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BLACK AMERICAN LONG DISTANCE HISTORY TIMELINE PROJECT


One of the National Black Marathoners Association’s goals is to be a source of information about Black American distance runners. We hope that this information will inspire and encourage others to pursue distance running. I started distance running in the late-1960’s. Despite my knowledge of Black history, I wasn’t aware of any Black American distance runners to use as role models.
Much to my surprise, I found my role model by reading a Black comedian’s autobiography. In the book, he described the thrill of racing in collegiate cross country meets. And he wrote about the “mind” games, that he would play to psyc out his opponents during the races. The writer, political activist, and All-American cross country runner was from my hometown of St. Louis, MO. It was Dick Gregory.

In 2013, the NBMA started the Black American Distance Runner Hall of Fame to recognize their contributions and accomplishments. Later that year, Gary Corbitt was appointed to be the NBMA’s Historian. His objectives are to gather information about Black North American and Native American distance runners and share it with the public.

This section will be periodically updated as information becomes available. When possible, we’ll provide links to other websites, which may provide additional information about the runner.

If you have information about other runners, including photos, please send it to Comments@BlackMarathoners.org.
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Frank Hart
Pedestrian Years (1879 – 1899)
1879
F. Williams
27-Hour Race
126 Miles
1879
G. Stevens
62-Hour Walk for Negroes
182 Miles
1879
S. Smith
62-Hour Walk for Negroes
181.5 Miles
1880
Frank Hart
Pedestrian – World Record Holder
Six-Day Race
1880
William Pegram
Pedestrian – O’Leary Belt – 6-Day Race
2nd Place
1880
Ed Williams
Pedestrian – O’Leary Belt – 6-Day Race
7th Place
1899
James Dean
Pedestrian – 6-Day Race
5th Place




1900 – 1918
1909
John Stookey (Stuckey)
Berwick Marathon
Finisher
1909
Howard Hale
Pittsburgh Marathon
1st Place
1909
Charles Burden
New Orleans Marathon
1st Place




1919 – 1935
1919
Aaron Morris
Boston Marathon
6th Place
1920
R. Earl Johnson
U.S. Olympian
10,000 Meters
1920
Clifford Mitchell
Berwick Marathon
11th Place
1921
R. Earl Johnson
U.S. Champion
Cross-Country 
1924
R. Earl Johnson
U.S. Olympian
Cross-Country – 3rd Place
1924
R. Earl Johnson
U.S. Olympian
10,000 Meters – 8th Place
1928
Phillip Granville
Pyle Trans American Race
3rd Place
1928
Ed Gardiner
Pyle Trans American Race
8th Place $1K prize money
1928
Sam Robinson
Pyle Trans American Race
Finisher
1928
Tobie Joseph Cotton
Pyle Trans American Race
Finisher
1928
Gus Moore
U.S. Champion
Cross-Country
1929
Gus Moore
Berwick Marathon
1st Place
1935
Augustus “Gus” Johnson
Port Chester Marathon
3rd Place
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Ted Corbitt
1936 – 1957
1936
Joseph Yancey
New York Pioneer Club Formed
Co-Founder
1942
Frank Dixon
U.S. Champion
Cross-Country
1949
Bill Lucas
NCAA Cross-Country
3rd Place
1949
Lou White
Boston Marathon
3rd Place
1950
New York Pioneer Club
U.S. Marathon Championship Team
1st Place
1950
Lou White
U.S. Champion
Road – 15K
1952
Ted Corbitt
U.S. Olympian
Marathon
1954
Ted Corbitt
U.S. Champion
Marathon
1955
New York Pioneer Club
Boston Marathon
Team Championship
1955
Charles “Deacon” Jones
NCAA Cross-Country
Champion
1956
Charles “Deacon” Jones
U.S. Olympian
Steeplechase
1956
Joe Tyler
Boston Marathon
8th Place  




Road Runners Club of American Early Years (1958 – 1971)
1960
Charles “Deacon” Jones
U.S. Olympian
Steeplechase
1962
San Jose State
First Integrated Team To Win
NCAA Cross-Country
1962
Jimmy Borden
United Athletic Association
Club Founder
1964
Oscar Moore
U.S Olympian
5,000 Meters
1968
Lou Scott
U.S. Olympian
5,000 Meters
1969
Jared Beads
American Record – Non Stop Running
121.25 Miles
1970
Moses Mayfield
Philadelphia Marathon
1st Place
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Marilyn Bevans
Running Boom Early Years (1972 – 1979)
1973
Ted Corbitt
American Record
24 Hour Run
1973
Marilyn Bevans
Maryland Marathon
2nd Place
1974
Marilyn Bevans
Beltsville Marathon
2nd Place
1975
Arthur Hall
Penn Relays Marathon
1st Place
1977
Marilyn Bevans
Maryland Marathon
1st Place
1977
Marilyn Bevans
Beltsville Marathon
1st Place
1977
Marilyn Bevans
Boston Marathon
2nd Place
1977
Marilyn Bevans
Mayor Daley (Chicago) Marathon
2nd Place
1978
Marilyn Bevans
Maryland Marathon
2nd Place
1979
Herm Atkins
Nike/Oregon Track Club Marathon
5th Place 2:11:52
1979
Marilyn Bevans
Maryland Marathon
1st Place
1980
Marilyn Bevans
Mayor Daley (Chicago) Marathon
3rd Place
 
800-METER, 1500-METER, ONE-MILE, AND CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONS
1932
Phil Edwards
Canadian Olympian
800 & 1500 Meters – 3rd Place
1935
James “Jimmy” Smith
Indiana University – 4 X 1-Mile Team
NCAA Record
1936
John Woodruff
U.S. Olympian
800 Meter – 1st Place
1936
Phil Edwards
Canadian Olympian
800 Meter – 3rd Place




1943
Rudy Simms
High School Record Holder
One Mile
1948
Mal Whitfield
U.S. Olympian
800 Meter – 1st Place




1950
Dr. Roscoe Lee Browne
U.S. Champion
Indoor – 1,000 Yard Run
1951
New York Pioneer Club
U.S. Indoor Team Championship

1951
Dr. Roscoe Lee Browne
U.S. Champion
Indoor – 1,000 Yard Run
1951
Larry Ellis
NCAA Track & Field
800 Meters – 3rd Place
1951
Dick Gregory
Track & Field All-American
Southern Illinois University
1952
Reggie Pearman
U.S. Olympian
800 Meters
1952
Mal Whitfield
U.S. Olympian
800 Meters -1st Place
1956
Arnie Sowell
U.S. Olympian
800 Meters -4th Place
1956
Ted Wheeler
U.S. Olympian
1500 Meters
1956
Ron Gregory
High School Record Holder
One Mile




1961
Rose Lovelace
880 Indoor World Record Holder
2:24.8
1964
Ben Tucker
1500 Meters – 4 Minute Mile Equivalent
3:40.8
1965
Harry McCalla
Track & Field All-American
Stanford
1968
Madeline Manning – Mims
U.S. Olympian
800 Meters – 1st Place
1968
Jarvis Scott
U.S. Olympian – 400M
800 Meter PR 2:04.5




1970
Cheryl Toussaint
New York PSAL High School 800-Meter Record
2:04.5
1971
Byron Dyce
Sub 4-Minute Mile
3:59.6
1973
Reggie McAfee
Sub 4-Minute Mile
3:59.3
1973
Tommy Fulton
Sub 4-Minute Mile
3:57.8
1974
Robin Campbell
U.S. Indoor Track Championship – 1500 Meters
1st Place
1974
Dennis Fikes
Sub 4-Minute Mile
3:55.0