Denis Fikes representing the University of Penn runs a 3:55.0 mile in the 1974 Penn Relays’ to place second to Tony Waldrop in the Ben Franklin Mile. This performance was the fastest mile ever by an African American. He would hold the distinction of being the fastest African American miler ever for an amazeing 18 years.
Yesterday I was surrounded by people and places that inspire me. It was Global Running Day. I started the day having breakfast with my mother, Ella Fikes Dufau, who was and continues to be my biggest fan and supporter. I then had a too short visit with my only remaining aunt, Dina Joyner, she now lives in a nursing home in Harlem and is as loving and caring as she ever was. It was a joy to spend time with her. Upon returning to my mother’s place, we had a wonderful afternoon of talking and visiting with her friends at the Lehman Senior Center. Then, I was off to the New York Road Runners’ (NYRR) Running Center via a walk through Central Park, which was where I ran many of my morning workouts with my brother, Don Welton Fikes as well as my Rice teammate, Norman Dufford before school.