I found myself daydreaming during a hike the other day about an ultramarathon hall of fame. Most sports have one, and actually many non sport related careers and industries have them. So, hypothetically, what if ultrarunning had one? There is an American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame, but as far as I know there isn't a general one for the entire sport. Setting aside the formalities of what governing body would decide, or what is considered an ultra, here's who I think would make the list. You'll notice it's mostly an American roster, largely due to the fact those are the only names I am familiar with, but we all know many other countries have produced amazing ultramarathoners.
For starters, I suppose in order to be "qualified" of a hall of fame type "career", there should be some longevity, records, contribtuions, and overall success in the world of distance running over 26.2 miles. Of course, many of these folks are still competitive today, but I'd probably consider runners whose careers pre date the last five years. Perhaps prior to 2006, which, for the time being, would probably rule out current elites like Geoff Roes, Tony Krupicka, and Killian Jornet. Just an example.
The hypothetical Ultrarunning Hall of Fame class of 2011
Yiannis Kouros- the big kahuna
Ann Trason- the best female ever
Terry Fox- though he never formally ran ultras
Oleg Kharitonov- HOF performance, 11:28 100 mile world record. It should be noted that a 14 hour 100 was done in 1934 by Arthur Newton who set the bar for the distance.
Sue Ellen Trapp
Dean Karnazes- the guy everyone loves to hate
Potential HOF'ers: Annette Bednosky, Anne Lundblad, Anita Ortiz, Hal Koerner, David Goggins, Monica Scholz, Dave Mackey.
It'll be interesting to see who is still running in ten years, as the sport really seemed to explode in the mid 2000's. With so many talented runners, I wonder how many will be quick 3-5 years stars, and who will stick around for a while?