by Tom O'Grady
It is with great pleasure that the HMRRC is inducting Chuck Terry into its Hall of Fame. HMRRC Hall of Fame honors are bestowed upon individuals who have achieved extraordinary distinction during their time as members of the HMRRC. Chuck is currently a 41-year "masters" division runner who works as a program manager for adults with developmental and other disabilities at a day rehabilitation program for Warren, Washington, Albany ARC.
Chuck's path to distinction began in 1996 when he joined the cross-country team at CBA in Albany as an 8th grader, encouraged by his peers. Chuck, who was no longer playing CYO basketball and in need of a team, chose running, and then continued to run and excelled in the sport for nearly 30 years.
As noted, HMRRC Hall of Fame honors are reserved for those who have earned distinction as members of HMRRC and have been recognized leaders in the local running community in performance and/or service. Chuck has earned distinction within HMRRC many times over.
Starting in 2005, Chuck has been a perennial champion and nearly unbeatable within HMRRC, earning 5 Grand Prix Championships (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2010) in a six-year period in the male open category. Chuck would go on to win 3 Grand Prix Championships (2013, 2014, 2016) as a 30–39-year-old and most recently won his first Grand Prix Championship as a master during the 2022-2023 campaign, marking a nearly two-decade-long campaign of running excellence.
Based on the number of Grand Prix Awards noted, it's probably not surprising that Chuck has won numerous HMRRC events during this time. Some of Chuck's notable performances at HMRRC events include winning the CDPHP Workforce Team Challenge 3.5 Miler four times in 2007 (17:15), 2008 (17:31), 2010 (17:35), and 2011 (17:23). Chuck is tied for having the second most number of wins among Male champions, a remarkable feat given that the number 1 most wins go to area running legend Tom Dalton. Chuck has also won the 2011 Mohawk Hudson River Marathon in 2:32:47; the 2007 Grand Prix 10-Miler for the first of 3 times in 53:20. His winning time of 53:20 is the third fastest time in the event’s 44-year history. Chuck won the 2008 HMRRC Winter Marathon in 2:30:41. This time is the fourth fastest winning time in the event’s 46 year history. Chuck has also won three (2008, 2010, and 2011) Hang Over Half titles with his fastest time being a blistering 1:10:52. Chuck's list of victories includes six Labor 5k titles (with the fastest victory being a 15:31 in 2005), the 2008 Delmar Dash in 25:48, the 2001 and 2017 Distinguished Service 8-Miler, seven Anniversary Race titles, multiple Colonie Mile titles (Chuck has a 4:19 mile personal best from one of these wins), and six Town of New Scotland 7.1 Miler titles.
Chuck didn't just win races; he won them prolifically and in dominant fashion for nearly 20 years. There is hardly a club race that Chuck has not won at some point, and many of his victories have been among the fastest times ever on a course. When Chuck wasn't the winner of a club race, he was often in the top 5 at major races both locally and outside of the greater Capital Region. Chuck placed in the top 5 at the Stockade-Athon 15km a total of five times, with his fastest time on the course being 48:23. He set his lifetime best in the marathon at the 2014 Mohawk Hudson River Marathon, coming in 3rd place with a time of 2:28:11. Chuck has won major races outside of HMRCC events, with one of his most notable victories coming at the 2009 Troy Turkey Trot 10k in a time of 31:24. He has several other notable wins at races inside and outside of the area.
To meet Chuck, it would be hard to tell just how prolific his running accolades have been, as he is a quiet person by nature. He does not draw attention to himself or his achievements; he just quietly and consistently runs and wins, maintaining a long pattern of unparalleled excellence. The Hall of Fame Induction serves as an opportunity for people to read about all of his efforts both on and off the race course.
Outside of Chuck's many achievements as a top runner in the area, he has also provided service to the club and the greater Capital Region in various capacities. Chuck is a former team captain of the Willow Street AC Team and has served on the HMRRC Shrader Scholarship Committee. Additionally, Chuck has helped at several races over the years. Some of Chuck's most notable efforts at races have included organizing a water stop at the Freihofer's Run for Women multiple times and providing extensive assistance with Winter Series #3 during my tenure as the Race Director. Chuck's service to the running community also includes his efforts as a mentor, coach, and educator of local runners while he served as a cross country coach for Hudson Valley Community College. If he were interested in continuing to coach, I’ve always thought that Chuck would make a great local high school cross country and track & field coach at one of the area's running powerhouses.
Chuck is not just a great runner and athlete; he is a great friend and training partner to many in the area. In this regard, Chuck has undoubtedly helped elevate the running abilities of many local runners over the years, myself included, as Chuck has been one of my closest training partners. Training consistently with Chuck has undoubtedly helped lead me to many of my own most notable performances and great running memories over the years. Most recently, I had the opportunity to race alongside Chuck for several miles of the 2023 Stockade Athon 15km. The race photographer captured a great shot of the two of us in Central Park as we ran stride for stride coming around the duck pond before exiting the park. We continued to run mostly side by side for the rest of the race. When I first saw the picture after it was posted to the HMRRC website, it instantly brought back to mind the great memories I have of the 15-plus years of friendly competition and training with Chuck.
Chuck – Congratulations on your well-deserved induction into the HMRRC Hall of Fame.