James Quattlebaum, a Clemson graduate, set a new record time of 4:13 in the second annual Milledge Mile race held on South Milledge Avenue on Saturday. Quattlebaum improved upon his second-place finish from last year’s race by six seconds.
In college, Quattlebaum ran the Steeplechase event, a race covering distances ranging from 2,000 to 3,000 meters that includes obstacles such as hurdles and water pits. At one point, Quattlebaum was ranked fifth in the NCAA and first in the eastern region in this event.
Quattlebaum has ambitions to be on a professional race team. In July, he finished a mile race just under four minutes, with a time of 3:58.
Despite his fast times and winnings, Quattlebaum does not want to race the mile professionally. He is training for the 5K distance.
“I run about 16 miles a week, and I try to focus on tempo mostly,” Quattlebaum said.
When running, Quattlebaum likes to take in his surroundings.
“Greek row is really cool, there’s a lot of really nice houses,” Quattlebaum said. “I wish we had something like that at Clemson.”
The Milledge Mile is a community race, and most of the participants are local to the Athens area. Quattlebaum was one of few runners that traveled across state lines to race. He currently lives in Greenville, South Carolina.
“It’s close to a lot of things,” Quattlebaum said. “Two hours from Athens, two hours to Charlotte, plus Greenville's got a lot, too.”
Quattlebaum mentioned he enjoys running on mountain trails and trains in other outdoor places, away from city streets. He was appreciative of Athens and made some comparisons to the city and his former college town of Clemson, South Carolina.
“Athens is a bigger city, there’s just a little more to do,” Quattlebaum said. “The sports and fan atmosphere is pretty much the same though.”