Milford resident completes New York City Marathon

MILFORD – Completing a marathon takes dedication, and months of hard work and training.

Taking the leap from 5K runner to marathon runner is a tough road, but it’s a road that Milford resident Gerard Jones embarked on this fall.

Jones, 41, went from completing Milford’s Run the Goat Again 5K in August, to completing the New York City Marathon in November.

Jones placed fifth overall in the Running of the Goat 5K in Milford Aug. 19, and first overall in his age group. But taking on a full 26.2-mile long marathon with thousands of other runners in New York City is a much different atmosphere.

“Being in New York City, the crowd and the excitement, it gets your adrenaline going,” Jones said.

Although he didn’t quite reach his goal of finishing the race in under four hours, the first-time marathon runner had a great experience and doesn’t plan on stopping after just one marathon.

“First time running a marathon, and I wanted to get under the four-hour mark,” Jones said. “I missed it by just seven minutes.”

After finishing the first half in a little over an hour and a half, Gerard was on pace to finish the race in three and a half hours before he hit the 20-mile wall.

Looking back on it a few weeks after the Nov. 6 race, Gerard knows exactly where his mistakes were and he hopes to improve upon his performance when he goes to compete in his next race.

“I learned what a marathon was all about,” Jones said. “I went out a little fast the first half. The second half I slowed a bit. But if I could have slowed my pace down a little bit in the beginning, I think I would have gotten under four hours. That was definitely one of my mistakes.”

While he remained focused on his performance, Jones was able to enjoy the experience at the same time.

“I took the time while I was running to look around and take in the city, instead of just running,” Jones said. “So it was nice, I was able to compete and take the city all in at the same time.”

For his next marathon, Jones plans on doing a few more longer runs during his training, and will even add hill running to his training sessions.

While he was unable to qualify for the Boston Marathon, he feels it was a very successful marathon debut and this could just be the beginning of his marathon career.

Sports editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com

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