Runner Profiles by Bob Slowpants

Entries in Clover Glove (4)


Braden Miller - Hot Dog of a Marine

Braden was born in Portsmouth, Virginia in 1973 where his father was a full time minister of the gospel for a non-denominational Christian church.  The family relocated to Elberton, GA when Braden was age three.  Braden spent his childhood and early years in Elberton and learned to love Georgia.  The family moved again to Eden, North Carolina when his father accepted another calling from a church.  The family remained in Eden where Braden completed high school at John Motley Morehead High School.

Young Braden and future wife HeatherAfter graduation Braden’s father decided to leave the ministry and open a restaurant in Albany, Georgia with Braden’s grandfather.  Braden waited three years to join his father in Albany and also enlisted in the U.S Marine Corp (USMC) at that time.  He worked in the family restaurant business while serving in the Marine Corp reserves for six years.  Braden married his childhood sweetheart, Heather in 1997, and they opened their own BBQ restaurant in Albany.  Unfortunately, like most of us, Braden was not ready for prime time and the BBQ restaurant “failed miserably”.  The failed restaurant did teach Braden and Heather some valuable lessons.  After two years and two children, the restaurant closed.  The experience resulted in Braden opening two Hot Dog King Restaurants in the Albany area that he has successfully run for thirteen years and counting.   Along with his parents, the family now operates three Hot Dog King and Kregg’s BBQ restaurants in Albany.

The Miller FamilyLike all agile, mobile, hostile military service types, Braden had to run in the service and continued to do so when it was no longer a job necessity.  Braden reemerged as a runner in December 2010 when he and his oldest daughter, Ramsay, participated in the Albany Jingle Jog 5K.  After several more races, they were introduced to the Run and See Georgia series by the South Georgia running ambassador Brenda Gail Wall.  Daughter Ramsay and dad have run in hundreds of races in all three series over the last few years.  They both earned Clover Glove jackets in 2014 and Ramsay took her age group in the Black Bag Race Series while Braden finished 3rd in his competitive age group.  Running in all those 5K races have led to running in 10K races which has led to half marathons and now full marathons, culminating in the upcoming New York City Marathon in November 2015.

Braden and Ramsay in ChicagoBraden credits running with providing quality time spent with his supportive and active running family, wife Heather, children Ramsay age 15, Mattie age 13, and Jax age 10.  Braden has extended his expertise into teaching several running classes at Albany Christian Church and joining the cross country coaching staff at Lee County High School as a community coach.  Braden has learned that “inspiring others to run is so much more important that setting personal records”.  He is so thankful for the way other runners have encouraged, supported, and welcomed him and his family into such a great group of inspiring runners.

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Watch for the profile on the running Reed family (Allyson, Hannah, and Lauren) and on Kennesaw State Owl Daniel Williams.


Amber Hodor - Running with Reservations

Amber at the Red Barn Ramble 5KAmber Hodor was born in Margate, Florida just north of Miami.  She attended High School at Fort Pearce Central in Port Saint Lucie, Florida where she and her parents resided.  She ran cross country in high school only as a conditioning exercise for soccer.  Running did not agree with Amber when she tore the ACL in both her knees requiring surgery her senior year in high school.  Amber played soccer from age eight until she graduated from Florida State in 2007.  There she earned a Bachelor Degree in Business Hospitality.  In college she lifted weights to build stamina for soccer in lieu of running.

After graduation Amber moved to Dothan, Alabama to accept a position as guest services manager at a Hampton Inn and Suites.  After the culture shock of trading the bright lights of Tallahassee for the nonexistent social life of Dothan, her three aunts, whoAmber and her aunt Joni were runners, encouraged her to seek out a local running group.  Her first foray was the 2010 Critter Run 5K (nothing to do with road kill) where she placed third in her age group with an athletic time of 24:30. She was hooked and continued attending area races.

Opportunity came knocking in the form of a position as Assistant General Manager of the Hilton Garden Inn in Macon on the edge of the Mercer University campus.  Amber accepted the position and began running in Macon.  She recalls taking the same tack as Dothan and seeking out local running groups, like Macon Tracks.  Amber recalls participating in a 5K race at Howard High School in Macon where she was asked if she wanted to venture to Dublin, GA for a race via carpool.  Amber accepted the challenge from Eddie Lamberth, who is her frequent companion at Run and See Georgia, Black Bag, and Clover Glove Races as she describes “every Saturday and Sunday”.  She also enjoys riding bicycles, hiking, water sports, and visiting Georgia State Parks.

