Mills remains the only American ever to win the Gold Medal in this distance running event.
In the half century since his victory, Mills has raised over $100 million to benefit Native American children through his foundation Running Strong for American Indian Youth.
Running Strong provides in-kind support for the Santa Fe nonprofit Global Running Culture’s programs to improve the lives of youth through the powers of sport and education.
Global Running Culture focuses its programs in three communities where running continues to be a vital part of the local culture: Matunget, Kenya, Copper Canyon, Mexico and Northern New Mexico. The volunteer-run nonprofit founded the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon in 2011 as its primary fundraiser and as a destination event, which last year attracted runners from 30 states and seven countries to Santa Fe.
“I am proud to be associated with an organization that shares my commitment to helping the next generation have the opportunity to succeed,” Mills said in a press release. “I have participated in the Santa Fe Thunder Half Marathon and encourage runners to experience the unique cultural features and beautiful downhill course.”
Winners will receive autographed copies of Patricia Mills’ painting, Wings of an Eagle. Her works are displayed in the World Olympic Museum in Lausanne, Switzerland and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Global Running Culture will donate a portion of race proceeds to Running Strong in Mills’ honor.