Canandaigua Messenger Post: Ontario assistant district attorney reflects on NYC marathon

By Mike Maslanik, staff writer

Messenger Post

Posted Dec 08, 2010

When Jeff Taylor crossed the finish line at the New York City Marathon he said, he felt like he wanted to die.

That feeling was short-lived, though, when he reflected on what he just accomplished.
“As soon as I crossed the finish line, I thought, ‘I can’t wait to do this again next year,’” said Taylor, an assistant district attorney in the Ontario County District Attorney’s Office.

Taylor completed the Nov. 7 marathon in five hours — a half-hour longer than what he had hoped. He did, though, finish before several celebrity runners, including Subway spokesman Jared Fogle, and Edison Pena, one of workers trapped in the recent Chilean mine crisis.

Most important for Taylor, his effort raised $2,500 for the American Lung Association, which sponsored his spot in the marathon. This year, more than 8,000 charity runners, like Taylor, raised about $30 million for 190 organizations. The American Lung Association received $7,500 from the event.

Although he enjoys running, this was Taylor’s first-ever marathon. For the last few years, he said he put his name in the lottery to get a spot, but did not get in. This year, a friend who works for the American Lung Association got him in.

To whip his 54-year-old body into shape, Taylor spent several months working on a training regiment and running several smaller 5K events. In September, he ran the Rochester Half-Marathon, posting a time of four-and-a-half hours.

Taylor said that running the marathon was one of the most difficult things he’d ever done. Most marathon runners do not run the whole time, he said. Mostly, they alternate between running and fast-walking.

“At about mile 17, my right calf gave out and I was not able to run as well as I wanted,” he said. “By mile 22, I thought, ‘Am I insane?’”

Despite the pain, Taylor soldiered on and finished the entire 26.3 miles of the marathon, joining the thousands of other runners draped in plastic capes proclaiming “I’m In! Class of 2010.”

“I kind of felt like a nerd wearing that little Mylar cape, but you feel very proud about what you’ve done,” Taylor said.

Taylor left New York City having crossed running a marathon off of his bucket list and with the knowledge that if he could do it, just about anyone can.

“It really is true, that anyone can run the New York City Marathon, if you train and if you get in,” he said.