May 16, 2008

Saucony, a Boston-area manufacturer of elite track shoes, has established the Ryan Shay Memorial Fund to honor the memory of the former Notre Dame runner, who died last November while competing in the U.S. Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials in New York City.

The fund, conceived by Ryan’s widow Alicia Shay, will help disadvantaged individuals, groups and communities establish track programs and fund American distance runners in need.

Shay, who graduated with a degree in economics in 2001, became the first Notre Dame track athlete to win an NCAA individual title when he captured the 10,000-meter run at the 2001 Outdoor Championships. The nine-time All-American won numerous BIG EAST cross country and track honors during his Irish career.

The 28-year-old Shay died of an irregular heartbeat caused by an enlarged heart.

Saucony will dedicate a portion of its product creation and design center to Shay’s memory. The company also has unveiled a new cross country running shoe, the Shay XC.