Runners Hall of Fame
Ron attended Springfield College and was a member of the 1963 New England Championship wrestling team. He was introduced to distance running on the roads in 1963 by his father-in-law, Norm Cote. Ron ran for years until an industrial accident limited his ability to run.
In 1969, he started the Florence 8-mile Road Race with the help of the Northampton Jaycees and the New England AAU. The race gave everyone an opportunity to run a race and was marketed to both the everyday runner and the elite runner. For his efforts, the Jaycees renamed the race " The Ronald Hebert Race” in 1972. It is the second longest continuous road race in Western Mass, second only to the Holyoke Marathon. The race is held at the end of March or early April depending on when Easter is. The race starts and ends at the JFK middle school in Florence. The 8-mile race is a hilly challenging course which is used for many as their last Boston Marathon preparation race. This is a no thrills race with every finisher getting a pair of socks at the finish.
Ron Hebert has been the race director for most of the races with recent help from the Sugarloaf Mountain AC. The race celebrated the 50th running in 2018. Ron taught Physical Education in grades K-6 in the Northampton school district as a traveling teacher in many of the smaller elementary schools for 20 years. In 1969 he started coaching the Northampton high school cross country and outdoor track teams. In 1972 & 1973 Northampton boys won the Western Mass outdoor track championships. Ron has also coached at Williston Academy and is currently the Turners Falls coach. Coach Ron has had many athletes over the years make it to the Mass State and New England championship meets. Ron also started and coached the first Northampton wrestling team in the 1970-1971 season. He also started the Northampton “Special Olympics” program. Ron has been a certified track & field official since the Officials organization was formed in the early ‘70’s.
A member of the Sugarloaf Mountain AC since 1978, Ron has served on the board as Club Membership Secretary for many years. He has helped at any major event that Sugarloaf did, Ron was there helping on the finish line timing, signup table or whatever was needed. We know events do not happen without good helpers, and Ron has been an amazing helper behind the scenes of western Mass running for decades.
Ron has given the Western Mass running community his race direction, coaching, officiating and support. We welcome him into the class of 2021-22.