On Saturday, Feb. 7, Rhodes will host the 25th annual Mike Cody 4 Mile Classic, a four-mile road race which will take place on and around the campus. The race will begin at 9 a.m. in the Mallory Gymnasium and will benefit Rhodes’ Cross Country and Track & Field programs.
Robert Shankman, head coach of the cross country and track teams at Rhodes, established the race in 1991 as a fundraiser for student runners. He later renamed it to honor Mike Cody, a well-known Memphis attorney and a 1958 Rhodes alumnus. Cody ran on the varsity track team while studying at Rhodes and attributes much of his success to his career as a runner.
After all, it was Cody’s passion for running that allowed him to attend Rhodes after a track coach saw him run and persuaded the admissions office to giving him a scholarship. “My folks didn′t have money, and so I wasn’t even sure I was going to go to college,” Cody reflects, “Back then you would be drafted if you were not in school, and so I thought I would have to go in the army, but running gave me the opportunity to earn a degree.”
Cody adds that he is grateful for the world-changing education he received at Rhodes and believes that it is important to support the athletic components of the college. “There is something about being a part of a team or common effort that teaches you to take care of yourself but that it’s not about you alone, it’s about something bigger!”
Cody plans to attend this year’s race along with his family. In honor of the race’s 25th anniversary, 1972 800-Meter Olympic Champion Dave Wottle will speak and hand out awards. For those planning to run in the race, Cody hopes that the weather is nice and that he will be able to join runners on the track.
The pre-registration fee is $20 (discounted to $18 for MRTC members and $15 for Rhodes students) for entries received by Feb. 5. All race day registrations, however, will be priced at $25. As this is a fundraiser, additional donations are greatly appreciated. All entrants will receive a T-shirt with registration.