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Great Race salutes 26 ‘Perfect' racers


September 25, 2012

The celebration of the 35th anniversary of the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race includes a salute to 26 "Perfect Great Racers" who have participated in – and finished – every Great Race, starting back on September 25, 1977.

During the past 34 Great Races, this group has covered a combined distance of 5,480.8 miles – like running a relay from Pittsburgh to Vancouver, British Columbia…and back. Each man has run a total of 210.8 miles during the past 34 Great Races. The group includes Carl Hatfield of West Virginia, who won the first Great Race in 1977 and has returned to run the 10K every year since then.

"We refer to these extraordinary men as our ‘Perfect Great Racers' since they've been with us since the very first year, way back when race organizers used numbered Popsicle sticks to determine the order of finish," said Race Director Mike Radley. "They've witnessed many changes over the years, including the introduction of the electronic timing device and online registration. But one thing that has never changed is the Perfect Great Racers' commitment to running a 10K through the streets of Pittsburgh on the last Sunday of September."

A 35th anniversary exhibit showcasing the history of Pennsylvania's largest 10K race pays tribute to "Perfect Great Racers," the Caliguiri family and "Everyman's Race." It is located in the grand lobby of the City-County Building, 414 Grant Street, in Downtown Pittsburgh and is open to the public weekdays from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. through the end of September. It features photographs and race memorabilia including the 1977 first-place 10K trophy and a Frisbee used as a 1978 timing device.

The following 26 individuals have participated in – and finished – The Great Race for each of the past 34 years (1977 – 2011)*.

Tom Abbott (Cheswick, PA)

Richard Baldock (Allentown, PA)

Ken Balkey (Churchill, PA)

Dennis Barnhart (Mt. Lebanon, PA)

Gary Boyd (Butler, PA)

Leslie Alfred Brody (Wexford, PA)

John Burnheimer (Johnstown, PA)

Bob Costello (Connellsville, PA)

Philip Ehrman (Pittsburgh/South Side)

Paul Gaberson (Forest Hills, PA)

John George (Pittsburgh/Shadyside)

Ronald Hannan (Pittsburgh/Morningside)

Carl Hatfield (Bridgeport, WV)

Wayne Jacobs (Shaler, PA)

Thomas Kennedy (Bethel Park, PA)

Marty Klanchar (State College, PA)

David Lester (Pittsburgh/Hill District)

Jack Marszalek (Wilmerding, PA)

Roger McGuire (North Huntingdon, PA)

Tom Miles (Pittsburgh/Banksville)

Dick Monheim (Edgewood, PA)

Tom Murphy (Pittsburgh/Perry South)

Frank Nedwidek (Bellevue, PA)

John Richards III (McCandless, PA)

Rob Ruck (Pittsburgh/Squirrel Hill)

Don Slusser (Monroeville, PA)

* 2003 race cancelled

The 35th running of the Richard S. Caliguiri City of Pittsburgh Great Race – founded as a 10K road race in 1977 by the late mayor of Pittsburgh, Richard S. Caliguiri – will take place on Sunday, Sept. 30. Over the years, more than a quarter million individuals have taken part in the event, which has grown to include a 5K race, 5K walk and children's race.

For more information, visit or call The Great Race hotline at 412-255-2493.


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