In 1985, I was running and having a problem with my left arch, nothing that would ruin my run but something that kept it from being enjoyable. I tried several remedies: changing shoes, different training, and 3 doctors’ visits to 2 different physicians. Nothing worked. However, one day a running friend mentioned he knew a guy named Jeff who worked at a running store in Columbia and supposedly knew something about running injuries. I went to see Jeff. He looked at my foot, made me walk around and then had me run a little. He ”prescribed” a specific pair of shoes for me, and then with his magic tweaked the shoes and handed the shoes to me. The next day I ran in these shoes and really felt no pain- much to my surprise. From that day on ,I have been a Jeff Milliman fan.
I stayed in touch with Jeff also because I was actively coaching high school cross country and track girls. At times, these athletes would suffer running injuries that typically improved drastically as a result of Jeff’s advice.
It was not until 1990 that I asked Jeff for coaching advice to assist me in my personal running. I was approaching 40 years old and hoped to be a significant masters runner. However, no matter how hard I tried, my times were not improving and I was frustrated. I had reached a plateau. At that point, I asked Jeff if he would coach me. With Jeff, I learned how to train smarter, not harder. In 1993, I was ranked 7th masters runner by Runners World. This was the highlight of my running efforts and I attribute this success to my coach, Jeff Milliman.
THANKS JEFF! Catherine Lempesis (Cat)
Catherine is currently Cross-Country and Track Coach at Lexington High School, Lexington,S.C. She is a member of: South Carolina Runners Hall Of Fame , South Carolina Athletic Hall Of Fame , South Carolina Cross Country And Track Coaches Hall Of Fame and National High School Hall Of Fame.
It was the summer of 2006 when I first interacted with Jeff Milliman as a coach. I was entering my senior year of college and to date my running experience had been terrible. I was a 3-sport athlete in high school who used running as a means to get fit for basketball season. Once I entered college I ran because I received a small scholarship. Throughout high school and three-quarters of college, running was a means to an end. It was a means to achieve fitness or financial security.
All that changed when Jeff came into my life. Well it was more like I dragged Jeff into my life. I approached him because I wanted to take my last year of competitive running seriously. I wanted him to train me. What I didn’t know was that this relationship was much more than a means to achieve success my last year of college. It was the beginning of my running career, and a great friendship.
As I was in constant contact with Jeff over that summer, I became addicted to running. No longer was it a means to an end, but rather it became an end in-and-of-itself. It became beautiful. It brought more meaning to my life.
After my senior year had come and gone, Jeff remained. He was a staple in my normal routine. His coaching in running and life continued to be a great source of encouragement. He came beside me and gave me a passion and a vision for what the sport of running is meant to be.
Since being under Jeff’s tutelage, I have made significant leaps in my running performances (I now run my previous 5K pace for the full ½ Marathon). But that is the least of what I have learned from this “running guru.” I have learned how to be passionate and see beauty in what seems to be mundane. I have learned true generosity and sacrifice. And I have learned to be a better friend and person because of Jeff.
Thanks Jeff, you have truly contributed to a new way of life for me!
JOHN SELL-(ERSKINE COLLEGE CROSS-COUNTRY AND TRACK COACH 2007-2009……CURRENTLY STUDYING AT COVENANT THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY,
I went on to run faster times and set better personal bests for myself over the next for years with the advice and knowledge Jeff has given me. After I graduated from college, I attempted to train on my own but only found myself in a slump with my running career. This is because I had forgotten all that Jeff had taught me. June 2011, we got back together and since then I have had the best coach anyone could ask for. I have made incredible leaps and bounds with my running. I am now back to setting personal records and I have reconciled with my love for running once again, because of Jeff…the one person that was able to instill that passion within me.
Even though we have come a long ways over the past 8 months together, just know, that we are far from where we are going to go. One day at a time, one workout at a time, one stride at a time.
Thank you Jeff,
Josh Cashman (i:54 800, 15:54 5k)