Millie Paladino has been running for over 15 years beginning in middle school, through high school and college, and now at the professional level. She first got into running through her mom and her older sister, as they were both great runners themselves. She is now sponsored by New Balance and runs for team New Balance Boston.
How does it feel for running and racing to finally be back to normalcy?
It feels great to be able to race again after a whole year of the world having to put meets on hold. I wouldn’t say it’s quite back to normal yet, as we have to provide proof of negative Covid tests and vaccinations cards before every meet, as well as even get tested on site at some of the meets. But I’m grateful and everyone is doing their best to make it all possible.
What was one of the biggest training hurdles during this period and how did you deal with it?
I think the biggest hurdle was the uncertainty. Especially last summer when the Olympics were canceled. You wondered if racing was ever going to happen again and how long you would have to wait to get back out there.
What was your experience like in this year's Olympic Trials?
My experience was great! It was my first trials ever and it was pretty surreal to stand on the line with the nations best.
What was the most special moment you took away from the Olympic Trials?
There were so many special moments, from teammates making the Olympics to getting to race with one of my teammates, Katrina, on such a big stage. I couldn’t ask for more.
What lesson did you learn at the Olympic Trials that you will take with you for future competitions?
A big lesson I learned was that it’s important to put yourself in the race. You never know what’s going to happen, and to not be afraid to set high goals for yourself.
When it comes to running, what would you say is your biggest strength and weakness?
I think that my biggest strength and simultaneously my weakness is how much I want it. On one hand, I love this sport and I will do everything I can to be good at it. On the other, when you want it too much you can be paralyzed by anxiety to perform well, and fear of failure.
What's the weirdest or funniest thing that ever happened to you while running?
Oh gosh, there are so many crazy things that happen on runs I don’t know where to start. Once in high school we were running under these foot bridges that were pretty high up. As we ran under one of them someone dropped a gallon of milk, I think in attempt to hit me and my teammates? They just barely missed us and the milk splattered all over us. We had to run back to my coach and try to explain why we were covered in milk. I don’t think he bought it.
What's your biggest pet peeve?
I don’t really have a pet peeve. I always scratch my head when I get this question. I think I’m pretty hard to annoy for the most part.
What's your biggest fear?
I think there’s a lot of sacrifices that come with this sport and missing out on family events, friends birthdays, et cetera is one of the hardest. So one of my biggest fears is not spending enough time with my loved ones while we have the time.
In your free time when you’re not running, what hobbies do you enjoy?
I love to do outdoor things! Hiking, kayaking, walks through the woods. I love spending time with my family and friends. I have interests in physics, architecture, and interior design. Also, I love HGTV, ha!
What's it like being a part of the New Balance team?
It’s amazing to be part of such an incredible team filled with absolutely amazingly talented runners, but also wonderful people. We are literally like a family and I wouldn’t be here without them.
Who would you say is the funniest teammate?
Definitely Siofra! Everyone’s got a great sense of humor but she’s extremely quick witted and hilarious.
Who is someone you look up to in the sport?
There’s so many amazing and powerful women in this sport it’s hard not to look up to all of them. I think I get the most inspiration from my teammates on a daily basis.
Who is one of your favorite athletes to train with?
I’ve really loved working out with my teammate, Katrina Coogan. She is great at the long/tempo stuff and has made me a stronger runner!
What's next for you?
I will definitely race a few more times this summer! Then we will do a big fall build-up for outdoors next year! I’m excited to build some momentum from this year and put myself on the map!
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