2019 National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame

Herman Atkins (Everett, WA)


  • Placed 5th at Nike/Oregon Track Club Marathon in a time of 2:11:52 on September 9, 1979. This is the fastest marathon by a native-born Black American.
  • One mile best of 4:04
  • 1973 – 5,000 meters 13:43
  • 1977 – First marathon 2:18
  • 1977 – Second place Honolulu Marathon 2:20:54
  • 1979 – Ninth place Boston Marathon 2:14:27
  • 1980 – Nike/OTC Marathon 2:15:09
  • 1981 – Houston Marathon 2:17:22
  • 1984 – Men’s Olympic Marathon Trials 2:19;45
  • 1993 – Led Snohomish Track Club to a National Masters Cross-Country 10K Championship.

Gary Corbitt (Jacksonville, FL)

  • Recognized for his contribution to the research, preservation, verification, and distribution of African-American distance running history.
  • Tony Reed, NBMA Executive Director says, "Gary Corbitt is the 'Carter G. Woodson' of African American distance running history. Without Gary's knowledge and support, there may not be a National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame. He produced the African American Long Distance and Middle Distance Running History Timeline (1880 – 1979). This compilation is the first of its kind and is the Hall of Fame's foundation."

Alisa Harvey (Manassas, VA)


  • Holds World Indoor record for the 800m in the 45 to 49 age group division.
  • Holds the American Indoor records for the 800m in the 40 to 44, 45 to 49, and 50 to 54 age group divisions.
  • Holds the American Outdoor records for the 800m in the 40 to 44 and the 45 to 49 age group divisions.
  • Previously held the world indoor record for the mile in both the women’s 35 to 39 and the 40 to 44 age group divisions.
  • Qualified for the 800M at the 2008 US Olympic Trials at 42 years old.
  • Ran a 2:49:28 marathon in 1999 to qualify for the Olympic trials.
  • Set an American record in the mile at 4:46.29 in 2006, the year she turned 40.
  • Outright won the 2006 Army 10 Miler and set a masters record of 59:00.
  • Is the only four-time winner of the Army 10 Miler (1998, 1999, 2003, and 2006).
  • Ranked in the US top ten in the 1500 meters eight years in a row from 1986 through 1993. In 1994, she took off for maternity leave, but returned to the list in 1998 and 1999.
  • Achieved the number 1 ranking in the 1500M in 1993.
  • Ranked in the US top ten in the 800 meters six times between 1988 and 1996.
  • Became the 24th American woman to break 4:30 for a mile in 1998.
  • Won the 1991 and 1999 New York City Fifth Avenue Mile.
  • A member the University of Tennessee 4×800 team that set the NCAA record.
  • Won the 1986 NCAA Women’s Outdoor Track and Field Championship at 1500 meters.

Lillian Greene-Chamberlain (Silver Spring, MD)


  • The first U.S. National Champion in 800 meters before it became an Olympic event, and the first African-American woman to represent the United States in the 400M & 800M in international competition.
  • A gold medalist in the Exhibition 400M at the 1959 Pan American Games, she set numerous American records (440yds/400M and 880yds/800M)
  • A three-time National Champion and member of the United States All-America Track and Field Team in 1958, 1959 and 1961.
  • Instrumental in establishing Colorado State University’s first women’s track and field team        
  • The first person, woman and American to serve as Director of the Physical Education and Sports Program for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
  • As the first Director of the Mega-Cities Program for Special Olympics International (1993), she was instrumental in bringing Special Olympics for the first time, into previously underserved communities around the country, by developing and implementing multi-cultural sports programs in major metropolitan urban communities in the United States with populations of one million or more.
  • Appointed to the Maryland Governor’s Advisory Council on Physical Fitness.
  • Served on the Maryland Governor’s Women’s Health Promotion Council, the Advisory Boards of World TEAM Sports, the Arthur Ashe Athletic Association, and Fitness Magazine, and the Board of Directors of the American Running Association, the American Medical Athletic Association, the National Fitness Leaders Association, Special Olympics Maryland, DC Chapter of Women in Sports and Events, Living Literature Colors United, the Institute for Student Achievement, and the Chesapeake Region 2012 Coalition, a former US Bid City for the 2012 Olympic Games.
  • Was officially sworn in at a ceremony at the White House, as one of twenty appointees to the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, on May 24, 2006.

Oscar Moore (Glassboro, NJ)
  • Range of world class performances was phenomenal from the one mile to the marathon.
  • Was the first African American to represent the U.S. Olympic team in the 5,000 meters in 1964.
  • In 1967, he ranked third all-time for indoor performances at three miles with a time of 13:22.2.
  • Won the 1963 and 1964 nine-mile cross-country races and lowered the record to 46:19.6 in 1963. This is the New York Road Runners oldest race dating back to 1958. It’s held annually at Van Cortlandt Park.
  • Also held the five- and six-mile cross-country records Van Cortlandt Park at 24:41 and 30:09.8, respectively.
  • Inducted into the U.S. Track & Field and Cross-Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) Hall of Fame in 2009.
  • Coached at Glassboro State College/Rowan University for 23 years.

Catherine Pugh (Baltimore, MD) 
  • Completed her first marathon in 3:19.
  • Founded the Baltimore Running Festival in 2000.
  • Click here to read article. “Meet Catherine Pugh: Senator and Marathon Runner”, ESPNw, November 3, 2016

Charlotte Simmons (Atlanta, GA)
  • NBMA Co-Founder and Board of Directors Member, since 2004
  • Member of the South Fulton Running Club and Marathons Maniacs
  • Completed over 170 races, including duathons, triathlons, ultramarathons, and over 25 marathons