FAITH & FITNESS 5Krun/walk & 10K run

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Darnell Williams

2015 FnF Race Director and Founder of Elijah Running Club

Who is Darnell Williams?

Darnell Williams has been active in the Health & Fitness arena for more than 15 years. His passion for running began when he volunteered at his local church as a cameraman. His team leader had him run to increase his stamina to hold the camera steady during television broadcasting. He later took an in-depth nutrition class and then began volunteering with his church’s health and nutrition ministry.

He later founded the Elijah Running Club (voted Chicago’s Best Running Club by readers of Competitor Magazine, 2014 & 2012), a faith-based marathon training and wellness program. Their team has helped hundreds of non-athletes to complete a full or half marathon. Darnell and his supportive wife Shalita have been certified nutrition consultants. They and their volunteer staff have taught classes and workshops at schools, Ironman training groups and other wellness organizations.

Darnell is a graduate of the inaugural class of Race Director University, a comprehensive & innovative certification program that equips individuals with all the tools they need to put on and execute their own foot races (RDU is sponsored by USA Track & Field members Gregory Evans & Scott Irwin). 

Darnell is a certified USA Track & Field, Level 1 Coach and has been a member of USATF and USA Triathlon. 

Besides his management experience, Darnell has worked in sales and as a buyer for two of the Chicago suburbs’ long-standing run-specialty stores. These experiences have given him a wide variety of vendor contacts. He will use these to leverage sponsorship opportunities for the Race. 

Darnell has also served as a brand ambassador for The North Face, USA. This provided additional opportunities for him to analyze sales performance and forecast trends in the run industry. 

Darnell has completed a Full Ironman triathlon (140.6 miles), two Half Ironmen triathlons (70.3), an ultra-marathon (50K), the New York Marathon, 15 consecutive Chicago Marathons, a Green Bay Wisconsin Marathon, 10 Half Marathons, and a variety of other shorter races. 

Darnell was a spokes model for the 25th Anniversary Chicago Marathon Ad campaign in 2002. In 2007, he was featured in the 30th Anniversary edition of the Chicago Marathon Race Results, a book sent internationally to all race participants.

Darnell has also been honored to be a regular guest with Pastor Roy Patterson & Ashanti (both Elijah Running Alumni Marathon Finishers) on Moody Radio's Urban Praise broadcast.

Darnell’s life mission is to see people take charge of their health and empower them to achieve a maximized sense of well-being and purpose.