Twin Cities Track Club History 

Steve Hoag and Ron Daws on the Trails at Theo WIrth Park Circa 1973. 

Steve Hoag and Ron Daws on the Trails at Theo WIrth Park Circa 1973. 

The Twin Cities Track Club (TCTC) was founded in 1964 by Bob Harris and Pat Lanin (Read "They Run for the Fun of It").

The club started as a competitive team spun out of the Minnesota Road Runners club (founded 1961), after Harris and Lanin recognized a void in the opportunities available for post-collegians to train and race in the Twin Cities.

As the group established itself in the early years, Ron Daws emerged as the groups leader-- both in competition and as the teams charismatic ambassador. Soon the group was winning team national championships and the TCTC was taking home individual crowns in races at home and around the United States. If they couldn't find a race to travel to, they would host their own-- often organizing impromptu races, record attempts and relays on the Macalester College track.

Below are some club highlights through results as they appeared in the Long Distance Log ("a publication for runners by runners"). Many of the race summaries appearing in each issue were submitted by club founder Pat Lanin.


History in Results

March, 1964The Long Distance Log- First recorded result from the Twin Cities Track Club. Ron Daws wins the Minnesota RRC 4.8 Mile Road Race in a one-minute course record of 23:16. Temperature was a balmy 33 degrees. Larry Pontinen, also of the TCTC was second in 24:34.

July, 1964The Long Distance Log- MN AAU One-Hour Run Championships and Last Man Out Track Run Results on the "new Macalester College track...a full-sized quarter-mile oval covered with a special layer of polyurethane rubber...the leg shock is negligible". Daws claimed the title in both races, running 11 miles, 237 yards, and 2 feet for the one-hour run and clocking 23:38 over 4 1/2 miles for the Last Man Out Track Run.

November, 1964The Long Distance Log- Daws captures the Heart of America Run in record time (2:47:27) and the TCTC easily captures the team crown with Phil Weiser and Larry Pontinen placing 6th and 7th, respectively. Led by Daws, Pontinen, and Lanin the TCTC also sweep the Minnesota AAU 20k Championships.

December, 1964The Long Distance Log- Daws sets a new Minnesota AAU marathon record of 2:38:55 at the Minnesota AAU & Open Marathon Championships, on an 8-mile out-and-back criterium course on River Road in Saint Paul and Minneapolis. Larry Pontinen, also of the TCTC, was second in 2 hours, 50 minutes, and 10 seconds.

May, 1965The Long Distance Log- The TCTC wins the team title at the 4th annual Windy City Marathon led by a record run from Daws of 2:32:03. He was joined by teammates Larry Pontinen and high-schooler Tom Pelzer, who placed 4th and 8th, respectively.

August, 1965The Long Distance Log- The TCTC claim the top-five spots at the National AAU Junior 1-Hour Championship. Daws' mark of 11 miles, 614 yards, and 1 foot, establised a new track and Minnesota AAU mark for the event. However, the surprise of the event came from Ilhan Bilgutay, "the likeable former Texas A&M distance ace & former Turkish national record holder at 1500 meters, who came to help officiate and left with the bronze medal...running in a pair of borrowed Archie Moore style boxing shorts that were 3 sizes too big, taped argyle sox, and looking like a refugee from the Bethel Mission, he was able to out kick former University of Washington distance ace Phil Weiser for 3rd in the waning seconds of the race".

September, 1965The Long Distance Log- Daws sets new state mark on the Macalester College track at the Minnesota AAU & National RRC Postal 10-Mile Track Race (51:27). Runner-up was 19 year-old Van Nelson, the National 3-mile Freshman record holder (13:46.6), who ran the third fastest time in event history, finishing in 51:55. Third-place finisher, Larry Pontinen of the TCTC, was married later that afternoon.

October, 1965The Long Distance Log- The TCTC sweeps the podium at the Minnesota AAU 20,000 meter Championships at Macalester College with a young Van Nelson taking the title and Daws and Reneau rounding out the top three. Van Nelson and Daws battled their way to a record breaking victory for the 20 year-old Van Nelson-- bettering Hal Higdon's national record by over 3 minutes. The TCTC also placed 6 in the top ten at the RRC National 10-Mile Championships with Daws taking top honors in 51:27.

December, 1965The Long Distance Log- Daws, Reneau, and Nepple sweep at the Minnesota AAU & Open Marathon for the Twin Cities Track Club. According to the race report, "little Jeff Reneau surprised everyone with a respectable 2:46:19 for his first effort over 20 km". The race was run with two out-and-back loops on River Road. Van Nelson also set a new national 30 km record of 1:37:16 on the Macalester College track, with Hoag (a University of Minnesota freshman) trailing in 1:44:20.

February, 1966The Long Distance Log- Pat Lanin authors article, "Tips on Trips" offering advice for planning and executing long-distance road "trips"...on foot.

May 1966The Distance Running Log- Daws and Reneau place 8th and 9th, respectively, at the National AAU Marathon Championships. Reneau was in second place for the first 22 miles and "almost stole the show", before fading to 9th overall. Also, collegian Van Nelson wins an impressive double in the 5,000 and 10,000 at Drake Relays in 13:29 and 28:48, respectively.

