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Celebrating African American Long Distance Running History!

Herman Atkins Historic 41 Year Old Record Has Been Broken
Nathan Martin Runs 2:11:05: An All-Time Best Marathon by Native Born African American

Running History: December 20, 2020

Nathan Martin with a time of 2:11:05 and a 9 th place finish set the all-time best marathon time for a native born Black American at The Marathon Project race in Chandler, Arizona.

For the first time in U.S. running history, twelve women ran under 2:30 and seven men finished faster than 2:10 in race that reshuffled the all-time lists for both genders.  Nathan moves up to 49th overall ranking in USA marathoning history. The two-time Olympic Marathon trial qualifier previous marathon best of 2:14:34 was set in 2017. The Marathon Project was created to fill the void created by canceled marathons due to COVID-19.

Nathan Martin is age 31 and his hometown is Three Rivers, Michigan.  He's considered the most decorated athlete in the history of Spring Arbor University's cross country and track & field programs where he earned eight conference championships.  Nathan was a three time NAIA and six time National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) national champion.

Herman Atkins historic run was September 1979 with a time of 2:11:52 at the Nike/Oregon Track Club Marathon.  Herm was inducted into the 2019 Class of National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame.  His prolific running career includes outstanding performances on both the track and roads.  His personal records on the track (one mile 4:04, two miles 8:40, and 5K 13:43) demonstrate his excellent range of achievements.  He raced against all the top runners of the 1970s and 1980s including Steve Prefontaine and Don Kardong.  Herm took second place to the great Miurs Yifter – Ethiopia in the famous San Blas Half Marathon of 1979.

Records are Made to be Broken

Longstanding Road Running Best:
Sami Akbar – 14 Years (2006) – All-Times Best African An American Female Marathoner (Native Born) – 2:34:14
Ted Corbitt – 50 Years (1970) – World Age Group 50-54 R4 Record for 50 Miles – 5:34:01

Longstanding Track & Field World Records:
Jesse Owens – 26 Years (1935 – 1960) – Long Jumg Jump - 26 Feet, 8 inches
Jackie Joyner Kersee – 32 Years (1988) – Heptathlon ân – 7291 points
Randy Barnes – 30 Years (1990) – Shot Put – 75 “ 75 Feet, 10 ¼ inches
Mike Powell – 29 Years (1991) – Long Jump – 29 “ 29 feet, 4 ¼ inches
Kevin Young – 28 Years (1992) – 400 Meter Hurdles âs – 46.78
Javier Sotomayor – 27 Years (1993) High Jump – 8 feet, t, ¼ inches
Jonathan Edwards – 25 Years (1995) Triple Jump – 59 feefeet, 7 inches