A.S. A. P. Plumbing and HeatingAbsolute LandscapingBailey's Nanuet RestaurantBeckerle Lumber Supply CompanyEast Coast TowingGerard Damiani Attorney at LawHonda of NanuetHugo Messenger ServiceHyundai of NanuetKids KingdomKoester's Service StationMatthew W. Roth InsuranceMinuteman PressMirro Mechanical Corp.Nanuet Black and Gold ClubNanuet Hotel RestaurantO'Donoghue"s Restaurant and TavernPremier CollisionSpilotras PaintingStephen R. Russo, CPA, P.C.
Inductees - See All

Search by:
Last Name
Induction Year
Graduation Year

John McNulty John McNulty
Inducted: 2009 - Graduated: 1975




You could say John McNulty was the prototype for Forrest Gump. He may not have run across the country, but with all the miles he pounded out during a prolific running career, he could have circumnavigated the globe several times over.


John was a running machine, often logging 100-mile weeks on twice-a-day training sessions. Reliable as a grandfather clock, steady as a metronome, he was the sculptor who kept chiseling away at the granite block until it was transformed into a beautiful work of art. Churning along with powerful legs and stamina-laden heart and lungs, John cobbled together one of the greatest careers of any Nanuet track and cross country athlete.


A 12-time varsity letter winner, he established school records that still stand 35 years later. He set Nanuet marks in the two-mile run (9:12.9, sixth-fastest in Rockland history), for Van Cortlandt Park’s 2.5-mile cross country course (12:45), and as a member of the fastest distance medley relay and four-mile relay (17:50.1) in school history. He also set a school record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:34.4) that was later eclipsed by teammate Bret Watzka.


An All-State harrier in cross country, he won the Section 9 Class B crown in the fall of 1974, beating the eventual state champ, Mike Colangelo of Albertus. John always ran well in big meets, placing third in the New York State championships and fourth in the Eastern States meet. His third-place finish in the inaugural State Federation meet in ’74 paced the Golden Knights to an unexpected team title. The Federation meet assembled the top teams in the state regardless of class size. In 1999, John was one of 21 harriers selected to the Rockland County All-Century Cross Country Team.


In track, John made second-team All-State in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Overall he earned All-County honors six times and served as a team captain in cross country, winter track and spring track his senior year. “When I went to the starting line, I always felt prepared and ready to go,” says John. “I am very proud of the fact that I was able to perform consistently well from week to week and race to race.”


John was one of the chief cogs in Dave Hanson’s powerful track lineup. During his four-year varsity career, he contributed to six Rockland County team championships and six Section 9 Class B crowns. He was joined by a talented cast that included middle distance/distance runners Bret Watzka, Jim O’Rourke, Mark Forlow, Ken Johns, Ralph Magnetti and Bill Weidemann, shot-putter Tony Harlin, hurdlers Don Berich and Larry Finucane, jumpers Paul Coopersmith and Brian Scully, and sprinters Paul Dertinger and John Hammeran, among others.


“I remember the tightness of the team, especially after Coach Hanson took over for cross country [in 1974],” says John, who recruited his track mates Forlow, O’Rourke and Magnetti for the XC team in ’74. He also considers himself fortunate to have been coached and mentored by Hanson, acknowledged as one of Rockland’s greatest coaches. “He opened my eyes to everything about choosing a college, looking at the program and the academics, the whole package. He was very instrumental in my deciding to go to Rutgers.”


John traded the Golden Knights’ black and gold for the Scarlet Knights’ red and white when he enrolled at Rutgers. Remaining a model of consistency, he earned 12 varsity letters, twice competed in the NCAA Div. I cross country championships, captured the 3,000-meter steeplechase in the Metropolitan Conference meet, captained the cross country and track teams, and helped Rutgers win several Metropolitan Conference team titles. He also finished fifth in the steeplechase at the U.S. Junior National Championships, a meet for athletes age 19 or younger.


After graduating from Rutgers in 1979 with a degree in environmental economics, John continued to pursue his distance-running career with gusto. He especially excelled at the 26.2-mile marathon distance. On the Yonkers Marathon’s notoriously hilly course John clocked a superb 2 hours 24 minutes 22 seconds, the third-fastest time in race history.


John owns the fastest marathon time of any Rockland high school graduate, 2:23:25, and ran four of his 10 marathons faster than 2 hours 30 minutes, a benchmark of excellence for the event. He also chalked up numerous road-race and track victories during his 15-year post-collegiate racing career and achieved excellent personal-best times of 24:10 for 5 miles, 30:15 for 10K (6.2 miles) and 1:06:48 for the half-marathon.


John, who’s 52, has worked in the financial services industry since the mid-1980s. He worked at Prudential for almost eight years and served as vice president of company compliance at Guardian Insurance from May 2001 till July of this year, when he went out on permanent disability leave.


John contracted bacterial meningitis as a child and developed a condition known as hydrocephalus. At age 5 he had a cerebral shunt implanted to drain fluid from the cavities of the brain. The shunt deteriorated over time and had to be replaced when he was 45. 


For the past several years John has endured repeated cycles of infections in newly implanted shunts. Each time cerebrospinal fluid is flushed from his body, a regimen of antibiotics in prescribed, and a new shunt system is installed. Since 2004 John has undergone 115 surgeries (no, that’s not a typo) to replace infected shunts. Still, he has drawn strength from the unwavering support of his family and friends, and “I keep fighting back,” he says resolutely.


John and his wife Sue celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary earlier this month. They reside in Princeton Junction, N.J., and have two college-age children: Kaitlyn, 21, a senior at Penn State, and Sean, 20, a junior at Kentucky who last year earned All-America honors for his age group in the triathlon.


“My greatest achievement is my wife of 28 years and two wonderful children who carry on my love of running,” John says. “I’m a very proud father.”