National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame to Induct Chicago's Rainbow Road Runners Club

Rainbow Road Runners, one of Chicago's first Black running clubs, and predecessor to Tri-Masters Chicago, Men Run Deez Streets, and Black Chicago Runners, to be inducted into the hall of fame.
CHICAGO - Sept. 20, 2021 - PRLog -- The National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA) is pleased to announce the induction of Chicago's historic Rainbow Road Runners Club into the National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame. The induction banquet and ceremony will be held during the National Black Marathoners Association's Annual Summit at Cincinnati's Fly Pig Marathon Weekend on Saturday, April 30, 2022. Other historic clubs in the hall of fame include New York's Pioneer Club, Atlanta's South Fulton Running Partners, Cleveland's Team Marathon, and Cincinnati's Avondale Running Club.

The Rainbow Road Runners was one of the first Black running clubs in Chicago. It was started in July, 1973 at the beginning of the jogging craze. The members met at the Southside's Rainbow Beach Park near the lakeshore. They held running events at the South Shore Country Club, sponsored the annual Run for LaRabida 10K races which benefited the LaRabida Children's Hospital, and partnered with Minute Maid for a Run-a-Thon that benefited the 1984 Olympic Team. They participated in the Mayor Daley (Chicago) Marathon and it wasn't unusual for them to have more than ten members to qualify for and compete in the prestigious Boston Marathon. Some of the early members included Rosa Frazier, Bob Randall, Charles Tucker, Dr. Toussaint Tools, Angela Windham, Dr. Hugh Jenkins, David Bryant, Thomas and Krista Gray, Kimberly Drane, and Cynthia Canady.

Bernard Lyles was the president from 1984 to 1993.  Later, he became a triathlete and founded Tri-Masters Chicago in 1990, as well as a youth-focused triathlon training program called Tri-Masters Sports Initiative Programs in 1992, which trained over 2800 youth. Bernard passed the running baton to his son, Terrance Lyles, who founded Men Run Deez Streets (MRDS) in 2013 and, later, Black Chicago Runners.

Previously announced 2022 inductees include sub three-hour marathoners, Samia Akbar, Michele Bush-Cuke, Shawanna White, Michele Tiff, and Ingrid Walters. Additional inductees will be announced in the upcoming weeks.

About the National Black Marathoners Association

The National Black Marathoners' Association (NBMA) is the largest and oldest nonprofit organization in the U.S. dedicated to encouraging African Americans and others to pursue a healthy lifestyle through distance running and walking, as well as awarding college scholarships to deserving high school distance runners. It is open to everyone, regardless of his or her athletic ability, ethnic background, or previous marathon experience. The NBMA hosts an annual multi-race summit. Previous races and locations have been Lewis & Clark (St. Charles, MO), New Jersey (Long Branch, NJ), Cleveland (OH), Lost Dutchman (Apache Junction, AZ), Cowtown (Fort Worth, TX), Georgia (Atlanta), Bermuda International Race Weekend, Deadwood-Michelson (Deadwood, SD), Madison (WI), Richmond (VA), Windermere (Spokane, WA), Dallas, Columbus (OH), and the Go! St. Louis, Baltimore Running Festival, and Little Rock Marathons.

For more information, visit

National Black Marathoners Association

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