Randy Hawthorne, Mark Tompkins inducted to Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame

The Virginia Gazette
Bruton coach Mark Tompkins named to road racing hall of fame

Williamsburg runners Randy Hawthorne and Mark Tompkins were the two additional inductees into the 2015 class of the Virginia Peninsula Road Racing Hall of Fame, announced the third and fifth Saturdays of January.

The announcements came first at the Peninsula Track Club awards banquet at the Edgehill Association Clubhouse in Yorktown on Jan. 16, the class will also be honored at the Colonial Road Runners awards banquet Saturday at the Windsor Forest Clubhouse in Williamsburg. This is the 10th inductee class into the Hall of Fame, coordinated jointly by the PTC and the CRR.

For the third consecutive year, a former William and Mary track athlete was inducted. Two years ago it was Ed Moran, who holds the all-time Peninsula road records for the 5K (14:13 at the 2010 Run the D.O.G. Street 5K) and the 8K (23:58 at the 2011 Icelandic Seafood Fest in Newport News), and who ran a 2:11:47 at the 2011 New York City Marathon. Last year it was Fenigsohn, the premier race walker on the Peninsula for the past 50 years, but who was actually inducted this year, as health problems a year ago kept him from accepting his awards at either the PTC or CRR banquets.

Randy Hawthorne is perhaps the most important reason the William and Mary men's and women's cross country and track teams have sustained such a high level of excellence for the past half century, especially in distance running. Tribe athletic directors, coaches and runners come and go, and there have been countless all-Americans, conference championships, and team and individual qualifiers for the NCAA, and Eastern Collegiate Athletic Conference championships, but there has been one constant through the years and that's Hawthorne.

As the president of the Spiked Shoe Society (since 1972 for the track alumni and friends booster club), the fundraising arm for track and field, and cross country, for the William and Mary Athletic Educational Foundation, Hawthorne has personally raised over $6 million for the program to support scholarships, coach's salaries, travel and administrative costs through the years.

There are now 48 named scholarships for W&M track, all due to Hawthorne. He published Track Talk, a newsletter about W&M's track teams for 31 years, from 1976 to 2007. For his efforts, he has already been inducted into the William and Mary Athletic Hall of Fame (1989), received the Alumni Service Award from the Society of the Alumni (1999), the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, jointly with his wife Shelby, for volunteerism (2003), a Tribe Club Appreciation Dinner (2005), the Aubrey Mason Sr., volunteer-of-the-year award (2006-07, again jointly with Shelby), and finally, the Alumni Medallion, the highest honor the Alumni Society can award (2007).

The Hawthornes have hosted annually a Christmas party, and a Colonial Relays alumni and coach's party, at their home overlooking Lake Matoaka. They have worked countless cross country and track meets at the college, as well as February's Colonial Half Marathon.

Although Hawthorne emphasizes his inductions into both the W&M Virginia Peninsula Road Racing halls of fame was not due to his running, he is actually a very good runner. He started running in 1957 as a sixth-grader. He was a member of the 1962 Washington-Lee High School team (Arlington) that won the Virginia State 1A Championship in cross country, as well as the Northern Virginia Regional and the W&M Invitational, all his senior year.

On the roads, Hawthorne has run 15 marathons, with three under 2:50, including his PR 2:48:47 at the 1980 New York City Marathon. Training as much as 90 miles per week, and with a lifetime total of 115,000 miles, he ran a 1:18 at the first Colonial Half Marathon in 1979, finished the JFK 50 Miler in 1982, and has broken the 34-minute barrier for the 10K (a PR 33:57).

For the Colonial Road Runners, Hawthorne, professionally an accountant, has been the club treasurer since 1994. He was second in the 60-and-over category for the CRR Grand Prix in 2007. He has won Peninsula Track Club Grand Prix awards the past three years (including first male runner-up in 2013), largely due to points earned from volunteering. At W&M, class of 1967, then track coach Harry Groves took him aside and said he'd help the team more as a manager. Hawthorne accepted, and the rest is history, and the W&M track program will never be the same.

Mark Tompkins, on his running alone, meets the standards for the Hall of Fame, but his contributions to the sport go well beyond that. He has been the cross country and track coach, first at Walsingham Academy, and now at Bruton High School for many years. And in March, 2014 he founded the Greater Williamsburg Distance Running Club, organizing workouts and races for youth runners (40 total).

In running, his road PRs include a 14:58 (5K), 25:04 (8K) and 31:42 (10K), all in 1999. He ran a 55:09 at the 2009 Yorktown Battlefield 10 Miler, and a 1:12:56 at the 2005 Running Crab Half Marathon. On the track his bests include a 3:53 for the 1,500 meters, 4:13 for the mile, 8:29 for 3,000 meters, and 15:05 for 5,000 meters. He competed in cross country and track for the U.S. Naval Academy from 1995-99. After turning 40 last October, he ran a 16:08 at the Southeast Footlocker Championships 5K cross country, winning the Masters competition. He is a three-time men's overall champion of the Colonial Road Runners Grand Prix.

As part of his coaching, Tompkins was race director once for the W&M Homecoming Run 5K (while at Walsingham), then twice for the Queens Lake 5K (while at Bruton), both CRR Grand Prix events. His Bruton runners have won numerous honors, including female Daily Press Athlete of the Year (Carley Shannon in 2012), and three Virginia Gazette Athletes of the Year (Caroline Wilke, Michi Cody and Shannon). He is the meet director for the Big Cat Invite, a cross country meet for 37 teams and 1,200 athletes in October.

The previous nine Hall of Fame classes were Joan Coven, the late Michael Mann, and John Piggott in 2006; Rick Platt, Valerie Plyler and the late Tom Ray in 2007; Lew Faxon, Rob Hinkle and Andrew Polansky in 2008; Barbara Biasi, Ed Richards and Robert S. White in 2009; Stephen Chantry, Jim Goggin and John Hort in 2010; Joe Harney, Larry Turner and Lori Eady Melle in 2011; Bruce Davis, Rhonda Venable and Jennifer Quarles in 2012; Mercedes Castillo-D'Amico, Ed Moran and Dick Pierce in 2013; and George Fenigsohn, Chris Papile and Langston Shelton in 2014.

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