hal developed training programs through his coaching of Kevin, the Elston High School Cross Country team in the early '90s and numerous training clinics. Those designs led to him becoming one of the first coaches to develop a website promoting and sharing training programs from 5 kilometers up through the marathon. This was the start of expanding the programs to include the extended family as daughter-in-law Camille Higdon was the early innovator of the website in the first years of the expanding Internet. That background website, https://www.halhigdon.com/, is still one of the most popular training sites today. As the training program's activity grew, more of the family members such as son David and daughter Laura lent expertise in communications and marketing. Ultimately in 2019, an App was developed to provide a wider range of interactive training (https://www.halhigdon.com/apps/). With this development, more of the grandchildren became involved to help with oversight, promotion, and technical expertise. These developments will help extend more information to all runners throughout the world, which was the goal of Hal and Rose from the beginning. The Running Fund has been set up to continue to promote running activities in the community.
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