NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Happy Birthday to New Rochelle's George Aaron Hirsch.
Hirsch, who grew up in New Rochelle, turns 80 on Saturday.
Hirsch, a magazine publisher, a founder of the New York City Marathon, a candidate for Congress and a television commentator, was born June 21, 1934, in New York City. Hirsch was the founding publisher of New York, New Times and The Runner magazines. Hirsch was also the worldwide publisher of Runner’s World, the first publishing director of Men's Health and the publisher of La Cucina Italiana. He is currently the chairman of the board of the New York Road Runners.
In 1979, Hirsch founded the Midnight Run in New York’s Central Park, a race that is held every New Year’s Eve. From 1984-86, Hirsch was the on-air host of a weekly segment on ESPN's "SportsCenter" called “The Runner’s Corner." He has done television commentary for many distance running events, including the New York City, Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Cincinnati (Flying Pig) marathons. He has also been a commentator for three Olympic Games: Los Angeles in 1984, Seoul in 1988 and Barcelona in 1992.
Beginning in Boston in 1969, Hirsch has run 40 marathons with a personal best of 2:38 set in Boston in 1979 at the age of 44. He ran much of that race with Joan Benoit, who went on to win the first women’s Olympic marathon in 1984. In 2009, on a promise to his wife, Shay, he ran his final marathon in New York at age 75. He won his age group in each of his last eight marathons. Hirsch became the chairman of the New York Road Runners in 2005.