When I was a lazy, 13-year-old in 7th grade, staring at Westminster’s walls when I perhaps should have had my nose in a textbook, my eyes frequently focused on plaques promoting the school’s past sports heroes. Jeff Galloway was just a legend then, whose name graced many brass plates.
When I finally met him at his Phidippides store in Ansley Mall to film this week’s Crossroads, he showed us the tall 1st place trophy from the inaugural Peachtree Road Race, T-Shirts from all the races (the first year’s 110 runners didn’t get shirts until years later) and 1972 Olympic memorabilia.
When I mentioned that Georgetown Prep had been a stop on my own high school journey, he pointed up to a huge grainy 1975 black-and-white Prep photograph with the legendary Oregon sprinter Steve Prefontaine walking with Prep’s longtime inspirational running coach, an Atlantan named Mike Horsey, who, sadly, died here just last month.
Jeff is very much alive, still running (and walking!) marathons each month, autographing another book to inspire rusty old runners such as me – and preparing to announce the inaugural Jeff Galloway 13.1, a December 14, 2014 half marathon in Midtown, benefiting the Piedmont Park Conservancy.
Great names that caused me to pause, reflect – and jump back in the race.