Kaitlyn Jones - NYC Marathon


Q. How does it feel to take 1st American (AG) at NYC?

It feels incredible. I am honored to have been able to represent the USA in the leaderboards of one of the largest marathons in the world. I hope to encourage more young people to pursue their passions because there’s no reason to feel as if there’s no time or you’re incapable. You simply have to be willing to put in the effort and follow it through.

Q. What was the atmosphere like in NY on race day?

The atmosphere was amazing. I had to wait on Staten Island for about 3.5 hours in the cold before reporting to my start wave and corral. It’s here you are overwhelmed with the number of people from all over the world gathered in one place to do what most people would call “crazy.” It’s incredible to talk to those around you and hear their languages and stories. We had all trained for months for this very moment and for that reason, it was a quite emotional start listening to Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York” as we crossed the starting line.


Q. Who was there with you, cheering for you?

My mom, Lindsay Jones, and my Aunt, Maggie Smith, flew up to NYC to watch me race. I also had several friends and family members track me on the TCS NYC Marathon App.


Q. What are your most memorable moments from during the race?

The beginning of the race was a blast! Thousands of runners start out on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge connecting Staten Island to Brooklyn and because there are no spectators on the bridge, the sounds of feet hitting the pavement provide a surreal adrenaline rush. The race includes five bridges which are essentially just very long hills. Approaching the bridge into Manhattan, two women were holding up signs that said, “Last Damn Bridge” and yelling at us with megaphones to, “get over it!” Around mile 8, twin boys (maybe 9 years old) were standing in the median offering high-fives to runners so I made my way to their side of the street to get one! The race got pretty tough starting at mile 15.5 when I began vomiting on Queensboro Bridge. I have never thrown up due to a run before until this race so I was mostly angry that it was happening and didn’t want it to ruin a great race. Running through the five boroughs certainly tested my mental toughness but my determination to make it across the finish proved stronger than any “damn bridge”, vomit, and light headedness that plagued my race during its second half. I told myself I wouldn’t lose consciousness until the finish, and that’s exactly what I did.


Q. How did you train for NY?

I did a 16-week program written by Nixa’s Derek Glos where I ran 6 days a week and cross trained whenever I could. My longest run in preparation for the marathon was a 22 miler that including me racing in the Boilermaker Half Marathon. I am also on the Purdue Club Running team where we compete in National Intercollegiate Running Association (NIRCA) races and have daily practices. For me, training is always more enjoyable when you have friends to encourage you and do it with you. There were several Sundays I would have up to five teammates join me for different parts of my long runs to make sure I didn’t have to do any of it by myself!

Q. Tell us a little about life in Nixa…

Nixa was a great place to grow up and continues to be the place I call home. I enjoy returning for holidays to meet up with friends and family and my running mentors such as Derek Glos through which I draw my inspiration.


Q. Who inspires you?

My family has always pushed and inspired me to be the very best version of myself. They’ve emphasized and demonstrated throughout my life the act of rising above challenges and never giving up. They’ve been my greatest supporters of my goals…anything I say I want to pursue they make their mission to help get me there. I cannot thank them enough for what they do for me.

Q. You go to Purdue, what are you studying?

I am a sophomore working to earn my Bachelor of Science in Aeronautic and Astronautic Engineering as well as a minor in Philosophy.


Q. Is it true you are a pilot?

I am currently working toward earning a private pilot license in a 1957 Piper Cherokee 180. I have about 115 flying hours.

Q. What are your future race goals?

I am racing in the Boston Marathon in April 2019 and hope to earn a personal record there. Eventually, I want to run all 6 Abbot World Marathons, and after this spring, I will be halfway there.

2018 Springfield FitLife

April Nelson