Celebrity Runners

Santa Claus - yes, the Claus will be present at the race, but donning running shorts instead of red pants and boots. He is surprisingly fast, and he has told us that he is training for this event. Catch him if you can!

Mike Herndon – set records for the Eagles in the late 70s and early 80s. Herndon’s most notable performance was his school record 14:29 5000m run in Louisiana in 1981. This record stood for 28 years, and was finally broken in the spring of 2008 by Jordan Powell with a 14:21 at the Stanford Invitational.

Dr. Herndon is still an active runner and physician in the Oklahoma City area. He and his wife Jolynn live in Edmond.

Jeff Bennett - A native of Vinita, Okla., Bennett was a member of 1972 U.S. Olympic team, placing fourth in the decathlon with 7,974 points at the Summer Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. He set a personal record of 8,121 points when he won the American Amateur Union’s national decathlon championship in 1973.

Bennett won NAIA national championships in the decathlon in both 1969 and 1970. In 1968, he was the NAIA national champion in the 400-meter intermediate hurdles and was runnerup in the pole vault in 1970.

The four-time NAIA All-American still holds Oklahoma Christian records in the 400 hurdles (51.44) and the decathlon (8,071 points). He was inducted into the NAIA Hall of Fame in 1976 and was a charter honoree of the OC Athletic Hall of Fame in 1991.

Sam Dech - At age 30, Sam set personal best times at all distances. He joined the sub-1:50 club in the 800m, and lowered his 1500m best to a U.S. Nationals qualifying mark of 3:43.19. The following year he lowered his 1 mile best to 4:01.70. Dech works for Delta Dental by day, and also assists with coaching duties in cross-country and track at Oklahoma Christian University.