Terrance Lyles Marathoner, Triathlete, And founder Of Men Run Deez Streets Explains How He Encourages Black Men To Run And Be Fit

by | Oct 26, 2022 | Podcast

This is a very special episode. Tomorrow is my two-year podcast anniversary. It is also the day my mother transitioned from this world due to breast cancer. I wanted to do something positive and meaningful during the midst of  COVID and I started this podcast. I thank you so much for listening, a special thank all of my past and future guests. Thanks for all the suggestions, the recommendations. I appreciate all the love. This week’s guest I met shortly after I moved to Chicago. Thanks to Gabrielle Barber who I met in Berlin who told me about Men Run Deez Streets. They were the first group I ran after I moved to the city. Although they were lightning fast, and I am not they were welcoming all the same. Terrance Lyles is my guest this week. 

Terrance L. Lyles AKA The Machine, AKA Optimus Prime, is a marathoner, triathlete. Found of Men Run Deez Street.. His father is  Bernard Lyles, a previous guest on this show. Terrance  has completed over 30 marathons,  50-mile ultra-marathon and more recently a half IornMan distance race,  70.3 triathlon.

After Terrance  witnessed so many women of Black Girls Run taking on the sport, he became inspired to recruit men from social media to start his own club. Terrance’s goal was to bring more black men into marathons. He formed  Men Run Deez Streets (MRDS) in 2013. He uses every opportunity to promote health and fitness through running.

Episode Highlights:

  • Terrance in the midst of a life crisis started running as a coping mechanism.
  • Terrance pays tribute to his dad, Bernard Lyles, who inspired him to run.
  • Some memorable marathons, the good and the bad.
  • Terrance talks about his 50-mile ultra-marathon.
  • How Men Run Deez Streets  (MRDS) came to be.
  • Terrance’s first triathlon .
  • Terrance talks about some obstacles he’s faced and what drives him.
  • Terrance shares some final words of inspiration.

Guest Bio

Terrance L. Lyles, “The Machine” AKA “OPTIMUS PRIME” was born and raised in the streets of Chicago. He attended Neal F. Simeon High School and later attended Southern Illinois University Carbondale where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Electrical Engineering Technology. He returned to Chicago to pursue a career in engineering and has worked in state and city government for over 20 years. He is currently employed as a Senior Project Manager for the Chicago Transit Authority leading multi-million-dollar infrastructure projects.

Terrance began his running experience in 2006 after having many personal and financial issues. He believed that he needed something to keep his mind off of stress and needed a positive outlet. Knowing that his father, Bernard Lyles, was an avid runner, he consulted him and was advised to join the Maxfitness Marathon Training Program led by Coach Rudy Christian. Terrance trained for his first Chicago Marathon that year and completed it with a time of 4:07:28. This is when he developed the passion for running. Terrance went on to complete over 30 marathons in various cities that includes Detroit, Indianapolis, Miami, Little Rock, Atlanta, St. Louis, New Orleans, and overseas in Negril, Jamaica and Berlin, Germany. He has also completed a 50-mile Ultra-Marathon in Chicago, and most recently, an Ironman 70.3 triathlon.

With many years of accomplishments and a continued passion for running, Terrance became inspired to help bring more men of color into the sport. After witnessing many women of Black Girls Run taking on the sport, he became inspired to recruit men from social media to start hisown club. With the many urban and professional men that reached back to him, Men Run Deez Streets (MRDS) was born in 2013. From there, he has helped train many men, and even women, to become long-distance runners and half marathon/marathon finishers. Terrance is a Road Runners Club of America (RRCA) Certified Adult Distance Running Coach. He is also an avid cyclist and swimmer.

Terrance believes in helping people become their best selves. He is passionate about volunteering in the community for charity events and he is an advocate for social justice. He is dedicated to bringing about change to the community and helping others become healthier by running. 

He lives by and adheres to a famous quote: “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world” – Harriet Tubman.

Connect with Terrance Lyles

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