Tributes to Bob and Lenore Dolphin

Yakima River Canyon Marathon Race Directors, 2000-2019

World’s Oldest Marathon Race Directors at the age of 89



This is a place holder for a much more extensive and inclusive tribute soon to follow. The links below are live. Please check back in a month or so and you may see yourself in the photos of a wide range of marathon runners!



Below are three video tributes to Bob and Lenore Dolphin who are considered marathon icons. Bob for running over 500 marathons and for being one of the nicest guys you’d ever meet or have the luck to run alongside. Lenore for her international reputation as a huge fan and supporter of marathon runners plus her amazing organization skills as co-director of the Yakima River Canyon Marathon.


Kathrine Switzer and Roger Robinson link;

Dave McGillivray, Director, Boston Marathon link:

Frank Purdy, Director, Yakima River Canyon Marathon Link:



The connections and friends Lenore and Bob have made in the marathon world have had a ripple effect to us as well, especially internationally.

·      Lenore (Mom) introduced me to Rodolfo Reckziegel de Lucena via email when she heard that I had a business trip to Sao Paolo, Brazil. He and his wife, Eleanora, opened their arms to me with warm hospitality and have also visited us in the Bay Area.  

·      Jack Brooks lives in Simon’s home town (my husband is British) 20 miles northwest of London so we’ve joined him and Roger Biggs for pints at a local pub. They’ve come to our home in the California with other friends, too, using our place as a base as they did back to back marathons in various parts of Northern California.

·      The Czech foursome (Julsimo Frankenberger, Frank Danes, Zdenĕk and Iva Chmelovi) sent very thoughtful gifts to Bob and Lenore over the years which were always a delightful surprise. They then kept in touch with me all through Lenore’s illness and passing and Bob’s as well, checking to see that I was okay, often sending words of comfort and kindness.

·      Kathrine Switzer and Roger Robinson did the same from New Zealand despite their busy schedules. Their video link is amazing and so appreciated!


A wide variety of people all across North America have connected in various warm and friendly ways as well. Here are just a few examples:

·      Over the years Rich Menzel and Martin Rudow could always be counted on for ready smiles, big hugs, great emails, and to share fun stories and healing hugs when things got really tough in Yakima. They continue to be my marathon knights in shining armor.

·      Rick Nealis, the former director of the Marine Corps Marathon, was one of my “adopted” brothers. Lenore told him to “look after me” when I was in D.C. on business and he lived up to his reputation as an amazing dinner companion.

·      Cathy Troisi shares a birthday month with me and has sent delightful notes of encouragement and friendship since we met and after both parents passed away. Bob and Lenore loved spoiling her for her birthday, which fell on YRCM race day more than once.

·      The whole Yakima contingency has been especially amazing offering not only support, but love and friendship throughout the very difficult time of nurturing both parents in their last years and their passing.

o   Rosanne and Bruce Bacon stopped by Dolphin Marathon House on a regular basis to visit and also the many times Lenore was in the hospital. Bruce even brought his own lawn mower over once when the lawn service skipped a week! Rosanne brought special meals and often surprised them with goodies. Their visits always made the day so much brighter for Bob and Lenore.

o   Jeff Hagen and Joyce Hagen also brightened the day many times. Jeff was awesome taking Bob out on walks after Lenore passed away. He said that it was hard to keep up with Bob and his walker! (Bob told him he was training for a marathon.)

o   Saving the best for last; I will always be in debt to Frank Purdy, Keith Henry and most of all, Connie Courcy, my “Yakima Angel”, who were there for me every hour and every day both during the race times and especially at the end for the hardest part of saying goodbye. I can truly say that they and my wonderful husband, Simon, saved my sanity and kept my heart from breaking.

The giving spirit of these friends in Yakima is part of the DNA of the community and what really make the YRCM unique in the world.


Warn regards and happy running!


Jan D. Stensland (daughter) and Simon Patton (son-in-law)