UCM Alumni Magazine
Rick D. Clear, USMC, (Lt. Col. USMC, Capt. Missouri Army National Guard)
Six-time All-American Rick Clear inspired many other
runners. The Warrensburg High School graduate competed
at Central Missouri from 1973 through 1977. His best finish
was winning the 10,000-meter at the 1977 Division II
championships; the next day he also placed fourth in the 5,000 meters. Clear was a walk-on who earned a scholarship through his achievements.He also received the Vernon Kennedy Award as the top male student-athlete his senior year. He later returned to his alma mater to coach. He was inducted into the UCM Athletic Hall of Fame in 2001, the year he died.Three UCM alumni — Ed Lunsford ’86, ’88 and Rod ’86 and mona ’85 Williams— have made a gift to create a scholarship in Clear’s memory. Their goal is to give a student athlete the “same level of success and memories of a quality program” they and Clear had. “We came to Central Missouri because of a coach and the program’s quality reputation,” says Lunsford. “With this scholarship, we want to help a student with good moral character who comes from a small school to have the same opportunities larger programs provide.”
The three are trying to raise additional funds for the scholarship and encourage all former UCM track and field and cross country athletes to
make a gift at ucmo.edu/giveonline specifying the Rick D. Clear Memorial Scholarship.
Besides excellence on the track Rick Clear was also honored as an All-District 1st Team football player as a defensive back. B—Rick Clear, Warrensburg ............... 5-7 150 for class 3A Missouri.
July 1977 NCAA-II Track and Field Championships First 10,000-meter run - Rick Clear (Central Missouri State) 30:17.4.
Rick's WHS classmates were always proud of Rick, of his character and of his accomplishments. thank you to his UCM friends for creating this scholarship in Rick's honor.
| Ron Tabb, Front Row Bearded, Mark Curp Front Row 2nd From Right, Charlie Gray, Front Row Right, Rick D. Clear Far Right, CMSU/UCM and WHS Cross Country and Track Runner|
|12/30/2010 2:23:00 PM|
Dec. 30, 1985
• Missouri National Guardsman Capt. Rick Clear led his National Guard Marathon Team to a victory in the open division at the Blue Angels Marathon at the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Fla. He placed eighth overall with a time of 2:34:21.
At UCM Warrensburg, MO the Mules Track and Cross-Country Team under Coach Jim Pilkington dr-james-pilkington link assembled an amazing Group of Runners at UCM back then along with Rick Clear.
Ron Tabb would on to win several major marathons and make the US Olympic Team. In 2014 a protege of Ron's won the Boston Marathon. Meb Keflezighi Stories down below
Athletics: Twenty Years Later, Curp's Record Still Stands Tall
From David Monti
© 2005 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved RaceResultsWeekly.com
Exactly 20 years ago today on the streets of Philadelphia, Mark Curp ran the race of his life. On a seasonably cool and sunny Sunday, he put in several hard surges in the last mile of the Philadelphia Distance Run half-marathon, dropping two-time winner Michael Musyoki of Kenya and Nick Rose of Great Britain, to set a world record for the distance of 1 hour and 55 seconds.
"It ended up that my last mile was my best of the race," said Curp last Sunday speaking by telephone from his home in Lee's Summit, Mo. "Four-thirty to 4:32," he recalled.
That his world record has been surpassed ten times in the last 20 years is no surprise, most recently by Kenyan Samuel Wanjiru last Sunday in Rotterdam (59:13). But what is surprising is that Curp's run in Philadelphia is still the fastest ever by an American athlete on a record quality course. In fact, he is still the only American to crack the 61 minute barrier, something which has been done 249 times globally since Curp became the first in 1985.
"It is somewhat surprising," said Curp of the longevity of his record. "It is surprising with the number of big runners out there."
Before the race in 1985 Curp wasn't looking to run any particular time. He'd notched a major victory earlier that summer at the Bix 7 Mile in Davenport, Ia., and was looking for another win, especially over Musyoki who had won the Peachtree Road Race 10-K and Cascade Run-Off 15-K earlier that year.
"I went out and did a hard workout three days before that kind of shook the legs out," said Curp who rarely did more than 90 miles per week in training. "I knew I was in good shape at the time, but didn't put much thought (into trying for a record)."
He was with the leaders in the first part of the race, but started to fall back less than halfway through. "At the 10-K point I almost fell off the pack," he said. "They got three seconds on me."
But he regained his rhythm and was shortly back with the leaders, feeling better with the passage of each mile. He really wanted to win this one, and lacking a stinging kick, he knew he had to make his move for victory well before the finish.
"I've been in that position so many times," he said. "Just whittle the pack down in the course of the race and getting outkicked at the end. I remember with a mile to go I dug down and pushed. I could just feel Michael breathing down my neck."
Curp got to the finish line two seconds ahead of Musyoki, with Rose finishing another six seconds behind the Kenyan. His world record held up for five years until Mexican Dionicio Ceron broke it on the same course in Philadelphia in 1990, running 1:00:46. But as the years rolled by, no American man came close to Curp's mark. In 1993, Todd Williams ran 1:00:11 at the Tokyo City Half-Marathon, but that point-to-point course had an elevation loss more than 50% greater than statisticians allow for record setting purposes. So Curp's mark continues to stand.
"I still have to say it was my top performance," Curp commented.
Keith Brantley, who ran 1:01:30 in Philadelphia in 1993 and is the #3 American all-time at the distance, thinks it was a potent combination of Curp's training and the top athletes who came together in Philadelphia that day which made the record possible.
"Mark's record has lasted so long because his intense tenacity came together on a perfect day while racing against great runners," wrote Brantley in an e-mail message. "While I'm certain that one of the USA's new stars will run faster soon, Mark's record certainly gives credence to his legacy."
One of those current stars, Alan Culpepper, who has a 2:09:41 marathon to his credit but has never run an elite half-marathon, agrees. "Any time a record stands for 20 years then the quality of the performance speaks for itself," he wrote in an e-mail. But he also points out that besides Philadelphia, there aren't that many top-class half marathons in the United States where breaking the record would be feasible. "The half-marathon has turned into more of a preparatory event leading up to a marathon," he added. "It would be great if the half-marathon was contested more often."
As the years have passed since that memorable day in Philadelphia, Curp has moved on. He now works for American Century Investments where he manages a customer service team. He's been with the company for eight years, and is the father of five children, ranging in age from 20 years to 9 months. He and his wife of ten years, Teri, just moved into a different home in Lee's Summit and Mark has yet to pull out the photo he has breaking the world record that photographer Victor Sailer had given him.
"It was on the cover of Running Times," said Curp, pausing for just a moment to savor the memory. "I've got it in some box someplace. I've not had a good place for it."