our story

It's not every day that you see runners dressed in "suits", but that's what makes the Steps of Success 5K one of Nashville's most unique 5K and 1 Mile Family Fun Run events.  What started as a vision in 2010 is now home to hundreds of runners, walkers and supporters who use their "feet" to help youth reach their full potential 

Steps of Success 5K was inspired by the struggle of a local college student who overcame hardships to pursue his educational and professional dreams in the early 90's.  Without a scholarship or personal transportation, Demetrius Short made the 3 mile walk from Fisk University campus to his internship jobs dressed in a business suit and carrying a briefcase.  Despite the physical and financial challenges, he never quit and graduated with a double major in Computer Science and Business Administration.  

Today, Demetrius is a successful member of the Nashville business community and runs the 5K in a business suit and sneakers to commemorate his struggle and motivate others to never give up their dreams and goals in life.  Proceeds from the Steps of Success 5K help create scholarships for college students who participate in the Pathway to Success program.  This program focuses on the personal, educational and professional development of students.  Proceeds also fund after school programs that provide tutoring and a safe alternative to the streets for inner city youth of Nashville, Tennessee.  

The suits in our race are visual reminders that every step taken during the 5K helps inner city youth and college students get one step closer to reaching, and maximizing their full potential. 


  • 2010


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  • 2011

    "Seer Sucker"

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  • 2013


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  • 2014


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  • 2015


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  • 2016

    "Biz casual"

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  • 2017


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  • 2018

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Watch The 3 Part Documentary

"The story behind the Steps of Success 5k"