July, 1966The Long Distance Log- Reneau leads start-to-finish at the AAU Easter Regional Marathon Championships, defeating race favorite John J. Kelly by five minutes with a new personal best of 2:35:26. Other notables in the race were Ted Corbitt and Amby Burfoot. Van Nelso, competing for Saint Cloud State runs a track meet in front of 8,000 spectators at Downing Stadium in NYC. Daws tops Edelen in the 4th annual 15-mile Jack Rabbit Run in Brookings.

August, 1966The Long Distance Log- Led by Daws, the TCTC defends it's team title at the Michigan City Festival and Regional Championships 15 km. Daws placed 2nd, followed by teammates Steve Hoag (6th), Tom Griffin (16th), Len Lundmark (21st), Steve Smith (24th) and Pat Lanin (28th). Van Nelson (representing SCSU) wins the Minnesota AAU 10-Mile Championships easily in 50:06, with Daws (53:22), Hoag (54:00) and Heinonen (55:15) and Weiser (56:07) rounding out the top five. Also appearing in this issue are the results for the first-ever Minnesota AAU Two Man 10-Mile Relay at the Macalester College track.

September, 1966The Long Distance Log- Tom Heinonen beats Hoag and Daws en route to a course-record run of 32:02 at the Lake Calhoun Cross Country Race (6.1 miles). The old mark of 32:04 was held by Van Nelson. Heinonen and Hoag were both competing with the TCTC in their summer breaks from training with the University of Minnesota.


Daws winning the inaugural ITC 10-Mile

October, 1966The Long Distance Log- Daws runner-up in Heart of America Marathon (2:37:17). The TCTC claims the team title in the National AAU 15,000 Meter Championships with Daws placing 5th in 48:25, Phil Weiser 7th (51:15), and Pat Lanin 10th (53:47). Van Nelson (representing SCSU) was runner-up in 46:15. Macalester College hosted the event.

December, 1966The Long Distance Log- Minnesota AAU & Open Marathon Championships- "Despite the fact that this is one of the most scenic and possibly one of the fastest marathon courses in the nation, today's field was a gross disappointment. There were only four starters and two finishers. One consolation was the fact that the finishers were well inside of three hours at the finish. Five very nice trophies were shelved for next years race." Lanin failed to mention in the recap that one of the finishers was the race organizer, himself. Phil Weiser of the TCTC won in a respectable 2:32:18, with Lanin trailing in 2:57:29.

April, 1967The Long Distance Log. Ron Daws answers the Long Distance Log Questionnaire including his 3-phase training plan for the Boston Marathon.

June, 1967The Long Distance Log- Daws wins the City of Lakes Marathon in a personal best 2:23:45, followed by teammate Karl Weiser in 2:26:52. Both earned all-expense paid trips to compete in the Pan Am Games trials in Holyoke, Massachusetts with their performances.

July, 1967The Long Distance Log- lots of great TCTC results and articles including AAU Marathon victory for Daws and AAU 15k victory for Pat Lanin.

August, 1967The Long Distance Log- Roosevelt HS Senior Ben Grokett teamed up with Gopher standout and TCTC athlete Steve Hoag in a record-setting Minnesota RRC 2-Man 10-Mile Relay at the Macalester College Track. The duo averaged 63.1 and 63.8 per lap, respectively, and finished the 40-lap relay in 42:30.8. Earlier that summer, Grokett lost to Garry Bjorklund in the state meet, with both runners finishing in 4:14.0 in a "tactical" race.

September, 1967The Long Distance Log- Van Nelson captures the crown in the inaugural Hopkins 5-Mile (now know as the Hopkins Raspberry Run) in an impressive 23:48.8. "Nelson didn't find out about the race until his younger brother started to leave the house heading for Hopkins...Van had completed a 10-mile workout earlier in the morning, and was reluctant to dictate the pace until the final mile". Twenty-five ribbons and 10 cold watermelons were awarded to race winners.

October, 1967The Long Distance Log- Steve Hoag runs the 2nd fastest 10-mile in the country (50:11.4) in the Steve Smith Memorial 10-Mile Track Race on the Macalester College track. Teammates Greg Nelson (52:58.2) and Jim Vedder (55:08.6) completed the TCTC sweep of the podium. Hoag also set the new course record (beating Tom Heinonen's mark of 32:02) at the 5th annual Lake Calhoun 10,000 meter XC Race with a time of 30:47.6.

December, 1967The Long Distance Log- "Looking more like a reject from a Halloween party than a runner, [Tom] Heinonen, former University of Minnesota star averaged sub-5 minute miles over the easy rolling course". The race was the Minnesota 15,000 meter Championship, which ended up short 2-miles. Heinonen ran the 7.32 mile course in 36:27.

April, 1968The Long Distance Log- Tom Heinonen won the Minnesota Open 3-mile indoor track race with a time of 13:58.5, with teammates Steve Hoag and Ron Daws nipping his heels in 14:00.0 and 14:02.0, respectively. Also, Tom Heinonen edges teammate Ron Daws while setting a course record at at 4.5 mile RRC Classic Road Race, with both running 22:04.4 and 22:11, respectively. The race was a "tune-up" for the International XC Championships in Tunis for Heinonen.

