Fun Facts • In 2013, Miller ran "Rim2Rim2Rim.” The rims in question? Those of the sprawling Grand Canyon National Park. The one-day race stretches from the south edge to the north edge of the Grand Canyon, and back. It was “one of the most amazing and humbling experiences,” according to Miller. • What's next on Miller's bucket list? He hopes to someday race the Western States 100, a 100-mile ultra in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains, and the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, a 166-kilometer ultra through the Alps of France, Italy, and Switzerland, which is widely regarded as one of the most difficult foot races in Europe. • Ultras Run: 100 mile races – 8 100 km races – 3 50 mile races – 9 60 km races - 7 50 km races - 7 • His pre-race meal superstition is salmon, pasta, and red wine the night before a race, and a strong cup of black coffee, a bowl of oatmeal, and a Bearded Brothers bar in the morning.
n top of a full-time legal and U.S. Coast Guard reserve career, Jeff Miller has successfully completed 34 ultramarathons in the past 8 years.
An “ultramarathon,” by definition, is any race above the standard marathon length of 26.2 miles. While completing a marathon is a feat in itself, ultras can reach up to 50 or even 100 miles, the two lengths that Miller has preferred to concentrate on since he ran his first 50-miler in 2009. A longtime victor in the making, Miller has evolved from running the 400-meter dash with his elementary school track team to breaking national record race times. In the Brazos Bend 100, one of his proudest accomplishments to date, Miller not only set a new personal best, but won the race overall. His training and tenacity paid off, resulting in a competitive 100-mile time of 15 hours, 42 minutes, and 35 seconds. Though his résumé is certainly bolstered by natural athleticism and grit, Miller spends a generous amount of time training to complete a race. After careful consideration of factors such as distance, temperature, and change in elevation,
Miller crafts a training plan appropriate for the elements. For example, if the race involves an increase in elevation, he explains, he can adjust his training regimen by dragging a tire, climbing the Stairmaster with a weight vest, or cranking up the incline on the treadmill. He abides by the mantra “Train Hard, Race Easy.” Yet, not one to intimidate, Miller insists that anyone can get started running. He suggests finding a local running group, like the Corpus Christi Roadrunners, or visiting a local running store, like Fleet Feet, to get involved. Often, he says, those organizations have running groups for all ages, sizes, and skill levels. With the encouragement of a community behind you, it’s considerably less daunting to ease into a running routine. Miller himself sports a jersey for the Trail Racing Over Texas team, a Houston-based racing group of approximately 13 runners residing primarily in Texas. “People always ask: are you running from something or to something?” Miller muses. “The answer I normally give to them is that after running for 50 or 100 miles, after you’ve been
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out there for 8 hours or maybe 20 hours running, it strips down some of those walls that we’re able to put up, and it forces you to really see yourself in the rawest form. It’s hard to lie to yourself after you’ve been running for 20 hours. Whatever is on your mind at that point in time, you’re forced to face it, confront it, and be true and honest to yourself.” As a layperson, it’s easy to brush off an ultramathon as a super-human feat. But, according to Miller, at the start of a race, “I always think the same thought to myself: run my own race, be present in the moment, and be patient and take what the day gives me. And those things are as true in running as they are in life. What looks to some people like just fitness, or health, or running, is actually making me a better person.” As a driven athlete and a thoughtful individual, Miller could not embrace humanity more. Follow him! facebook.com/jeffreyscottmiller twitter.com/jeff_s_miller instagram.com/jsm0880