Now that I have some time to sit down and scribe the last few weeks of my life, here’s my attempt of sharing some of the awesome things I have experienced! First up: The NBMA Hall of Fame Banquet.
The National Black Marathoners Association selected the Dallas Marathon as the NBMA Annual Summit race for 2015. In addition to welcoming runners of color from around the nation to meet up and run for a cause, NBMA also host a biannual Hall of Fame Banquet honoring African American runners for their iconic achievements in the sport of track & field and distance runners.
Not only did I get the opportunity to attend this history-making event, so did a few of my students that I coach at the school. We recently revived our #2ndChanceStriders Running Club at Cornerstone Crossroads Academy. Cigna Healthcare was generous enough to donate tickets for them and our school principal to attend as well. Prepping them for the event was fun as well. It included taking them shopping for banquet attire, teaching an etiquette class, and coaching them on dinner conversations (Which I’ll go into detail in another blog post)
For many of the banquet attendees it was like a family reunion. A large number of us keep up with each other via social media. So getting to see each other every other year always warrants a good time! From the banquet to the actual race, it’s like a family reunion.
Among this year’s honorees were:
Meb Keflezhighi- Olympic Silver Medalist, Boston Marathon, and NYC Marathon winner
Elizabeth Brown: Has ranked top three in her age group among Cincinnati runners twice in last four years
Ricky Cox: Three-time Cowtown champion, qualified for the 1984 U.S. Olympic trials in the marathon.
Lisa Felder: Longtime Team in Training coach has completed more than 300 marathons and 111 ultra marathons
Dr. Roscoe Lee Browne (deceased): 1950 and 1951 U.S. Indoor 1,000-yard champion
Robin Campbell: 1980 and 1984 U.S. Olympian in the 800 meters, U.S. indoor champion in 400 and 1,500 meters
Alphonzo Jackson: Ranked third in the world in 5K (16:28) and half marathon (1:15:28) at age 50 in 1996
Jon Rankin: Alternate for 2008 U.S. Olympic team in 1,500 meters, 2004 All-American for UCLA
As you can imagine it was a night of celebration, fellowship, and inspiration. But everything was done and brought to a close at 9:30PM because over 75% of the banquet attendees ran in the Dallas Marathon the next day (including me). All in all my students and I had a memorable night and I look forward to NBMA’s next summit in Columbus, Ohio!