The Dick Goodman Story:
One day in the late ‘70s as Dick Goodman sat in his real estate office lavatory reading the Reader’s Digest, he came upon an article about Australian runner Bill Emmerton and his run across Death Valley. The sedentary Goodman was so inspired that he contacted Emmerton and hired him as a personal coach. It didn’t take long before Goodman followed his mentor and started running ultra distances and in 1980 created his own competition: the Yakima Ultras which included races of 50k, 50 miles and 100k. With the same competitive drive he used as a real estate salesman, Dick set out to make the races big time, so he sought out a sponsor and brought in as many talented guest runners as he could each year. Along with Emmerton as guest speaker, the list included Dutch 100k recorder Joop Keiser; American 100k record holder and national champion Frank Bozanich; American 50 mile record holder and U.S. champion Jim Pearson and Alan Kirik who later broke Pearson’s record; Leslie Watson, world 50 mile track record holder; American 100K record holder Sue Ellen Trapp; American 50K and 50 miles record holder Sandra Kiddy (U.S. 100 mile record) and many more. Dick did the work up until race time and then delegated authority to others as he had a race to run. He made a habit of winning his age group (9:37:13 for the 100k in 1981). The winners of the Yakima ultras always placed near the top of the annual American lists. Dick’s personal running accomplishments included a solo benefit run from the King Dome in Seattle north to the peace Arch at the Canadian border. He also ran 50k in 4:16:32 and 100 miles in 23:53:07. The Dick Goodman Ultras, named after Dick for all he did for the distance running community, uses the same 5.59 mile loop as Dick’s original courses.