USMC Private Randal DeWayne Black, 19 years old, came home on leave to our small farm outside Mansfield, Texas in 1975, and was seen by me, running in combat boots up and down the highway.
I had never considered running, because as a kid, my side would start hurting when I ran, but when I saw my son doing it, I suddenly became interested. I had an old pair of canvas "deck shoes", which cost probably 6 or 7 bucks, so I started running down the highway also. I don't have a clue how many miles, but I took it easy in the beginning, and it didn't take me long to find out what "shin-splints" are! I ignored them, I was hooked, and bought a pair of running shoes.
The first trophy I had ever won, was not for running. It was about 1970, or 71, when I was asked by a friend to be his "Bombardier" in an air show flour-sack bombing contest. I had never been up in a small plane, so I hesitated, but he assured me we would probably not be picked as one of the contestants, so, looking at the excited faces of my five children, I said sure. Well, he soon returned, and said "guess what"? Looking at those five sets of eyes, I certainly could not back out, so I did it! We did a practice run, then three passes and attempts, and I won first place! Only three trophies were given out that day, a pilot in another contest, my pilot, and I won one, and I don't even fly! Got my picture in the paper, too!
In the early 80's, I decided to run in 10k runs, and bought my first pair of New Balance, mainly because I couldn't find the first brand anywhere, and I became a fan of New Balance. In the 10k races, I was usually in the middle of the pack at the finish line, but once, in a small race, I won a first place trophy for my age! I believe it was 1983 that I won third place in a 5k, and was presented a plaque.I wound up with a drawer full of tee-shirts from racing, and sometime after 2003, I messed up my left knee, and stopped running for awhile... I was told I needed surgery, but I refused, and just nursed it back over the next few years. I decided to opt out of 10k's, and just run for my health, since that was my main interest anyway. Running 6.3 miles (10k) competitively was for ego, shorter runs for health.
Then in the spring of 2016, I got a notice that my hometown, Iraan, Texas, was having their Homecoming-Reunion in September, and there would be a 5k run! I got excited, and sent in my application. My children chipped in and bought me a new pair of New Balance for Fathers Day. How many 80 year old fathers get new running shoes? There's much to see here. So, take your time, look around, and learn all there is to know about us. We hope you enjoy our site and take a moment to drop us a line.
As it turned out, I was the only entrant in my age group, 80 years old, so I won first place, even though I came in last! My knee held up, but I was very slow, about 20 minutes per mile!
That was a very exciting and therapeutic experience for me, as I had lost my wife of 60 years in October 2015, and Iraan was where we had met! You will find pictures in my gallery.
In April of this year, 2017, one of my sons, Jim Black, gave me a membership to USA Track and Field! I would never have thought about that! So, there was a USATF sanctioned 5k scheduled for June 3 in Saginaw, Texas, and I won another medal for first place in my age group!
The next weekend, there was a USA Track and Field meet in Odessa, Texas. Several of my hometown merchants in Iraan, including the Chamber of Commerce, sponsored me, I bought a new pair of Asics shoes, won my first USATF Gold Medal! This is getting exciting!
The following weekend, there was a USATF meet in San Antonio, at UT San Antonio. I entered the 3000m run, got a Gold Medal, and Jim and I ran together in the 100 meter dash-he pulled a hamstring right off the starting block, but kept going and won Silver, while Dad won another Gold medal!
This is so wonderful, I am not doing it for my glory, but to give God the Glory; as a tribute to my beautiful late wife Treva L., to my hometown of Iraan, Texas, and as a tribute to my present city, Fort Worth,Texas, and to encourage other senior citizens to get off the couch, take better care of themselves, and just keep moving!
My goals are to get enough sponsors to have my knees and shoulders repaired, to find the best shoes, to enter every event possible, and to win a record number of USATF Gold Medals!