You can rub elbows with running royalty at the 44th annual Overton Park 5 Mile Classic this Sunday morning at 8 a.m.
William Henry “Bill” Rodgers, a four-time winner of both the Boston Marathon and the New York City Marathon will share running wisdom in his down to earth style with the Memphis running community the weekend after Thanksgiving.
“We’re thrilled and honored to have Bill Rodgers, a legend of distance running, to attend the Overton Park 5 Mile Classic,” said race director Barry Roberson.
The city’s oldest footrace, the Overton Park 5 Mile Classic is usually run in late July or early August. But the schedule was changed this year to accommodate Rodgers.
“This was the only date he had open was Thanksgiving weekend,” said Paul Sax, a running coach who helped arrange Rodgers’ busy Memphis weekend.
Arriving Friday afternoon, Rodgers is scheduled to appear for a live interview with this reporter on WMC Action News 5 on our 5 p.m. broadcast.
After that, Rodgers heads to dinner with Memphis running notables, including 1972 800 meters Olympic Gold Medalist Dave Wottle.
On Saturday morning, Rodgers will run with a group led by Mike Cody, the former Tennessee Attorney General, U.S. Attorney and Memphis City Councilman who grabbed his first headlines as a 1950s running star at East High School who excelled on the track for Southwestern at Memphis, now known as Rhodes College.
After running, Rodgers will head for Breakaway Running in Overton Square for a book signing at 10 a.m. Rodgers will feel right at home at Breakaway. The running star and his brother Charlie operated a running store called the Bill Rodgers Running Center for 35 years, a must-see for running aficionados visiting Boston for its marathon. The Rodgers brothers closed the store in 2012.