Clay Sims will appreciate that Amber’s favorite race is the Black Bag Race Series Red Barn Ramble 5K. She enjoys the cow fields, excellent fare and adult beverages available for the post race cool down.  A close second is Clover Glove/Black Bag races at Camp Fortson 4H Center in Hampton where the “scenery is beautiful, runners are really nice, and the races are low key and easy to earn points”.

Amber placed first in the 25-29 female age groups in the 2012 the Black Bag and Clover Glove race series and is not letting up in 2013.  Her PRs are indicative of her racing prowness-2012 Macon Labor Day 5K time of 20:20, 2012 Jim Heron 10K time of 45:38, and 2013 Museum of Aviation Half Marathon time of 1:42.  RaceAmber at Leggin' it for Lincoln coordinators note that Amber recommends that if you win overall male/female you should receive extra points beyond just those normally awarded for being first in your age group.                        

Bob checking out from the back of the back.  Look for the May profile on the Hawkinsville flash Mitchell Sinyard and June will feature Richard Harrison.  


Colleen Stephens - Running the Numbers

Colleen is the second from the rightColleen was born in Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin in 1952.  Her parents relocated to Hollywood, Florida to escape the Wisconsin Cheese when she was age five.  Colleen graduated from South Broward High School in 1970 and married shortly thereafter. Married life carried her to Anderson, South Carolina until a divorce in necessitating that she move to Atlanta in 1974.  With her daughter, they came to the great state of Georgia to be closer to Colleen’s father, his work and their family.


Colleen’s early work career was in the employ of K-Mart in various stores from Atlanta, GA to Columbus, MS, and eventually at the regional office here in Atlanta.  Colleen left K-Mart for an accounting bookkeeping position with a maintenance company, American Building Maintenance.  Later she joined a Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm in downtown Atlanta.  Despite the lack of formal training in accounting, Colleen excelled and knew she had found a vocation that she enjoyed.  While working at the CPS firm of Berman Mills and Company, Colleen met the love of her life, husband Chuck Stephens.  She also became determined to attend college and obtain a degree in accounting.


Colleen enrolled and attended Clayton State University until she and Chuck were married in 1984.  They relocated to Franklin, Georgia where Chuck had a family farm.  Colleen found an accounting position in nearby LaGrange, Georgia with another CPA firm.  Colleen's GraduationNot content with farm crops, Colleen and Chuck raised two sons.  Chip was born in 1985 and Clint in 1988.  Colleen transferred to the University of West Georgia in 1993 after placing her educational endeavors on hold when they relocated to Franklin.  Colleen reentered college graduating from West Georgia in 1996 and successfully passed the state CPA exam in 1997.  In the interim, Colleen and Chuck had started their own CPA firm in the metropolis of Franklin.


Colleen, in 2002, found herself gaining weight and wanted lose the extra pounds before she became taller lying down than she was standing up.  She began walking and eventually running.  She lost forty pounds in the first three months of running and exercising.  Her first race was a 5K on April 27, 2002 in Morrow, Georgia.  She placed dead last but finished and found the satisfaction of being out there.  Shortly thereafter she discovered the “madness” of running for points and found that we did not have a CPA runner, so she began to calculate, crunch and decipher the numbers, also known as “chasing the points”.  She finished fifth in her age group that year and finished sixth in the new 2012 Black Bag Race Series point standings and ran 102.7 Black Bag Miles in the competitive women age group of 55-59.  Colleen has run the Peachtree Road Race for the past ten years and intends to do so as long as she is physically able to do so, then she will transfer to the wheelchair division!


Chip leaving for AfghanistanAfter years of “nagging” (Bob cannot image a woman that nags!), Colleen has convinced other members of the family to run with her.  She is frequently joined by daughter Christine Carroll, who is a teacher at Roopville Elementary. Her grandson Luke Carroll is a sophomore at Heard County High and runs cross country and is on the basketball team. Participation includes granddaughter Lanie Carroll, a third grader at Roopville, son Clint, a LaGrange police officer, and daughter in law Amanda, a teacher also at Roopville. Son Chip is in the U.S. Army and was deployed to Afghanistan but no doubt ran there. He came home from Afghanistan at the end of September and is now stationed at Ft. Stewart in Hinesville.  When his enlistment is finished, he plans on returning to teaching at the middle school level.  Her daughter in law Marti also runs with her but she has been sidelined due to a back injury she received on a waterslide over the summer.


