Jeff Galloway

Jeff and Barbara Galloway after finishing the 2014 Boston Marathon

Jeff Galloway ran his first marathon, the Atlanta Marathon, just four days before Christmas, 1963. The 18-year-old gave himself a pretty good holiday present: He won the race in 2:57:21.

The first great U.S. marathoner from the South, Galloway eventually improved to 2:18:13--a time considerably slower than his actual ability. He qualified for the U.S. Olympic team in 1972, running the 10,000 meters in Munich. His best 10,000 on the track was 28:30.

After his competitive career ended, Galloway opened running stores in Atlanta, wrote the best-selling Galloway's Book on Running, and became the quintessential Pied Piper of running. Though there is no record-keeping in the category, Galloway has delivered far more running talks, clinics, and seminars than anyone else.

Always he preached the physical and mental benefits of running for non-elite runners. He also popularized the run-walk-run method of training for and running marathons.

At the same time, he kept running marathons himself, in the U.S. and around the world. On his 70th birthday, July 12, 2015, he completed the Missoula Marathon in 5:24:36.

Galloway reached 7 decades the "easy way," beginning as a teen; he was 18 at the time of his first marathon, and notched his seventh decade of marathon running on his 70th birthday in 2015.

He could reach 8 decades by finishing a marathon on or after his 80th birthday, July 12, 2025. It's just around the corner!