Relay team makes history, prepares for new 200 mile challenge


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The runners of Fit 2 Finish Strong recently became the first all-black men’s relay team to win the Mercedes Marathon–and now, they are on to the next challenge.  The team is preparing for a 36-hour and 200 mile race in Tennessee that will take runners from Chattanooga to Nashville.

“We help each other out, we sharpen each other,” explained Eric Thomas, a RRCA certified coach.  “We make each other better and we hold each other accountable.”

The group, which ranges in age from 25 to 57, didn’t go into the Mercedes Marathon with the goal of winning.  Instead, team members tell us that they set a time in their head that they wanted to meet.  Actually, they were unsuccessful in achieving that goal by a little more than 3 minutes.

“It worked out, though,” smiled Ray Banks, the group’s eldest member.

They are now training for the Ragnar Relay Race, taking place over March 24th and 25th.  More than anything else, their goal is to recruit more people to their group and encourage others to invest in healthier lifestyles.

“Come out, run with us,” said Thomas.  “It’s a great community.  Running is just something that everybody should think about doing.  It’s a very good way to get healthy and socialize.”

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