About the Hall of Fame

Over the past 51 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 2023

Alton Milrany was born and raised in Plano, Texas where he enjoyed playing all sports. After graduating from SMU, he moved to Houston to work for Tenneco and following his retirement, Alton dedicated his time and expertise to help local nonprofits.

Alton started as a volunteer and joined the Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) Board of Directors in the early 2000’s, serving as Treasurer until 2005.  After a brief stint with the MS Society, Alton returned to the HMC. In April 2007 he was named as the HMC Executive Director and served in that position until 2010.  During that time, Alton led the nation-wide search for the HMC’s first full-time Executive Director.  Alton was then voted by the HMC BOD to serve as a member of the HMC Executive Committee and held the Officer position as Board Secretary.  A selfless leader with an affinity for philanthropic endeavors, Alton was a staunch supporter of the growth and impact of the HMC’s Run for a Reason Charity program (RFAR) which provides a platform for over 60 charities to fundraise annually for a wide variety of impactful causes.  His vision and passion for the RFAR program played a significant role in its growth.  The inception of the RFAR program was in 1995 and the program generated nearly $10M in its first 15 years, but since 2010 the RFAR program has raised over $25M and will cross the $35M plateau in 2023.

In 2007, Alton was a Founding Member of the Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF), which was created as the philanthropic arm of the Houston Marathon and designed to have a legacy impact on the Houston community by promoting the health and wellness benefits of long-distance running.  He served on the HMF BOD for over 10 years.  Today, the HMF has awarded $240,000 in scholarships to local cross-country runners, and the We Run Houston after-school running program has provided training support, equipment, and race entries to 3,869 students in the Greater Houston Region.  Additionally, the HMF has promoted a hands-only CPR awareness campaign, hosted numerous Family Fun Runs for new runners, and financially supported the training for U.S. professional long-distance runners.

Alton’s passion for philanthropic work in the community and the time he gave to volunteer for the HMC directly contributed to its growth, success, and community impact. He always said he would do anything for the Houston Marathon, as long as he did not have to run.

Alton passed away in September of 2020, but his contribution to the HMC will live on forever.

Originally from Alton, Illinois, David and Kate Chester relocated to Katy, Texas in 1986 along with their family, led by David’s job at Shell Oil. In 1999, they found their way to Houston.  David has been a runner since 1977, ran his first of 30 marathons in 1978, and ran the Houston Marathon from 1987 through 1992.  In 1993, David started volunteering in various roles for the Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) when his close friend, current board member Madeline Bunch, convinced Kate and David to assist with the Elite Athlete Committee which they did together for 20 years.

In 1996, Paul Bunch, Bill Anthony and David were asked to handle all Elite Athlete invitations and were responsible for building a competitive field of world-class runners for the event each year. Kate worked with Madeline to handle the logistics (entering data, scheduling meals and hotels, and other administrative items).

After a couple of years, David started working as the Elite Athlete Coordinator, and he owned this enormous responsibility until after the 2012 U.S.A. Olympic Trials men’s and women’s marathon. One of their goals after the turn of the century was to recruit a runner who could break the men’s course record, and after falling short on several attempts, Deriba Merga ran a 2:07:52 in 2009 moving Houston up the ranks of elite U.S. marathons. In 2012, a day after the Olympic Trials, David comprised a field of world class men and women runners for the Chevron Houston Marathon and Aramco Houston Half Marathon that led to all four course records falling, culminating in an amazing weekend for the sport and the Houston running community.  Following this monumental weekend, David retired and mentored Erin Forssman, who took over the elite program, and was assisted by Kate, who continued working with the Elite Committee for a few more years.

David was also one of the Founding Members of the Houston Marathon Foundation (HMF) in 2007 and served as Treasurer on the HMF Board of Directors for 10 years.

Kate and David enjoyed working with the HMC and all the great people who make the Houston Marathon what it has become over the years. David is honored that he and Kate will be in the Hall of Fame, but saddened that Kate, who passed away in February of 2019 will not be able to share this honor together.

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