National Black Marathon Association Bringing Summit, Runners to MS Blues Marathon

August 17, 2022

Tony Reed and Bill Burke
Reed and Burke

The National Black Marathoners Association announced plans to bring their annual summit along with hundreds of runners to the Mississippi Blues Marathon today at a news conference held at Visit Jackson’s Welcome Center.

Tony Reed, co-founder and Executive Director of the National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA) and a running legend announced their partnership with the annual race, scheduled February 25, 2023. NBMA, established in 2004, is the largest and oldest national not-for-profit organization that supports Black American distance runners.

Confirmed to participate is Lisa Davis, world record holder for running seven marathons on seven continents in seven days, 30 minutes and twenty-seven seconds.

“We’re looking forward to bringing hundreds of runners from all around the country, as well as possibly some international runners here to see the beautiful city of Jackson by foot,” Reed said.

The NBMA was started to encourage more African Americans to pursue healthy lifestyles through distance running and walking. The organization, that began with two people, now counts 16,000 members among its ranks.

“We embrace all distances,” said Reed, the first Black person to finish a marathon on all seven continents. “Our organization has always been open to walkers and runners of all distances, from one-mile all the way up to the marathon and ultra-marathon.”

The partnership with NBMA will have an estimated economic impact of $134,437 with 450 additional runners. Prior to the partnership, the MS Blues Marathon was expected to have an estimated economic impact of $264,000. These two entities combined yield an estimated economic impact of over $398, 413.

“This is fabulous for this city and for this event,” said Bill Burke, Director of the MS Blues Marathon. “I can’t thank you enough for bringing the National Black Marathon Association to the City With Soul.”

About National Black Marathoners Association (NBMA)

The NBMA is the largest and oldest, national, not-for-profit organization that supports Black American distance runners. The organization has awarded more than $50,000 in scholarships to college-bound, high school seniors. While there’s no annual membership fee to join, we ask that our members make a donation to the scholarship fund.