Ella Willis-Glaze

Marathon Statistics

  • First Marathon: 1975 Motor City (Detroit Press Press) Marathon - Time: 3.13.51
  • First Sub Three-Hour Marathon: 1981 Detroit Free Press Marathon - Time: 2.59.29
  • Fastest Marathon: 1989 Detroit Free Press Marathon - Time: 2.38.22
  • Number of Marathons Completed: 22
  • Number Open Marathon Wins: 7
  • Number of Open Marathons Places: 9
  • The first African American woman to finish the women's US Olympic Marathon trials in 24th place at the 1992 Houston Tenneco Marathon.

Hometown:                     Detroit, MI

Current Residence:        Detroit, MI

Pershing High School (Detroit, MI) Highlights

  • Graduated in 1976.
  • Ran cross country and track.

Post-Collegiate Sports Highlights

  • Won my very first marathon at seventeen years old, a few months after my high school graduation. It was 1975 The Motor City Marathon with a time of 3:13:51. Went on to win that race three more times. The name was later changed to the Detroit Free Press Marathon, where she later held the course record of 2:38:22.
  • Named The Detroit Free Press Detroit Athlete of The Year in 1989.
  • Won the Ultimate Runner Competition in 1986 and 1987. This competition takes place in Jackson, MI and consists of a 10k, 400m, 100m, one mile, and a full marathon...all in one day.
  • Ran the Olympic Marathon Trials at Houston Tenneco Marathon.
  • Still competing and winning age group awards.

It was an honor and very humbling to have been inducted into The National Black Marathoners Association Hall of Fame in 2017 with Loretta Claibone, Isaiah Douglas, Ron Gregory, Tony Reed, Team Marathon, and the late great Dick Gregory.  It was a moment and a memory I will always cherish. I've been running since I was a little girl and it is nice to have all my hard work and dedication recognized by my own community. Plus, I feel it is important for African Americans to be active and healthy and I love that the NBMA promote exercise and good health in our community. 

Finally, I would like to say that I love running! Outside of my family, it has been my first love. It keeps me going and my competitive juices flowing. Its something that I love to do and it keeps me energetic and young. I can see me doing this until I'm 100 years old, even if I have to do it in a wheel chair. LOL!

Road Race Personal Bests *





10 miles


Half Marathon






* Source: Association of Road Racing Statisticians (ARRS)