Upper Peninsula Road Runners Club Hall of Fame
Sally Davis, Marquette
Inducted into the UPRRC Hall of Fame in 2020 as the 45th member.
It was 1977 and Sally had nothing better to do than watch her soon-to-be-husband Dave Campana run at a Lansing high school track. He dared her to try it. She hated that first trip around the track. Title Nine, which gave women equity in sports, had only recently been passed, and she hadn’t had the opportunity to experience sports in high school. She didn’t know she could be an athlete. The two of them continued to run laps around school tracks when they moved to Denver.
After a move to Marquette County they discovered it wasn’t necessary to continually run in circles. There were wide open roads, and a comradely around the sport through UPRRC. And yes, there were races. Just about every weekend was spent traveling to regional races in the 1980’s and 1990’s. Over the years she logged 123 races placing as 1st overall female 15 times, and 1st in her age group 33 times. In 1981 when the Lions Club in her home town of Crystal Falls wanted to start a race, she and her sister Jean Flood got involved. Since it coincided with the annual Bass Festival and was to be run over one of the most grueling courses in the region, Sally suggested it be named the Run Your Bass Off. For several years of the race, she held the 10K record in her age group, and has missed this annual event only a few times. (Her husband Dave is the only person to have run every year.
As the miles piled on, so did Sally’s involvement with the running club. Her friend Susie Nostrant took on the presidency in 1981 and she came on as secretary/treasurer. Susie thought a regular newsletter would be a good idea, and Sally became Running Amuck’s first editor. She continued this role through Bob Ryan’s presidency. “You can’t believe how grueling that was before today’s technology!” she exclaimed. “I would type in those little columns, cut them out, and paste them on a piece of paper hoping they were straight.”
As even more miles piled on, Sally found herself thinking about marathons. “Running has such a sense of freedom for me,”she explained. “I found myself grinning most of the way through Grandma’s.” (Her first marathon.) Her second marathon logged a qualifying time of 3 hours and 17 minutes. She is thought to be the first female in the Upper Peninsula to run Boston (1981). (Though not the first female in the U.P. to qualify.) As many of us discover, running takes a toll on joints.
Weightlifting was added to the physical regime to help alleviate some injuries, and the racing slowed. Weightlifting lead to her next sport of competitive body-building where, once again, she was able to acquire a few significant trophies. Her more recent sport is rowing. In 2004 she became a charter member of U.P. Rowing, has spent many years on their board, as club president, and as a coach.
“I love getting out on the water with team-mates”, she states. “But running? Running is still something special for me.”