Sixty-eight years ago, Ted Corbitt ran the marathon at the Summer Olympics in Helsinki, becoming America's first Black Olympic marathoner. But that's just one highlight of a legacy that includes co-founding and presiding over New York Road Runners, helping develop modern course measurement standards, bagging numerous distance running records, finishing 22 Boston Marathons and completing a whopping 223 marathons in all.
The renowned physical therapist was also a member of the New York Pioneer Club, America's first integrated running organization, founded in Harlem by three Black athletes in 1936 with a noble mission: “to support, encourage, and advance athletics among youth of the New York Metropolitan district, regardless of Race, Color or Creed. To encourage and further the ambition of our youth for higher education that they might become intelligent, civic-minded citizens, and to work toward a better racial understanding through the medium of education and sports.”
The founders' names are Joseph J. Yancey, Robert Douglas and William Culbreath, and the club counted Olympic stars Bob Beamon and John Carlos among many notable alums.
Now Tracksmith is honoring all of this awesomeness with its new Pioneer Club collection, created in collaboration with writer, coach and Black Roses NYC founder Knox Robinson. Inspired by archival images, the collection includes gorgeous racing kits, tees, sweatshirts and more, and five percent of all sales goes to support the Jeuness Track Club, a Brooklyn-based girls' track club that follows in the footsteps of Pioneer.
Without further ado, here's a quick look at some of our favorite pieces from the collection.
Pioneer Club Singlet
Pioneer Club Shorts
Grayboy - Pioneer Club
Trackhouse Sweatshirt - Pioneer Club
Stadium Pants - Pioneer Club