By Ann Gill (M.A., ’76)
Alan Lind was “built and born” to run marathons. He will be inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame on October 11. Not only did he run marathons, he also organized, directed, and supported long-distance races. In 2003, he founded the Platte River Half Marathon, and he and Maureen Roben founded the Park to Park 10 miler, which was held on Labor Day.
Lind began running in the fall of 1974 while a student at Poudre High School. He ran a mile in PE class one day, then went directly to business class, causing that teacher, Randy Yaussi (B.S., ’72; M.Ed., ’77), who was also the cross-country coach, to ask Lind, “Ever thought about running cross country?” The young student was “still looking for something to focus on,” and thanks to Yaussi, his focus became running. Lind placed sixth in the mile at the state high school track meet in 1977.
His running career continued at CSU, where he lettered all four years. He ran his first marathon in 1978, running a 2.46. He won the Denver Mayor’s Cup Marathon twice, running 2.25 in 1985. Throughout his running career, which lasted 47 years, he completed 23 marathons, including a personal best in 1988 at Boston with a time of 2:20:58.
He also coached running, including cross country, at Thomas Jefferson High School from 2004-07, and he was assistant coach at Rock Canyon High School in Highlands Ranch. He was awarded Denver Public Schools Cross Country Coach of the Year twice during his coaching career.
Most of Lind’s professional career was spent in finance and operations roles for aviation companies. Among them were Boeing, Lockheed Martin Space Systems, and Ophir. He served as Director of General Services for Steamboat Springs prior to his retirement.
Some of his favorite memories of CSU are the life-long friends he made, including teammates and “tremendous runners” Jon Sinclair (B.S., ’80), Richie Harris (B.S., ’80), and Julie Benzel (B.S., ’84; M.S., ’90), who is in the CSU record books for eighth best time in the 10,000-meter run. Lind also has fond memories of coaches Jerry Quiller (B.S., ’64; M.Ed., ’66) and Doug Max (B.S., ’75).
He explains, “for a Fort Collins kid to be able to attend college in his hometown and represent CSU was an amazing experience.” He grew to love competing in running, despite the long van rides that were involved, as the team could not afford to fly to meets. On one trip, he even had to sleep on a wrestling mat in Spearfish, South Dakota.
Lind will not be the only CSU alum inducted into the Colorado Running Hall of Fame in October. Joining him will be Wendy Koenig (B.S., ’77; M.S., ’78), the “greatest female middle-distance runner in CSU history.” (Read her story here.) Koenig is a two-time Olympian who still holds four track and field records at CSU. Lind and Koenig will join four Ram alumni already enshrined in the Hall of Fame: Jon Sinclair; Libby James (M.A., ’71); Libbie Hickman (B.S.,’89); and Jerry Quiller.
Lind remains very loyal to his alma mater and credits CSU professors and coaches with his successes. He and wife Julie (B.S., ’84; M.S., ’90) are Life Members of the Alumni Association and have funded a scholarship for students majoring in the colleges of Liberal Arts and Health and Human Sciences. The accomplishments of this first-generation college student exemplify in so many wonderful ways what it means to be a stalwart Ram.