The National Black Distance Runner Hall of Fame honors athletes in three categories.
The Trail Blazer and Distance Runner awards recognize lifetime runners, who have given, not only athletic performance, but also to the overall contribution of the sport of long distance running. Inductees need not necessarily be near the end of or clearly past their prime competitive years. The nominee may be living or deceased. Inductees should have demonstrated long-term excellence (years of quality performance) as opposed to a few brief years of top performances. Racing preferably should have been done at distances of five miles or longer. Shorter distances such as a 5K will be considered. The two categories are
- Distance Runner Award – The candidate must have been a NBMA member for at least five years and participated in a NBMA Annual Gathering.
- Trail Blazers Award – The candidate must have been actively involved in the running community before 2004 (i.e. the year the NBMA was founded).
The third Hall of Fame category is the Running Community Service Award. This award recognizes lifetime volunteer service over a period of at least fifteen years to the running community. The candidate must have been a NBMA member for at least five years and participated in a NBMA Annual Summit. Nominees should have a considerable track record of volunteering for their local club or event. The nominee may be living or deceased.
The general criterion for this award includes developing and applying a high level of administrative and organizational management skill for their club or community. Pursuing community involvement through financial donations, scholarship programs, youth programs, volunteer support, and developing relationships that benefit the mission of the club. A club should see membership retention and growth, increased participation in club hosted events such as training runs and races, and a well rounded social atmosphere for club members.