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Gwen Jorgensen Reflects On Her First Marathon

Jorgensen ran a 2:41:01 on Sunday, which was good enough for 14th place in the elite women’s division.

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The day after making her marathon debut at Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon, Gwen Jorgensen attended a small event in Central Park organized by footwear and apparel company Asics. At the event, Asics officials asked a group of VIPs—Olympians Deena Kastor, Lolo Jones and Jorgensen, among others—to jog a celebratory mile in the park.

Jorgensen, who was visibly sore, walked.

Jorgensen ran a 2:41:01 on Sunday, which was good enough for 14th place in the elite women’s division. After the race, Jorgensen admitted she wasn’t as prepared as she normally is for a triathlon, but said she enjoyed herself.

After her walk on Monday morning, Triathlete caught up with Jorgensen to talk about her marathon debut.

Triathlete: What are the scenes that you remember most from your marathon?

Jorgensen: [Husband] Patrick [Lemieux] was asking me that earlier today, what I was remembering and thinking, and when I lost touch with [the front group] and what I remember. Honestly, I don’t remember any of those moments. It’s weird. The things I remember most were how many people were cheering “Go Gwen.” I was really surprised. I saw one sign that said Swim, Bike, Run and the swim and bike were crossed out. That was super cute. Those were the most memorable things to me.

Triathlete: What are your thoughts on your race?

Jorgensen: I don’t know. The first 5km were pretty slow. The next 5km were really fast. At some point I knew it was too fast for me and I slowed down and was solo for a bit. My body hurt way earlier than the finish line. I was hurting. I was hurting on the uphill and hurting on the downhill. Every step hurt.

Triathlete: What are your impressions of the event in general?

Jorgensen: I mean it’s amazing. You come here and it just feels like its own world championship event. The way it’s put on, the amount of people that are here, the size. Everything about it feels professional. I mean, 50,000 people ran it, so to be able to put on an event of that size is incredible. I’m just happy to be a part of that.

Triathlete: Do you see yourself coming back to participate in the race someday?

GJ: Yeah, I don’t know. I had a great time. But I’m pretty vocal about the fact that Patrick and I are trying to have a kid. So yeah, we don’t know. I didn’t get pregnant during month No. 1, and in month No. 2 I was training for a marathon, so that probably didn’t help.

Triathlete: In a perfect world, what does the next year look like for you?

Jorgensen: I get pregnant right now, then have a baby, and get right back into training. I think that would be a perfect year.

Triathlete: In a perfect scenario, what do the next four years look like for you?

Jorgensen: I don’t really know. I mean, have a baby, get back into training, and I’d like to go to Tokyo [Olympics] in 2020.

Triathlete: What are the hurdles still standing in the way of elite triathletes?

Jorgensen: I think if you’re not in the top three in the world it’s really hard to make it work financially with sponsorship and support. There is some out there, but it’s still hard to make a living off of triathlon.

Triathlete: Having seen the way triathlon nurtures and develops talent, are there ways in which the sport could do a better job?

Jorgensen: I think USA Triathlon’s college recruitment program is great. You look at the athletes coming out of there, and they’ve done really well. I know USAT is looking at new ways to improve, and to get our men up to the same level as the women. That’s good to see in every federation. I think it’s helpful with triathlon emerging as an NCAA sport, but you still don’t see a ton of it at the high school level. It’s still pretty small in college too. I think that is something that will help triathlon in the future.