R. Keith Tuck crossed the finish line at the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon, pointed skyward and cried, “Thank you God.” The 55-year-old mechanic from Atlanta had completed his first marathon. Tuck, though, runs for more than himself. His running singlet carried the website address blkmenrun.com with the organization’s motto: “A healthy brotherhood.”
Tuck said obesity runs higher among African American men than other races and that black males are more reticent to visit doctors. To fight that, Black Men Run encourages African American males to jog.
“Just get out there and exercise,” Tuck said.
The organization has more than 50 chapters, including one each in England and France. Tuck is living proof of the benefits of running. Six years ago, his father died of prostate cancer. Two months later, Tuck was diagnosed with the disease. He embarked on a healthier lifestyle and last November an exam showed him to be cancer free. After completing his first 26.2-miler in 5 hours, 3 minutes, 30 seconds in New Orleans, he said, “I feel wonderful. I’m not very tired. Actually, I’m ready for my next one.”
Tuck won’t have to wait long. He’s signed up for the March 20 Publix Georgia Marathon.