Meet Bulldog Gym member Alan Black, a man of quiet humility who has left an indelible mark on the local, state, and national running scene through his impressive achievements. His story is not only one of records and medals but also of relentless dedication, unwavering passion, and the pursuit of self-improvement.
From a Modest Start to Racing Glory
Thirty years ago, fresh out of high school, Alan embarked on a journey that would shape his life forever. Encouraged by his father to find a hobby, Alan entered a local 10k road race, the Torture Trail 10k. Clocking in at 46 minutes and 23 seconds, he made an impressive debut. The spark was ignited, and with dedicated training, Alan’s progress was swift. In his very next race, he clinched victory, shaving over 7 minutes off his time to finish the 10k in around 39 minutes. This marked the beginning of a remarkable journey that has seen him conquer over 325 races of various types, from track to trail, cross country, road races, and even triathlons.
Alan’s journey took him to iconic races like the Boston Marathon, where he finished 9th overall masters, and the Peachtree Road Race, where he claimed 25th place overall. His proudest moment, however, came in the form of the 2018 Masters National Mile Championship, where he emerged victorious. It was a crowning achievement, encapsulating years of dedication and hard work.
Running and Beyond: Embracing New Challenges
After a period of semi-retirement from competitive running, Alan found solace at Bulldog Gym. He delved into weightlifting, discovering a newfound love for the feeling of strength coursing through his muscles. A cycle of running and gym workouts emerged, each complementing the other. In four years, Alan’s weight went from 135 lbs to a solid 165 lbs, a testament to his evolving fitness journey.
But Alan’s life isn’t just about personal accomplishments. It’s about family and balance. Married for nearly 23 years to Julie Black, with five daughters to care for, and working 12-hour shifts at Plant Scherer, Alan has mastered the art of juggling. Finding windows of opportunity, be it during lunch breaks at the plant gym or squeezing in a workout amidst household chores, he’s an embodiment of determination.
Setting Goals, Sharing Wisdom
Setting goals has been the driving force behind Alan’s enduring motivation. His next challenge? To run a sub-5:00 mile at the age of 50, a milestone he’s inching closer to with each passing day. It’s this pursuit of achievement, both big and small, that keeps him inspired. And in the gym, you’ll often find him alongside his wife Julie, both dedicated to their respective fitness journeys.
Alan’s journey from his debut in the Torture Trail 10k to becoming a multifaceted fitness enthusiast is a testament to his resilience and relentless pursuit of self-improvement. From pounding pavements to lifting weights, Alan’s story is a source of inspiration for all those seeking to push their boundaries and reach for the stars.
So, next time you’re at Bulldog Gym, don’t hesitate to strike up a conversation with Alan Black. Behind his unassuming demeanor lies a wealth of running knowledge and a heartwarming willingness to share his wisdom with others. After all, as Alan has shown us, the journey is just as important as the destination, and every step forward is a victory in itself.
Alan Black’s Personal Records:
- 1 Mile: 4:10
- 5k: 14:34
- 10k: 30:18
- Half Marathon: 1:08:16
- Marathon: 2:26:26