The 2017 inductee into the American Ultrarunning Hall of Fame breaks a mold. As he did 40 years ago—although that was more a case of creating a mold. He is the first in the 14 year history of the Hall of Fame to be inducted not primarily based on pure athletic performance. But that doesn’t mean that he didn’t run ultras (he has been doing so for 43+ years). And it doesn’t mean that he didn’t rack up some stellar performance credentials.
Between the mid-1970’s and the mid-1980’s, Nick Marshall finished 3rd in the U.S. National 50 mile championship, and achieved all-time U.S. rankings of #2 at 100Km (just missing the American Record by 6 minutes) and #6 at 24 hours. He is one of only a handful of Americans to have won an ultramarathon in each of three different decades (70’s, 80’s, 90’s). An American race director who has been organizing and observing ultras for 4 decades was asked to give a brief description of Marshall. He chose one word: “Tough. Nick was a tough competitor. One of the toughest I’ve ever seen.”