2017 National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame
Ella Willis (Detroit, MI)
- Youngest person, male or female, to win the Detroit Free Press Marathon (DFPM).
- Held the woman’s DFPM record for 30 years.
- Had three of the top five fastest times at the DFPM.
- Finished eleven, sub-three hour marathons.
Loretta Claiborne (York, PA)
- Honored in 1996 with ESPN’s ESPY Arthur Ashe Award for Courage.
- Her life is recounted in Walt Disney Production’s The Loretta Claiborne Story.
- Her biography, In Her Stride, was published by WorldScapes.
- She was the first Special Olympics athlete to run the Boston Marathon – her time, 3:09 (1981).
- Her personal best time 3:03 in the 1982 Boston Marathon.
- For more information, visit http://www.lorettaclaiborne.com
Isaiah Douglas (Savannah, GA)
- Longtime running coach.
- Member of the Savannah Pacers.
- Running for 30 years.
- Completed 201 races, including 46 marathons.
- Has a marathon personal best of 2:52:59.
- Qualified for the Boston Marathon 26 times.
- Completed 19 Boston Marathons.
Ron Gregory (St. Louis, MO)
- Three-time (1954, 1955, and 1956) Missouri State High School Cross-Country Champion for St. Louis’ Sumner High School.
- Set a national high school mile record on May 25, 1956 with a time of 4:19.2.
- Held Notre Dame school records in thirteen different categories, including the half mile, mile (4:10) and two-mile (9:14).
- Earned All-American honors in cross-country and track at Notre Dame.
- Recorded a world’s best for 880 yards on an indoor, 220-yard dirt track of 1:50.5 in 1960.
- Took second place in the five-mile IC4A Cross Country Championship for Notre Dame at Van Cortlandt Park in Bronx, NY in 24:38.
Richard “Dick” Gregory (St. Louis, MO)
- Missouri high school mile champion (1951).
- Championed the integration of high school sports while in high school.
- Earned All-American honors in track (1951) for Southern Illinois University (SIU).
- Set SIU records in the 880-yard and mile races.
- Became the first black student-athlete named outstanding athlete of the year at SIU (1953).
- Ran from LA to NYC in 1976. It took 73.83 days to cover 3,550 miles averaging 48.1 miles/day (1976).
- Authored several books and is a health and nutrition guru.
- For more information, visit http://dickgregory.com/.
Anthony "Tony" Reed (St. Louis, MO)
Team Marathon (Cleveland, OH)
- Running in Cleveland since 1982.
- RRCA member.
- Hosted the NBMA’s Annual Summit in 2007.
- Home of National Black Distance Running Hall of Famers Frederick Davis III and Warren Elzy.
- For more information, visit http://www.teammarathon.org/.