NORMAN — Nationally renowned long-distance runner, coach and public speaker Shaun Martin will visit the University of Oklahoma and Norman High School this week. The community is invited to participate in a film screening and run in his honor.
In addition to achieving high success and national recognition as a runner, Martin has also coached the Chinle High School cross-country team of Chinle, Ariz., to multiple state titles using the Navajo tradition of long-distance running to provide life lessons and cultural rejuvenation for impoverished youth growing up on the Navajo reservation.
The documentary “Racing the Rez,” which features Martin and chronicles the efforts of Hopi and Navajo runners competing on rival high school cross-country teams, will be screened as part of the University of Oklahoma Jeannine Rainbolt College of Education’s Celebration of Diversity this week.
The free public screening will be 1 p.m. Thursday in Meacham Auditorium of Oklahoma Memorial Union, 900 Asp Ave. Martin will be present to provide an introduction and post-screening commentary.
In honor of the Navajo tradition of running east during sunrise, the College of Education, along with Dean Gregg Garn, will host a short walk/run beginning 7 a.m. Saturday. Pre-registration is not required. Those wanting to participate are asked to gather by 6:45 a.m. in front of the bell tower at Collings Hall, 820 Van Vleet Oval, on the South Oval.
Martin will speak to Norman High students 10 a.m. today, examining the virtues of edurance, commitment and self-discipline.
For more information on the Celebration of Diversity activities at OU, visit www.ou.edu/education or call 325-4844.