Malcolm Gillis

Malcolm Gillis

  • Year Inducted : 2006
  • Sport : Running

About Inductee


Malcolm Gillis was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and as a youth sold Coca-Cola at the University of Tennessee football games. In 1947, he moved to Blue Mountain, Mississippi, where he hitchhiked 13 miles each day to high school in New Albany. He played center on the New Albany High School football team and was team captain his senior year in 1951. He finished first in his graduating class at New Albany High School and first in his United States Air Force Basic Pilot Training Class in 1956. Malcolm moved to Huntsville in 1969 and went to work with NASA. He said, NASA sponsored two mile and 10K races at all centers and published consolidated results. Axle Roth coordinated these races for MSFC for several years. These races got me started in running. Because of Mr. Roth, I have been running since 1980. Since then, Malcolm Gillis has become one of the most honored master runners in Alabama. In 1981, he ran under three hours at his first of 23 runs at the Boston Marathon. Malcolm went on to say, I finished my 100th marathon in April, 2005, at Boston. During that period, I set six American Records and won first place in my age group in the Boston Marathon in 1996 and in 2005. I currently hold 115 Alabama single age records. For the 72 marathons for which he has computerized records, he has finished first in his age group 35 times. Besides Boston (twice), he has age group wins at Marine Corps, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Bermuda, Birminghams Vulcan and Mercedes (4 times), Memphis (3 times), Mardi Gras (twice) and Big Sur with the Age Group 65-69 course record of 3 hours and 26 minutes. At the Joe Kleinerman 12 hour run in Queens, New York, in 2003, he ran 4:41:06 for 50K, 11:47 for 100K and 63 miles for 12 hours. All are pending American Records. Malcolm won a Gold Medal for the USA Team at Eugene, Oregon, in 1989 and in 1995 at Buffalo, New York, in the Veterans World Championships. He also won an individual Silver Medal in the Veterans World Championships in Japan in 1993. As an active Huntsville Track Club member, he directed the Rocket City Marathon for eight years (1997-2004). For fun in 1975, Malcolm hiked the 2000-mile Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia.

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