Alpena, Mich. — The Alplena Sports Hall of Fame opened it’s doors to a unique sport, running. Wayne Christopherson became the first marathon runner to be called to the hall for the class of 2018. He ran his first long race at the Saginaw Bay Marathon at Delta College in a time of 3:14:00.
“It is a chance to be out and get physically active,” said Christopherson. “There’s always a challenge no matter what the distance that you choose to run. In particular I choose the marathon to be my specialty.”
Christopherson was not always athletic, but he was in shape. The 70-year-old became inspired in 1972 when Frank Shorter won the Olympic Gold Medal. That’s when the running boom struck in the United States.
“I thought that was pretty cool, so I just started running, and then decided to try a marathon,” said Christopherson. “Then found out that I ran fairly well.”
He’s ran 100 mile races and 48 hour challenges, but some know him as the first person from Alpena to race in the Boston Marathon in 1982.
“It’s a big honor to be inducted into the hall of fame, and it’s very important that running is being shown as a sport.”
Christopherson has competed in 259 marathons or longer. His goal is to hit 300. The inductee enjoys giving back to the running community. He volunteers at Dork Brothers races and gives advice to younger athletes.
“One thing is that they can go to college as a runner,” said Christopherson. “Alpena has not had that, so that’s what these kids are really something. You’ve got Maddy Boyd, the Smith boys. The running community is actually helping these kids get a college education, just being a skinny little runner.”
While he may not admit it, Christopherson has been a catalyst for the sport of running in Alpena. During the summer on a Saturday morning, you might find him running 15-18 miles on a trail. Definitely worthy of the hall of fame.