Didrickson, Trent top picks (Hall of Fame)

September 17, 2010
Alaska Sports Hall of Fame

Voting for the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame Class of 2011 begins next month.

Periodically, we will share some of the write-in recommendations. Here are a few:

Recommendation: Herb Didrickson
Submitted by: Gil Truitt
Why: Herb Didrickson starred at Sheldon Jackson High School 1944, 45 and 46; Sheldon Jackson Jr. College 1947 and 1948; Sitka ANB 1949-64; Oltimers/Senior Citizens competition locally, regionally and nationally 1965-90. He is a lifelong Sitkan and resides here. He chose to attend Sheldon Jackson Junior College despite many offers from big-time NCAA basketball institutions.

He was the quickest ball player I have seen anywhere and possessed unbelievable quick hands, long arms and unbelievable jumping ability. He was a terror on defense and was feared by everyone. His defensive skills were as well known, and respected, as his tremendous scoring punch. Knowledgeable basketball critics agree that he could have made the starting line-up, and perhaps All American status, of any team in the country. He was performing feats before they became fashionable in the college and pro ranks. Feats such as being the receiver of “alley oop” passes throughout his career; tipping in missed shots and grabbing a hold of the rim from a flat-footed position. He was capable of dunking but did not because it was against the rules at the time.

He was the best in track and field, especially distance running and was an adult baseball star. He officiated basketball 15 years and was in demand at SE Regionals as well as state-wide tournaments/play-offs. When it came to sportsmanship, he was tops. He is today the greatest Alaska basketball ambassador.

Recommendation: Herb Didrickson
Submitted by: Ernest F. Leask Sr.
Why: Because he was such a great player and also an outstanding citizen.

Recommendation: Marcie Trent
Submitted by: Steve Waldron
Why: Marcie Trent became one of the most accomplished and influential athletes in the history of Alaska through her pioneering exploits in long distance running.

She arrived in Anchorage in 1946 with her first husband, Roger Waldron, to start a new life of homesteading and raising a family. Roger and her oldest son, Art, died in 1962, victims of a bush plane crash in the Alaska Range.

Marcie’s running career began in 1968 at age 50. By the time of her death in 1995 at age 77, she had set numerous state, national and world records.

As an enthusiastic participant in scores of long distance running events, she held national age group division records in the ultra (50 miles), marathon (26.2 miles), 10K, 8K, 3K, 1 mile, 1 hour, 3,000 meter, 1,500 meter, and 800 meter runs.

Her specialty and passion was the marathon. At one point in her career she simultaneously held six separate national age group records. In at least eight marathons and one ultra race during her 50s and 60s, she not only finished first in her age group, she was the fastest woman in the entire race.

Marcie set a division record in the Equinox Marathon, one of the most challenging courses in the country and considered by many to be second only to the Pike’s Peak Marathon in Colorado.

Speaking of Pike’s Peak, in 1974, at age 57, she ran the grueling course and became a “Peak Buster” by setting a new course record for women of all ages.

Marcie was also the first woman over 50 to qualify for the Boston Marathon and given the opportunity completed the course in 3:27:45 in 1975 at age 58.

She trained daily, running nine miles a day in the summer and six miles a day in the winter for years without missing a day. During her 27 year running career, she logged more than 77,000 miles.

In 1967, along with her second husband, John Trent, and several other early Alaskan running pioneers, Marcie co-founded the Pulsators Running Club, whose motto was “Run and Rejoice.” Together they also helped establish the Mayors, Glacier, and Resurrection Pass marathons and numerous other shorter distance races.

Marcie and her son Larry died in the summer of 1995 while running the trails of the Chugach mountains, victims of a bear attack.

We believe she deserves to be a member of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame not only because of her accomplishments as an athlete, but because of the kind of person she was.

As a pioneer in the running movement, Marcie Trent left behind a rich legacy and to this day is fondly remembered and respected by an Alaskan running community that was inspired by her example of as a role model and her spirit of camaraderie. Above all she was admired and loved for her kindness, passion, tenacity, commitment and determination under the most challenging of circumstances in a most extreme environment, Alaska.

Recommendation: Marcie Trent
Submitted by: Anne Gonzalez
Why: No greater role model for those of us in 30’s and upward than Marcie Trent. She was committed and persevering. She trained and tested her limits. She inspired young and old, and encouraged and taught with wonderful vigor.

Even though I never ran with her personally, I heard those who grew to respect and love her and admire her commitment and who had the honor of running alongside her, state that she was constantly teaching and encouraging. And she died surely doing what she loved in this world (next to her family) best – running in her glorious state of Alaska.

Recommendation: Marcie Trent
Submitted by: Yael Hickok
Why: Marcie was my grandmother, but also my inspiration. She did not start running until age of 50, which shows it is never too late to start. She always encouraged others to pursue this healthy sport and celebrate their success, whatever their pace!

Recommendation: Marcie Trent
Submitted by: Linda Hickman
Why: Marcie was a runner before running became popular. She competed in events far and wide, and was a role model for women in Alaska and beyond.

With many state, national and world records, Marcie was a leader in Alaskan running events. Marcie and her son, Larry Waldron, were killed by a bear while training for an event in 1995, a great loss to the Anchorage running community.

  Comments and Suggestions