The longest streak for consecutive days running is 47 years and 8 months, according to Runners World magazine, but a teacher from Leesburg crossed the 1,000-day milestone Saturday morning shortly after midnight from the parking lot of Southern State Community College in Hillsboro.
Tiffany Miller is a K-5 technology teacher at Fairfield Elementary School, owns the record that began back on April 17, 2016 and as of Saturday, had totaled an amazing 2,916.28 miles running since the streak began.
Nicki Dunn and Amanda Raypole, both of Greenfield, go to church with Miller at Good News Gathering in Hillsboro, and told The Times-Gazette that how she feels or what the weather conditions are doesn’t hold her back.
“She calls them her ‘prayer miles,’” Raypole said. “She runs every day, like one to three miles, and it’s a crazy pace of something like three miles in 12 or 13 minutes.”
Her friend Nicki Dunn recently had knee replacement surgery and planned to walk with the group early Saturday morning … or hobble.
“Tomorrow is day 1,000 and some of the guys from church are heading for Haiti for a missions trip in the morning,” she said. “So in order to run with her on her 1,000th day, we have to run at midnight.”
There is a method — or mission — to her madness, and Raypole said that Miller will write on her hands certain names or something specific that she wants to pray about.
Miller’s march to 1,000 consecutive days running began on a cold afternoon a few years ago during the Highland County Board of DD “Dash for DD,” a fundraising event that celebrated March as Developmental Disabilities Month.
“I started out and really hated running,” Miller admitted. “But I would work out and after I did that ‘color run,’ the next day I decided I’d run again, and two days turned into three days, and the Lord spoke to me and said ‘Let’s do this together.’”
She said God turned something she hated into something she felt she needed to do with Him, and it became more than just running up and down Underground Road near her home between Highland and Leesburg.
Her ministry of running began to involve posting her runs along with scripture on Facebook, drawing a verse of the day from a Bible app on her phone, or a verse that for some reason spoke to her about something or someone.
“Sometimes I thought I was just annoying people, but I had some folks tell me they looked forward to seeing what I would post every day,” she said. “I wanted to be able to reach people and speak a little Jesus into them.”
Miller’s ministry also includes Who I Run 4, a non-profit organization that matches runners with “buddies” who are special needs children and adults.
She was on a waiting list for months being matched with Meredith, a young woman who suffers from a number of chronic illnesses.
Miller said she has never met her, but Meredith insists that if she ever competes in the Boston Marathon she’d be there to cheer her on.
Miller swore off marathons, figuring running up to three miles a day was enough, until deciding to compete in the Mother Road Marathon in October 2017.
“That marathon took me across three states,” she said. “All the trials I was going through at the time I left at the starting line and finished a different person.”
She completed her second marathon last May when she ran in Cincinnati’s Flying Pig and intends to run again in October during the Columbus Marathon for Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where she plans to run with her friend Michele, who is successfully battling lung cancer.
“I wanted to show my kids that no matter what life throws at you, God will make a way,” she said. “Through sickness, storms, slippery roads and trials, God has always made a way and if we lean on Him, then we can do the hard things.”
As to how long she’ll keep up the streak she said “my goal is tomorrow. If God gets me up tomorrow, I’ll keep doing it.”
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.