HOUSTON (November 29, 2017) – The Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) announced the election of long-time Houston Marathon live coverage anchor, Tom Koch and the posthumous induction of Allen “Yogi” Jogerst into the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame. Koch and Jogerst will be honored and celebrated by the HMC on Nov. 30, 2017, at the 2018 Hall of Fame Reception.
Honoring Tom Koch
Tom Koch’s love of the marathon developed from one of his first reporting assignments as a Houston local, the 1983 Houston Marathon. Having never run much more than five miles himself, he stood at the finish line and felt the energy and excitement of the runners and the crowd, and thought, “someday I’m going to do this.” Fast forward to 2001, Koch began reporting for the Houston Marathon annually and had added “Marathon Finisher” to his resume as well. Then in 2004 Koch’s passion for and knowledge of running culminated with his dream assignment as the official anchor of the Houston Marathon live broadcast.
“Tom Koch has been the voice of the race for KTRK-13 since the 2004 live broadcast, and 2018 will be his 15th consecutive event as anchor of the Houston Marathon. His status as a runner is evident, and greatly informs his commentary. Over the last 17 years, he has served as emcee of a multitude of HMC events, always imparting that special runner’s perspective,” said Chevron Houston Marathon Race Director and Board President Brant Kotch. “The tremendous growth of the Houston Marathon weekend of events parallels Tom’s involvement, and we could not be prouder to recognize him for his notable contributions.”
“I love the event, the atmosphere, the excitement, the dedication and the involvement of the city,” said Koch. “I’m stunned and humbled by my induction into the Hall of Fame. I never dreamed I’d be honored for just doing my job and having fun. There are so many who work tirelessly all year to make this a possibility, and I’ll accept this honor on their behalf and with them in mind.”
Celebrating Allen “Yogi” Jogerst
A long-time Houston resident, Allen “Yogi” Jogerst was affectionately known in the running community as the “Mayor of the Park.” He knew all the regulars at Memorial Park and everyone knew him from his daily pre-dawn runs, training for marathons and simply embracing the sheer joy of running. It was Yogi’s dedication to the running community combined with his passion for civic engagement that paved the way for his volunteerism with the Houston Marathon at its inception in 1972. In his 45 years of Houston Marathon tenure, he participated in nearly every aspect of the race, helping to shape the event into what it is today.
“Yogi was the “essential man” of the marathon for as long as there has been a marathon. Whether he was shadowing Race Director David Hannah through the race’s formative years, serving on the Marathon’s Board of Directors, or helping grow the Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF), the HMC and the HMF were always foremost in Yogi’s mind,” said Chevron Houston Marathon Race Director and Board President Brant Kotch. “The “Mayor of Memorial Park” will be truly missed, and I cannot think of a more appropriate honor to preserve his memory than to induct him into the Hall of Fame. The “Mayor of Memorial Park” will be truly missed, and I cannot think of a more appropriate honor to preserve his memory than to induct him into the Hall of Fame.”
The HMC is grateful they could share the news of his induction with Yogi before his passing. “It meant a great deal to him to be honored, but in his typical fashion he was always very quiet about things like this,” said Yogi’s daughter, Caroline Jogerst Sabin. “He was the type of man who gained more from doing the work, seeing that things were done right, and the camaraderie of working with others who felt the way he did, than he did from any reward or recognition.” Yogi will be remembered as someone who was always willing to help the organization overcome any obstacle, big or small and his contributions will be missed.
About the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame
Over the past 45 years, countless people have contributed to the success and growth of the Houston Marathon, from industry and community leaders to humanitarians, athletes and volunteers. To recognize these individuals for their dedication and service to this great event and the sport of running, the Houston Marathon Committee established the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame in 2007.
For more information about the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame and a list of members, visit the Hall of Fame website http://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/about-hmc/hall-of-fame/.
About the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc.
Established in 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc. (HMC) is a founding member of Running USA and annually organizes the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon and 5K. Over 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators make Chevron Houston Marathon Race Day the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Recognized by the IAAF, the Gold Label Aramco Houston Half Marathon has held 16 U.S. Half Marathon Championships and the Silver Label Chevron Houston Marathon has been the race site for three U.S. Olympic Trials Marathons. For five consecutive years, the events have garnered Gold Certification from the Council of Responsible Sport and were also awarded the 2015 AIMS Green Award for industry-leading sustainability initiatives. Race Weekend generates over $50 million in economic impact for the region annually. In addition to its economic impact, the HMC facilitates social responsibility through its Run for a Reason Charity Program which has raised over $27 million since its inception and the Houston Marathon Foundation, which serves the greater Houston area through support of youth and community organizations that promote access to and participation in running. The event is televised annually with 2016 being the first time the race received national and international syndication airing on ESPN3 and the Longhorn Network.
For more information, visit www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com.