Jeff Galloway 13.1
The name Jeff Galloway strikes a reverent chord in the running community. As a 1972 U.S. Olympian, author of several running books and creator of the iconic Run-Walk-Run method, Galloway has broadened the scope of running to more than 350,000 runners who have participated in his training programs, and to thousands of others who have followed his running career.
The Atlanta running community feels a strong tie to Galloway, who has built up the running empire in the city, including the world’s first specialty running store, Phidippides. Galloway’s annual Jeff Galloway 13.1, held in Atlanta is Sunday, December 11 2016.
As a kid, I had always heard the name “Jeff Galloway,” as my parents were runners during Atlanta’s booming running scene in the 1990s. I vaguely remember going to a race expo with my dad, probably the Peachtree Road Race, and getting a book signed by Jeff Galloway and shaking his hand. My dad had put the monumental moment into perspective for me as a mere 6 year old, “He’s an olympian and runs marathons.” Before the rise of ultra distance races that are so popular today, marathons were the pinnacle of running fitness in the 90s.
I went to Phidippides Sandy Springs to interview Jeff Galloway for this story, roughly 16 years later. He is still in incredible shape with a lean runners body. Jeff is humble.
I learned that Jeff and his wife Barb still run a marathon almost every weekend. They use the run-walk method that Jeff popularized. According to Jeff, the run-walk method is what allows them to put in long miles, because the intervals lessen the impact that running has on your joints and muscles.
Jeff’s favorite spots in Atlanta to run: Kennesaw National Battlefield Park and Cochran Shoals trails, which are scenic and friendly on the muscles. “They are both still hidden gems in Atlanta,” Jeff says. And of course, Piedmont Park is a favorite. Many of the Ansley Mall Phidippides Thursday night group runs are planned to run through the park.
Jeff and Barb’s weakness: ice cream. In fact, for a few years, they stopped eating it altogether.
Meeting Jeff in person and hearing about his experiences just proved to me how runners are good souls!