Hall's coach Jeff Billing put together a great evening full of energy, enthusiasm and a little bit of nervousness. The reason for the gathering was Hall's annual time trial that Billing's calls the "Coaches Challenge."
From All American's to new runners in their first race, all who participated were treated to an evening with two hours of cheering, hugging and high fives. There was also some gawking among the high school runners and fans lining the track because Billings brought together some very special guest including Olympian Donn Cabral and 1968 Boston Marathon champion Amby Burfoot, who happens to be his uncle.
Amby Burfoot grew up in Groton, Connecticut, where he ran at Fitch High School. His high school coach, John J. Kelley (The "Younger"), was the 1957 Boston Marathon winner= and an Olympic marathoner in the 1956 and 1960 Olympics. Burfoot's coach inspired him to take on the marathon and he was able to win Boston in 1968 and eventually run a best of 2:14:28.8, which was one second from the American marathon record at the time.
At Wesleyan, where Burfoot was an All American, he roomed with Bill Rodgers, who went on to win the Boston Marathon four times and helped inspire the running boom of the 1970s and early 80s.
After his running career was over, Burfoot was the editor in chief of Runner's World magazine and covered some of the greatest races in the history of the sport such as Joan Benoit Samuelson's 1984 Olympic marathon win, the first were women were allowed to compete in.