Not only does her family enjoy running but her dogs do too!  BeauBeau is a big dog that protects her on her runs.  You may catch her pushing a jogging stroller but be careful if you look in to get some baby loving.  Inside are her two little canines, Scappy and Boo Boo.  Boo BooThey may be too little to run far but they enjoy the run in style.


Colleen is struggling with plantar fasciitis and temporarily sidelined in the Black Bag Race Series injured reserve.  She is expected to rejoin the weekend “madness” at New Years at Noon.   Her injury regret this year is not earning her second 2012 Clover Glove.  Nevertheless, with one hand gloved, Colleen has a goal to run a race in every state and has done so in five states to date.  A secondary goal is to run a race in every county in Georgia.         


ScrappyBob checking out from the back of the pack.  Look for more profiles in 2013 from Randall Martin and the winner of the Augusta feather weight division Myra Nance.


Jim Latimer - Old Faithful

Jim was born in Gainesville, GA in 1941 and matriculated in Gainesville from elementary through high school.  Jim’s parents divorced when he was fourteen years of age and his sibling brother was eleven. Jim voluntarily worked after school at a local grocery store to aid with his mother’s finances, thus depriving himself of sports activities. However, Jim was able to go to “all the good parties after work”.  After high school Jim worked to save for college but was never able to attend. Jim in High School

In 1961, Jim met his future bride Diana while working at Warren-Featherstone Company.  They married in 1962. November will mark the fiftieth anniversary of Jim and wife Diana’s marriage.  Few of us can boast of such consistency.  In 1963 Jim went to work for General Motors in Doraville on the assembly line until 1966. Jim moved from GM to United Parcel Service where he dressed in brown from 1966 to 1969.  Jim left UPS to work for North Georgia Supply Co where he toiled for seven years learning the commercial pipe and valve business from the inside sales counter, as an outside salesperson and a store manager until 1976.  Jim, tired of laying pipe for someone else, transitioned, with his wife, into their own pipe dream business for themselves starting Industrial Pipe and Supply Co, Inc. where they sold pipe and valves.   Jim’s standing in the community and business acumen was recognized with his appointment to Community Board of Directors of United Community Bank, Inc. Jim and Diana

 In 1964 Jim and Lisa hatched a daughter Lisa and 1965 a son Chris. During his children’s high school years, Jim was involved with the Gainesville High School Booster and Band clubs.  Jim is still involved with the same organizations as he has three grandson’s from daughter Lisa and three granddaughters from son Chris.  Jim’s business is truly a family enterprise as wife Diana, son Chris, daughter Lisa works at the firm along with two grandsons and one granddaughter. Industrial Pipe and Supply will remain a family business.   Jim, after thirty-six years in business, is in the process of transferring the ownership to his son and daughter. Jim after a fall at the Blake Gammill 5K

Jim discovered running for points when he was sixty and has been a consistent participant in races north and east of Atlanta.  All of the age 65-69 runners, including Bob Slowpants, were excited when Jim turned seventy and entered a different age group this year.  Jim must be excited too as he is “going all out” to win his age group in the Black Bag Race Series, Clover Glove Series and the Run and See Georiga Grand Prix series (the old fart triple crown).  Jim and Tim Bagley from Classic Race ServicesCurrently Jim is in a heads up battle with Bo Ryles for the Overall Championship in the Black Bag Race Series and the Clover Glove Series.  Jim remarked that he likes “to get out there and run even though I am not that fast. I like to see everybody and get to talk to them and see what is going on. We have a lot of people running who really like each other”.  Jim’s best 5K time was 27:10 in the Faith Run in Watkinsville and his best 10K time is 1:03 in the Marigold 10K in Winterville. His favorite run is the Autumn Breeze 5K course at Tallulah Gorge for the scenic course.   Jim finishing the Summers End races

Bob checking out from the back of the pack.  Look for the October profile on prolific runner Tina Hunt and November on Bo Ryles mentor UGA’s Mel Garber.