HOUSTON (December 12, 2013) – The Houston Marathon Committee (HMC) announced on Thursday the election of former member of the HMC Board of Directors Denny Morse into the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame. Morse will be honored by the Houston Marathon Committee on December 12 at the 2014 Hall of Fame Reception.
“Denny Morse was the last of the original directors of the Houston Marathon Committee, Inc., dating back to the organization’s founding in January of 1982,” stated HMC Board President and event Race Director Brant Kotch. “From the beginning, his has been a steady, common-sense and good-natured voice on the Board, and he’s been a valuable race day official. The void that we’ve felt at our Board meetings since he retired in April of this year is going to be even more acutely felt on race weekend.”
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.
“I had a special interest in getting the finish order complete and accurate because when I ran my first race in Dallas I didn’t show up in the results,” stated Morse, who is the 18th person inducted into the HMC Hall of Fame. “So when you do the results it’s really two things – you don’t want to lose anybody, but you also don’t want anybody to show up in there that doesn’t belong.”
In his first few years, Morse was on the finish line for one of closest finishes in marathon history.
“In 1984 we had the closest finish that you will ever see in a marathon. Fourth place was three second behind the winner. Third place was one second behind the winner. Second place was about a half an inch behind the winner,” remembers Morse. “I was at the finish line holding the tape with another one of the board members thinking I have to be a finish line judge. I didn’t see the last ten meters of the race because I was concentrating on the finish. We huddled together for about ten minutes after the race before coming to a decision.”
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.
“The Hall of Fame is a very select group and it’s just about the highest honor that you can imagine,” said Morse. “I’ve never had an honor like this and I’ve been in athletics all my life. Being a member of a Hall of Fame is something I never aspired to. It’s the highest honor that I can imagine in terms of my involvement in marathoning over the last 36 years. Being a member of a very select group, all of whom are friends of mine, I look forward to it very much.”
About the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame
Over the past 41 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 https://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/Marathon/HallOfFame.cfm.