Kathy Martin, Joy Upshaw tell pride in joining Masters Hall of Fame

Joy soars indoors.

W60 distance legend Kathy Martin said: “What an honor and such heady company.” Joy Upshaw’s reaction to being named alongside Kathy and nine others to the USATF Masters Hall of Fame: “Wow! Really? That’s cool!” Kathy spoke for all when she said her induction “is a thrill and very humbling when I see the list of those before me and current inductees. … I was aware that I was being nominated because Mary Trotto had asked Chuck for the stats. But I also know others have nominated and not selected so uncertain as to the outcome. Sue Nesbihal (Cordero) called my cell to congratulate and that was the first I heard. Was in NYC with family for Christmas weekend-Christmas spectacular, etc., so the timing was all the more special. My husband is also my coach and he was in the car with me and heard it simultaneously. He said: “Wow, that is awesome,” and to be nominated with the two most gracious competitors is incredible (Rita and Joy). We are both flying without a plane. And my son was high-fiving us all over the place. Fantastic celebratory dinner in NYC followed by seeing the tree lit.”

More from Kathy’s gracious reply to my email interrogation:

I am giddy with excitement. It gives validation for all the hard work over the years and to be recognized by your peers for the efforts is tremendous. I feel so humbled to be in the company and had the privilege and joy of calling Bill Benson and telling him that both John McManus and I made it in the same year. Bill was so excited and happy—his dream come true. (And Bill was the reason I started running track. He would hand-write me little communiques about how I could run the times and just encouraged me to get to the track and try!) Oh, the talent that lies dormant unless someone is there to advocate and encourage.

Congratulations to all and many thanks to Mary Trotto for her endless hours of work on this and all that she does. And many thanks to Sue Nesbihal for her advocacy and support. She and Mary took me under their wing at my first international competition and led the way. I so appreciate the camaraderie and friendships that have developed and look forward to being back in the competitive field.

From Joy, the W50 multi-eventer and long jump specialist and record-holder:

Masterstrack.com: When did you learn, and how?

Joy Upshaw: From You! :-) You emailed me to tell me.

Were you aware you had been nominated?

I knew I had been nominated, because Mary notified me in an email… She asked for stats and AOY award dates, American and world records. So I had to do some research .(Luckily, I have saved/knew some results … Also a great resource was our Masterstrack.com archives and mastershistory.org!

Racing as a master since 1992, I had to find some things.. Actually spent a lot of time looking through the results and seeing fellow masters times of Cindy Steenbergen, Marty Krulee, Pat Peterson, Christel Donley, Robert Thomas, Phil Raschker, Becky Sisley, Ed Burke, Don Drummond, etc. Good stuff there!

How did you share the news with your family, and what was their reactions?

Let them know I was notified about it. They were excited—since they have been to so many meets and seen results, etc.

What does this honor mean to you?

It IS quite an honor to be in the Hall with so many other fellow Masters Track Athletes! We have all trained many hours, competed many a day, gone through the same experiences. Having a track & field vision—balancing life, work, family, friends for excellence in our sport.

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December 13, 2012

12 Responses

  1. Karla Del Grande - December 14, 2012

    Congrats to Rita, Kathy, and Joy! Great athletes, and such nice people!

  2. George Patterson - December 14, 2012

    Congratulations to all. Joy You have been such an ambassador for track and field for all ages. Very proud very proud. Just tremendous!!

  3. Terry Ballou - December 14, 2012

    Three giants in the realm of masters track…all of you are inspiring and this is well-deserved. Congrats to you all.

  4. Linda Carty - December 14, 2012

    Congrats ladies!!! Take a bow.

  5. Art Healy - December 14, 2012

    Congratulations to you, Kathy. Its so great that all three of you (and two of my old friends from the New York metro area- Bill Benson and the late John McManus) go in together! Possibly the three nicest people my father (and I) ever had the pleasure of meeting in all the years of Masters track and road racing. Dad would have been so happy for all of you.

  6. peter taylor - December 14, 2012

    Each of these stars represents the beauty of versatility combined with excellence. Rita can do it all except for distance running, but back in the day she was a marathoner, as I recall (did not do track at that time).

    Kathy has competed at distances as short as 400 meters and as long as 50,000 meters (31.0685 miles). Maybe she even went longer; I don’t know.

    Joy can sprint, jump, and hurdle like nobody’s business but doesn’t bother with the longer stuff. Why should she?

  7. BMo - December 14, 2012

    Congratulations ladies…job well done!

  8. Kevin Paulk - December 16, 2012

    Proud of you Joy.

    In addition to your phenomenal athletic contribution to Masters, you are always there to cheer others on – even us goofy middle distance runners.

    Proud to know you Joy.

    KP

  9. Joseph Burleson - December 17, 2012

    Congratulations to these two generous, outgoing, talented and dedicated athletes! Both Joy and Kathy always seem willing to talk and share their training tips and give encouragement. Masters T&F could not have any more amazing and deserving representatives than these wonderful women.

  10. Mike Sullivan - December 18, 2012

    Joy and Kathy – Great athletes – Always Inspiring To Watch Compete….Well deserved ….
    Sully

  11. Roger Pierce - December 19, 2012

    Joy….no one deserves it more than you. You are the best!!!!

  12. Jai Black - December 23, 2012

    Congratulations to Rita, Kathy and Joy. I have had the pleasure of training with Rita, winning a relay with Joy and being inspired by Kathy’s range of distances. All three of these women are amazingly talented beautiful people both on and off the track. Well done ladies!!

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