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Co-founder of National Black Marathoners Association hoping to lead the pack in donations at St. Jude Marathon

Updated: Dec. 2, 2020 at 10:00 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - An organization dedicated to increasing the number of Black marathoners participating in long-distance races plans to be here for the 2021 St. Jude Memphis Marathon.

Tony Reed has accomplished the distance running hat trick and has the medals to prove it! He’s completed more than 100 marathons including one in all 50 states and all seven continents. Reed now wants to run the St. Jude Memphis Marathon for personal reasons.

“St. Jude Hospital, in addition to working with cancer, also has done a lot of work in the area of sickle cell anemia,” said Reed. “I happen to carry the trait and my sister who happens to be a podiatrist actually has sickle cell anemia.”

Reed, co-founder of the National Black Marathoners Association, has re-scheduled his group’s annual convention around the 2021 St. Jude Memphis Marathon after COVID-19 scuttled plans for distance runners to gather here this year.

“As a certified running coach myself, I am telling them well this is the opportunity to focus on building a nice strong base to give those injuries a chance to finally heal,” he said. “And truly get ready for the 2021 racing season.”

When the National Black Marathoners gather next year, they’ll honor a Memphian who they inducted into the Black Distance Running Hall of Fame: Angela Ivory completed 303 marathons or longer races in her 44 years of life!

“Angela had actually run the Memphis St. Jude Marathon twice and unfortunately, she passed away but we were going to honor her while we were there in Memphis in addition to raising funds for the St. Jude Hospital,” said Reed.

After talking with Reed, an author, accomplished runner and cyclist and noted corporate executive -- you get the idea that he can do anything!

“There’s a saying: if you throw me to the wolves, I’ll come back leading the pack,” he said.

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