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Ted Metellus On Making History As The New York City Marathon’s First Black Race Director

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“One of my colleagues said this in a meeting, and I’ve heard this before, but it really had an impact on me during 2020/2021. It’s the Maya Angelou poem where she says, and I’m paraphrasing to a degree here, ‘You may not remember what I said. You may not remember what I did. But you’ll remember how I made you feel.’ That right there is it. That’s what we can all do in our own little space: have people feel amazing, have a great experience, walk away with a smile on their face.”

Last year, Ted Metellus made history when he was named the race director of the New York City Marathon. Not only that, he became the first Black race director of any of the World Marathon Major races. In 2020, New York Road Runners faced criticism and allegations of discrimination and racism and vowed to make changes within its leadership roles and internal structure to make things better. The move with Metellus also came at a time when the running industry was coming back from a year full of cancellations and postponements for major races. New York Road Runners canceled all in-person races from March 2020 to September 2020. In this episode, you’ll learn more about how an event like that comes together but also learn a bit about Ted’s story from growing up as a kid in the Bronx to lessons he learned from the entertainment industry and other sports. He’s so down to earth.

We recorded this conversation in late February at the Running USA Conference. For this episode, I’m joined by Joshua and Aaron Potts of the 2 Black Runners Podcast.

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