World-record holder Filbert Bayi transformed middle-distance running through persistent confidence, commitment, and sacrifice in the face of hardships, challenging his competition to…catch me if you can.
Filbert Bayi’s legacy in middle-distance running is assured as his blistering pace energized the sport in the 1970s, leading to his becoming the first Black man to hold the mile and 1500m world records. He earned the first Olympic medal ever for Tanzania with his silver medal in the 3000m steeplechase at the 1980 Olympics.
With his wife, Anna, he established Filbert Bayi Schools and the Filbert Bayi Foundation in Kibaha, Tanzania, which for more than twenty years has represented excellence by educating thousands of students and creating an even larger legacy off the track.
Catch Me If You Can: Revolutionizing My Sport, Breaking World Records, and Creating a Legacy for Tanzania belongs on every runner’s bookshelf.
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“I’m happy to be in any club that has Filbert Bayi as a member. You don’t have to be a former world record holder to appreciate the determination and commitment he’s exemplified to become a legendary runner and someone who graciously gives back to his country.”
—Sebastian Coe, President, World Athletics, former world record holder at 800m, 1000m, 1500m, and the mile
“I never met anybody who trained harder or smarter than Filbert and I am fortunate to be part of his story. His impact on me, the world of running, and our country of Tanzania will last for generations. I’m glad I met Filbert Bayi. When you read Catch Me If You Can, you will be too.”
—Suleiman Nyambui, 1980 Olympic silver medalist
“We should all be thankful for Filbert’s courage and contribution in the middle distances in our time. He elevated the possibilities for all of us and awakened the running world to the power and grace of our sport. His contribution is not about winning and losing, but about each of us charting our own path and seeking excellence in the process. Catch Me If You Can ensures he will not be forgotten and will inspire anybody who reads it.”
—Rod Dixon, 1972 Olympic bronze medalist, 1500m; World cross country bronze medalist, 1973, 1982; 1983 New York City Marathon champion
“In Catch Me If You Can, readers will find Filbert Bayi as a man of substance, a loving and caring human being. He is known for his exploits on the track, but more important to me is what he has given back to his country. When I visited his home and school in Tanzania, I saw well-structured buildings, beautiful playing fields for the children, and comfortable classrooms. Through sport and education, he has played the role of ambassador for many years.”
—Thandi Lujabe-Rankoe, Ambassador, South Africa and African National Congress; author, A Dream Fulfilled: Memoirs of an African Diplomat and Two Nations, One Vision.