Magdalena Lewy-BouletMagdalena Lewy-Boulet, born August 1, 1973, is an American distance runner.  Lewy-Boulet grew up in Poland and immigrated to the United States in 1991.  She was sworn in as a U.S. citizen on the morning of September 11, 2001. She earned her bachelor’s degree in human biodynamics from U.C. Berkley in 1997 and a master’s degree in exercise physiology from Cal State Hayward.  Boulet earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team by finishing second in the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials with a personal-best time of 2:30:19.  She won two team Bronze medals as the captain of the US Cross Country team at the World Cross Country Championships in 2010 and 2011. She won the 2002 San Francisco Marathon and finished sixth overall and first among American women at the 2009 New York City Marathon. She finished second at the 2010 Rotterdam Marathon, in a personal best time of 2:26:22. At the 2010 Chicago Marathon, she finished 7th in a time of 2:28:44. She won the 20K national title at the New Haven Road Race in a time of 1:07:41.  After a ten-year career running marathons on the road, she transitioned to running trail and ultra distance events in 2013.  In 2015, Magda won her 100 mile debut at the prestigious Western States Endurance Run, and was named North American Ultra Runner of the Year.  Currently Magda leads Innovation & Product Development at GU Energy Labs and enjoys training and competing in ultra endurance trail races.

Blake Russell Blake Russell (born July 24, 1975) is an American long-distance runner who represented her country at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. After finishing third in the marathon at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, she went on to finish 27th in the Olympic marathon in Beijing. She was the only American woman to finish the Beijing Olympic Marathon. She is a many time USA National Champion in Cross Country and the USA Road Racing Circuit over various distances.  A high-school standout in North Carolina, Russell won 11 Independent School State Titles in the 800, mile, and 2 mile. She walked onto the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill team in 1993 and eventually earned All-American Honors and ACC Championship titles in the 1500m and 5000m her senior year. She set the school record in the 1500 meters went on to place 13th in the NCAA Track and Field Championships.  Russell decided to run her first marathon on a whim and was the surprise winner of the Twin Cities Marathon in 2003. Her time of 2:30:41 was the 3rd fastest debut by an American at the time and qualified her for the 2004 Olympic Trials in St. Louis, MO. After leading much of the race, she faded to 4th place, just missing a spot on the Olympic Team. She participated at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, running in the 10,000 meters and finished in 22nd place. She was on the Bronze Medal 4k 2005 IAAF Cross Country Team in St. Etienne, France. She was 7th at the Chicago Marathon in 2005, setting her personal best of 2:29:10. She won the 8k National Cross Country Title in 2006. She went on to be the top American finisher at the IAAF Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan placing 11th in the 8k and 18th in the 4k. She was also National 15k and 20k Champion. After the 2008 Olympics, Russell had a son and made a successful return to the track placing 4th in the 10,000 meters at the USA Track and Field Championships.

Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego Sally Jepkosgei Kipyego (born 19 December 1985) is a Kenyan-born American long- and middle-distance runner. She was the silver medalist in the 10,000 metres at the 2011 World Championships in Athletics and the silver medalist in the same race at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. She has a personal record of 30:38.35 minutes for that event and her 5000 metres best of 14:30.42 minutes makes her the second fastest Kenyan woman for the distance.  She became the first Kenyan woman to win an NCAA cross country individual championship, the first woman to win three consecutive NCAA Division I Cross Country titles, and the first runner to win three consecutive Big 12 Conference cross country titles. She also won three straight NCAA Indoor titles over 5000 m and was a two-time NCAA Outdoor champion. She is tied with Suzy Favor-Hamilton for the most individual championships in NCAA history. Kipyego won more individual NCAA championships in 2 years than any other runner in NCAA history.  In 20216, Sally was runner-up at the New York City Marathon behind winner Mary Keitany (2:24:26) and ahead of Molly Huddle who placed third in 2:28:13.  In 2017, she became an American Citizen.  In Atlanta, Georgia, at the U.S. Woman’s Olympic Trials Marathon on February 29, 2020, Sally took third place in 2:28:52.  She earned a spot on the US Olympic Team. Kipyego was considered a top contender going into the Olympic Marathon run in Sapporo, Japan, Aug. 7, 2021. She ran with the front runners alongside teammate Molly Seidel the first half of the race. In the hot and humid conditions, Kipyego’s pace wasn’t strong enough to keep with the pack. She moved back and finished 17th in 2:32:53. Academically, Kipyego earned a nursing degree.

