Runners Across Nation compete in Selma to Montgomery relay

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, April 9, 2024

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The annual Selma to Montgomery relay race was held on Mar. 16 and brought over 1,000 participants from across the country to the historic 51-mile stretch where Martin Luther King led the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march. 

This annual race gives competitors the opportunity to enjoy the scenic route from Selma to Montgomery while also reflecting on an important piece of Alabama history.

Competitors either walked or rode a bicycle through the 12-hour journey. The race began at the Edmund Pettus Bridge at 6:30 a.m. and ended at the State Capitol in Montgomery. 

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Ricky Kyles, a competitor from Texas, said that the Selma to Montgomery race has historic meaning.

“All races are most definitely not created equally,” Kyles said. “The historical context by itself is humbling. To stand on the very bridge where a significant event took place so people who look like me can have a chance at the American Dream must not go unnoticed or unappreciated.”

There were a total of 13 sponsors for this year’s event and the relay was a national meet up for groups like Black Girls Run, Black Men Run, Black Runners Connection, Team Take Down, Black Girls Do Bike and Major Taylor Cycling Club. 

Stops were set up all along the 51-mile route, including many in Lowndes County where competitors could take a second to rest before continuing their journey. 

Jamie Scott Jenkins, a competitor from Tennessee, said he always enjoys competing in the historic race sponsored by the Civil Rights racing series. 

Last year when I ran the Selma to Montgomery Relay, I left with two takeaways,” Jenkins said. “The amazing feeling of running on hallowed grounds in homage to Civil Rights giants, and Nashville can win it. Fast forward one year, the same feeling resounded, and our team won and set a new course record. Mission accomplished.”