Herbert J. Lorenz, 71, of Medford, a nationally ranked long-distance runner and a track coach in Burlington County, died of blood cancer Sunday, Feb. 27, at Samaritan Hospice in Mount Holly.

In 1979, the year he turned 40, Mr. Lorenz was runner of the year in the masters division (participants 40 to 49 years old), according to the USA Track and Field organization.

In April that year, he won the men's masters division of the Boston Marathon with a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 41 seconds.

Two years later, Mr. Lorenz was masters runner of the year for ages 40 to 44, a new USA Track and Field category.

And in 1989, he was inducted into the Road Runners Club of America's Hall of Fame, said Jean Knaack, the group's executive director.

The native of Frankfurt, Germany - who spoke no English at the time - crossed the Atlantic alone on the liner United States in 1954 to join his family.

In 1959, he graduated from Pemberton High School, where he was a miler. He earned a bachelor's degree in 1963 at Trenton State College.

Mr. Lorenz began his teaching career at Netcong (N.J.) High School during the 1963-64 school year, then taught industrial arts at Burlington Township High School and the township's middle school until his retirement in 1994. During all but four years, Mr. Lorenz was the high school's track coach.

His running led to adventures, said his wife, Irma. "He had trips to Africa, representing the U.S. in races," she said.

Besides his wife, Mr. Lorenz is survived by a son, Eric; a daughter, Diane Stansbury; and four grandchildren.

A viewing was set for 9 a.m. Thursday, March 3, at the Bradley & Stow Funeral Home, 127 Medford-Mount Holly Rd., Medford, before a 10:30 a.m. Funeral Mass at St. Mary of the Lakes Church, 40 Jackson Rd., Medford. Burial will be in Park View Cemetery, Medford.

Contact staff writer Walter F. Naedele at 215-854-5607 or wnaedele@phillynews.com.