BYU’s own statistics professor and olympian got 6th place in the recent 2018 New York marathon. On November 4th, Jared Ward ran the 26.2 mile race in 2 hours 12 minutes and 24 seconds, becoming the highest-finishing American to compete this year. Jared almost backed out of this year’s race due to several injuries.

“I had pulled my hamstring back in January, and then I re-pulled it in September building up for this marathon and thought that it wasn’t real significant; but then three or four weeks later I still wasn’t able to train as hard as I wanted and really was considering pulling out of the marathon at that point just because I didn’t feel like I had quite enough time to get ready,” said Ward.

Despite his injury, Ward ran. He even shaved six minutes off of last year’s New York Marathon run, where he placed 12th. With a long list of achievements under his belt, Jared Ward is already looking to run again in the 2020 Olympics, Jared competed in the 2016 Olympic games in Rio de Janeiro where he took sixth place.

“I guess I would say I went into the Olympics feeling grateful to be there, but I left feeling like I belong,” said Ward.

Before becoming an Olympic athlete, Ward attended Brigham Young University where he became a six time NCAA All American athlete. His time at BYU introduced him to Ed Eyestone, BYU’s cross country coach. The two of them are both Olympic runners and Eyestone has become a mentor to Ward throughout his marathon career. During Ward’s 120 miles he runs every week, he’s preparing himself both physically and mentally for future races.

“I’m thinking rhythm, pace, form and pushing towards the finish line, and I’m very dialed into what I’m doing,” said Ward.

With the Olympic trials just 15 months away, the New York Marathon has Ward feeling hopeful about his qualifying chances.

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