Willie Milam

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College:

  • Gonzaga University

Social Media Handles:

Event PRs:

  • 1500m – 3:45 (2015)
  • 5k –  13:53 (2015)
  • 10k – 29:49 (2015)

His Story:

  • I was hesitant to start running in middle school because I got too nervous before races and I didn’t think it was fun. I was very hesitant to give a try again because of my nerves until my junior year of HS, and it turned out to be a decision that has affected me to this day. I got through my nerves thanks to the people I met – I still have some of my closest friends from HS – and the love for the feeling of finishing a race. I kept improving and continued to run in college because I wanted to keep testing my limits and I knew I had a barely scratched the surface of the sport, plus I just knew I wanted to keep running. As I got older and matured in college, I learned more and more about how important running was to me and how much I truly loved it. Still, I knew I had more I could give and finally began to commit to the sport completely during my junior year of college, and it was the most rewarding decisions I made. I had an amazing five years at Gonzaga that influenced me in so many positive ways, but I was unsure what my next step would be as I graduated. I was scared and uncertain about attempting to run professionally, and because of these doubts I decided to get a job as a financial analyst in Portland, Oregon. This ultimately helped me see what life with running more in the background would be like, and it led me to understand how much I cared about the sport. I ended up continuing to train through my year of working in Portland, even as my workload and hours increased. As I worked more and as time went by, I came to the understanding that running is what I loved, what I was truly passionate about, and what I wanted to be a part of. I made the decision to leave my job, and fully commit myself to the sport a couple months ago, and even though I have a lot of work to do, I am already so happy with my move and so excited that I have made this decision. I love everything about the sport, the community, the people, the feeling of working hard and testing my boundaries, and I can’t wait to continue to be absorbed by this world with some of the best people I know with Roots Running Project.
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