Tom Heinonen, Pictured in the Upper Row (Middle-left), becomes the first TCTC athlete to represent TEam USA in International Competition as a member of the 1968 USA International XC team. 

Tom Heinonen, Pictured in the Upper Row (Middle-left), becomes the first TCTC athlete to represent TEam USA in International Competition as a member of the 1968 USA International XC team. 


May, 1968The Long Distance Log- Ron Daws places 5th at the Boston Marathon for the TCTC. And Heinonen easily wins the annual "Minnesota RRC Mudfest" - a 4.5 mile English cross-country style 5-lap race with "seven log obstacles and 20 yards of foot-deep mud". "Tom Heinonen, the dapper style-setter for the Twin Cities TC was at his sartorial best today - as he sported the spiffy running vest of the famous giant of college track, OYSTER STATE...Third went to Ron Daws, still stump-legged after his fifth place finish at Boston...Daws impeccably dressed as usual, sported a subdued red and white Australian life guard's vest and a pair of shorts discarded by a circus fat man."

June, 1968The Long Distance Log- Tom Heinonen won the 4th annual City of Lakes Marathon and Regional Olympic Trial with a time of 2:18:29.4 Daws would place fourth and Len Lundmark 6th with finishing times of 2:24:12 and 2:29:01, respectively. Heinonen's time was the second fastest in the United States in 1968. The Twin Cities Track Club would edge out the Denver Track Club 11 to 15 in the team scoring for the team title.


Daws the Olympian - after placing third in the 1968 Olympic Marathon Trials

July, 1968The Long Distance Log- The TCTC would claim 2nd, 3rd and 4th place at the Midwest Section of the National AAU 1-Hour Championship at Macalester College. Garry Bjorklund, representing the North Shore Striders, led the way with a total distance of 10 miles, 1552 yards.

August, 1968The Long Distance Log- Ron Daws qualified for the US Olympic Team with a 3rd place finish at the first-ever US Olympic Marathon Trials. Jeff Reneau would place 10th and Tom Heinonen 14th for the TCTC. U of Minnesota All-American and TCTC runner, Steve Hoag, wins the 2nd annual Hopkins Raspberry Run by a minute over a 17 year-old Garry Bjorklund (competing for the North Shore Striders) and nearly breaks the course record in 23:48.

Van Nelson After making the Olympic 10,000 Meter Team. 

Van Nelson After making the Olympic 10,000 Meter Team. 


September, 1968The Long Distance Log- Heinonen won the Minnesota AAU 30,000 Meter Championship help on River Road in Minneapolis, running 1:52:45. Teammates Pat Lanin and Dr. Alex Ratelle placed 5th and 6th, respectively, for the Twin Cities Track Club.

April, 1969The Long Distance Log- The Twin Cities Track Club wins team title at the Boston Marathon with 22 team points (1-5-16). Daws 4th overall, Reneau 11th, and Jay Dirksen 28th. Other TCTC finishers include Len Lundmark (33rd), Glen Gustafson (82nd), Robert Foley (115th), and Kenneth Wilson (141st).

May, 1969The Long Distance Log- Ron Daws led start-to-finish and won the Inaugural Carson Park 10-Mile in Eau Claire Wisconsin - hosted by the newly-formed Indianhead Track Club - in a time of 52:39.

June, 1969The Long Distance Log- Ron Daws wins his fourth Jackrabbit 15 and broke his own course record in the progress - running 1:19:05. Jeff Reneau was third in 1:20:08 and Pat Lanin placed fifth in 1:23:41.

July, 1984 .  Ron Daws Interviews on the Mary Hanson Show.  Mary Hanson interviews Daws about the importance of keeping fit, and the relationship between the mind and body. Mary Hanson and Ron Daws were married in October 1991. Ron died of a heart attack in July 1992.

January, 2012. Mike Reneau places 20th in the US Olympic Trials Marathon running 2:14:37. Results link

December, 2012. Joe Moore, Stephanie Price and Mike Reneau place 9th, 12th & 13th at the USATF Club Cross Country Championships in Lexington Kentucky. Moore and Price earned spots on the BUPA Edinburgh International XC and NACAC teams from there performances. Men's results, HERE. Women's results, HERE

The start of the 2012 USATF CLub Cross Country Championships.

The start of the 2012 USATF CLub Cross Country Championships.

January, 2013. Joe Moore and Stephanie Price represent Team USA at the Great Edinburgh International Cross Country Meet in Scotland and the NACAC Championships in Jamaica. In Edinburgh, Moore and Price would place 15th and 21st, respectively. Results, HERE. In Jamaica, Moore would help Team USA to a gold placing 7th, while Price (10th) and the US women would earn a silver medal team finish. Results, HERE

PRICe (center) with Team USA at the Great Edinburgh international cross country race. 

PRICe (center) with Team USA at the Great Edinburgh international cross country race. 

Jeff Reneau at the 1965 City of Lakes Marathon

Jeff Reneau at the 1965 City of Lakes Marathon