Dan BrowneDaniel (Dan) J. Browne (born June 24, 1975) is an American distance runner.  He attended the United States Military Academy as a member of the class of 1997. While at West Point, he became the only cadet to ever run a mile under four minutes (3:59.37), and set school records in the 3,000, 5,000 and 10,000 meters. Upon graduating from West Point, he underwent basic officer training before being invited to join the Army’s World Class Athlete Program. In 1998, he won the short course USA Cross Country Championships. In 2004, he made the US Olympic team for the 10,000m and the Marathon, finishing 3rd in both distances at the trials.  Browne won numerous road races during his career including the Army Ten-Miler, Twin Cities Marathon, and multiple USA Road Championship events for the 5K (2007), 20K (2007), and 25K (2009). Browne’s coaching career began in 2013 when he ran the World Class Athlete Program (WCAP), which works to train top-ranked soldier athletes for the Olympic and Paralympic games.

M WardianMichael Wardian (born April 12, 1974) is an American marathoner and ultra-marathoner. He won the 2008, 2009 and 2010 US 50 km championships and the 2011 US 50 mile championship. In 2008, he won the U.S. National 100 km championship. Wardian was the 2007 JFK 50 Mile winner, and won the National Marathon Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Washington DC for three consecutive years (2006–2008) and again in 2010, 2011 and 2012. In 2006 during a span of 45-days, Wardian won four out of five marathons he raced.  In 2007, he ran 13 marathons (not including ultra-marathons), and seven marathons in a span of nine weeks (winning three). In 2008 after winning the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Washington DC on a Saturday, he finish 3rd at a marathon in Knoxville, Tennessee the very next day.  Wardian qualified and participated in the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Men’s Olympic Marathon trials.  Some of the notable ultra-marathons Wardian has completed include the Marathon des Sables, the Western States Endurance Run, the Himalayan 100 Mile Stage Race and the Vermont 100 Mile Endurance Run.  The USATF named Wardian the 2008 and 2009 Ultra Runner of the year. In September 2011, he won the silver medal at the World 100K Championships. In January 2017, Wardian ran seven marathons in seven days on seven continents in a record average time of 2:45/marathon. In 2018, he was first at the Maldives Addu Marathon. On October 27, 2019, Wardian won the inaugural Marine Corps Marathon 50K with a time of 3:11:52. In 2020, Wardian won the Quarantine Backyard Ultra, running nearly 263 miles over the course of 63 hours, without sleep, in a repetitive loop in Arlington, VA to follow social distancing guidelines during the coronavirus pandemic.

KEY INFLUENCER

Tony ReedTony Reed, age 66, is the co-founder and executive director of the National Black Marathoners’ Association (NBMA) and a proprietor of the National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame. He’s also the first Black person to have completed a marathon on each of the seven continents. He’s run 131 marathons ago, in all 50 states and logged over 45,000 miles since 1976. He holds two graduate degrees (management and accounting) and two undergraduate degrees (management and mathematics). He’s taught project management, IT, accounting, and business collegiate courses and seminars. And he’s authored six books and over fifty business, leadership, and technical articles. His adventures are chronicled in Running Shoes are Cheaper Than Insulin: Marathon Adventures On All seven Continents (2008), and his latest book is an autobiography, “From the Road Race to the Rat Race: Essays From a Black Executive Marathoner.”  Tony is the director and producer of the soon to be released documentary, Breaking Three Hours: Trailblazing African-American Women Marathoners. The film is about nine amazing women who are National Black Distance Running Hall of Fame honorees that have all run under 3hours for the marathon.

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