About the Hall of Fame

Over the past 47 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.

Class of 2020

Through her dynamic leadership of more than 34 years, Susan Christian developed the Mayor’s Office of Special Events and has driven the city’s commitment to, and celebration of quality civic events – including the Houston Marathon Weekend of Events – showcasing the rich cultural diversity of Houston. “Each year, I’m reminded of the sheer joy that I see on the runner’s faces as they pass by the start line, the exuberance of their step and determination to get to the finish line,” said Christian. “And at the finish line, I see on the runner’s faces both agony and ecstasy of completing a goal. It’s truly remarkable”

Throughout most of her tenure at the City of Houston, Christian has worked alongside Houston Marathon staff and volunteers to design various course routes and facilitates permitting and other support services for the event annually. “Susan’s role in our event is one that isn’t always outwardly visible to our participants but is essential to our operations,” said Houston Marathon Committee Executive Director, Wade Morehead. “The event truly would not be possible without her and her team’s collaborative efforts throughout the year.”

In addition to partnering with the Houston Marathon Committee, Christian is also responsible for the city’s year-round Civic Celebration Program in which, her office produces, sponsors, and permits over 2,000 event-days, with more than 10 million people in attendance annually. Christian credits the success of her office to like-minded individuals and organizations who share the belief that partnerships are fundamental to growth and sustainability.

Class of 2019

 A native Texan, Dan Green graduated from Pearland High School and went on to attend the University of Houston (U of H) where he participated in cross country and track. It was at U of H where Green met distance running coach Al Lawrence, 2017 Houston Marathon Hall of Fame inductee. Over the course of the next 20 years, Lawrence made a significant impact on Green, including coaching him to become the first winner of the Houston Marathon in 1972. Under Lawrence’s guidance, Green went on to win countless titles including every Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) Gulf Championship race distance.

“I am flattered and humbled to be inducted into the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame. To follow in the footsteps of the great Al Lawrence into the Hall of Fame is beyond my comprehension. Words cannot describe how I feel,” said Green on his induction.

Green has dedicated more than 48 years of his life to Houston running through racing, coaching and building running clubs and communities. He is the Coach and founder of Team Green Running, where he has trained top athletes such as Wilkerson Given, the 2018 men’s top American finisher at the Chevron Houston Marathon. He is also currently coaching an Olympic Development Group, a master’s group, a youth track and cross-country group, a mother’s group, and a beginner’s running group.

“Dan has been a fixture on the Houston running scene for almost a half-century, beginning with his victory in our very first race, continuing through his stewardship of the very successful Woodlands High School cross country and track and field program, and now culminating with his management of Team Green. The Houston running community is the richer for Dan’s many contributions,” said Chevron Houston Marathon Race Director and Board President Brant Kotch. “It is an honor for us to recognize and celebrate his achievements through this induction.”

Class of 2018

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.”

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.

Class of 2017

Al Lawrence was a staple in the Houston running community for more than 4o years. Known for his ability to foster competitive and recreational running among his athletes, as well as within the local Houston community, Lawrence’s passion and knowledge for the sport was evident until his passing at the age of 86 from Pancreatic Cancer.

Al arrived in Houston in 1958 and joined the University of Houston’s track team, where he won the NCAA and AAU cross country national championships in 1959 and 1960. He set two world records six days apart, for the indoor 2-mile and 3-mile and competed for Australia in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics in the 5,000m, 10,000m and marathon – winning a bronze medal in the 10,000m in 1956. In the early 1970s, Lawrence began coaching local elite and novice runners. Since its inception in 1972, hundreds of Lawrence’s runners have finished the Houston Marathon, including the inaugural champion, Danny Green. After years on the sidelines as a coach, Lawrence decided to launch a competitive comeback and entered the Houston Marathon for the first time in 1978. He finished the race in 2:45:32. He then went on to run the race six more times and in 1981 won the U.S. Athletics Congress’ “Outstanding Athlete Award” for his 50-59 age group and was capable of posting a sub-2:40 time.

Al’s induction into the Hall of Fame represents a new category of contributors to our race – running coaches, those who advise, mentor and train our runners.  Given the number of runners he’s coached and their far greater number of total finishes, no coach has contributed more to the Chevron Houston Marathon.

Class of 2016

Susan Poorman Blackie was a long-time Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) Board Member and a founding member of the Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF). She embodied the generosity and volunteer spirit which exemplifies the community of people who make the event possible each year. Susan was responsible for venue operations at the George R. Brown Convention Center from 1998-2006 and was instrumental in organizing Trials Town and the Opening Ceremony for the 2012 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. She was an HMC Board member from 2004 to 2013. In 2007, Susan established the HMF with current President Maddie Bunch, Treasurer David Chester and Medical Director Dr. John Cianca.

Susan passed away on July 4, 2014 at the age of 64 and is survived by her husband Gary Blackie, son Buck Dodson and daughter Mindy White. She will be greatly missed but her legacy will continue on with the creation of an annual college scholarship in her name.

Class of 2015

CARL MOERER‘s association with the Houston Marathon Committee began in 1980 and over 35 years of volunteering, he only missed one race. Moerer spent the duration of his time on the Course Committee, beginning back when the Houston Marathon was a two-loop course at Memorial Park and was involved in every course re-design in the ensuing years.

From 1987 through 1991, Moerer was the Course Director and instrumental in the 1985 route redesign, which led to the first city-wide 26.2 mile course in the history of the Houston Marathon. Moerer, a partner at Tate Moerer & King, L.L.P., was also a member of the Houston Local Organizing Committee responsible for hosting the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials for the men’s and women’s marathon.

Class of 2014

DENNY MORSE’s association with the Houston Marathon Committee began back in 1980. He originally moved to Houston in 1972 and after a few years here, a friend asked him to go for a run at Memorial Park. Several years after that, Morse ran his first marathon. That was the start of his running career that would lead him to the Houston Marathon Committee. Morse started out working with the results team, a position that evolved into the Official Scorer over the years. Morse was also a member of the Board of Directors during his entire tenure with the Houston Marathon Committee and has been involved in the selection process for the HMC Hall of Fame since its inception in 2007.