Former Marathon Champ Ric Sayre Passes Away

He won the first Los Angeles Marathon in 1986.

Ric Sayre won 12 out of the 50 marathons he competed in during his career. Photo: Ashland Daily Tidings

He won the first Los Angeles Marathon in 1986.

The U.S. running community is mourning the loss of one of its best runners from the 1980s. On Tuesday, former U.S. marathon champion Ric Sayer passed away after completing a recreational run. He was 57 years old.

The cause of his death has not been made public.

Sayre’s key achievement was winning the inaugural Los Angeles Marathon in 1986. His finishing time was 2:12:59. Additionally, he was only one of four men who qualified for the Olympic Marathon Trials five times. He won the national championships in 1987.

Of the 50 marathons Sayre competed in during his career, he won 12.

“He was so good, he just kind of set the standard for toughness,” recalls Bob Julian Jr., the Ashland High School cross country coach. “He basically was the standard around here, and nobody could compete with him. Ric wasn’t just about running. He was a pretty humble guy, pretty quiet. He’d always stand up for people and would help them out if they were having rough times.”

Sayre was originally from Ohio, but moved to Ashland, Oregon in 1981.

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