In March of 2014 I ran 1:30:18 in my first NYC half. By the end of that year I was at a 1:23:47 half and ran a BQ at 3:00:53.

Now, look, it's stupid to shoot for a BQ - which, at this point, is basically under 3:01 - and not go for the 3 hours, and I have two marathons in which to do it.

I have much higher goals than that, and a lot of time. I have half a year, basically, to get near my best speed. I'll shoot for PRs, but not at the expense of the non-obsessive life I have now.

2014 was fun, in some ways. I ran all over the city and especially Queens. And every new race was basically a chance to be fast for the first time.

But I was miserable that year. Feeling stuck, at work, and didn't want to admit how down I felt.

I got obsessed with running to fill a hole. And it led me to great places, even though there was pain along the way.

What I want now is to recapture the good from 2014, the increasing speed and endurance, without the struggles.

If I can do that, I can get back to BQ level for the 2020 race and then run the race strong, finally.


Justin Gerald

Age: 28 Hometown: NYC Location: NYC Career: Education Undergrad: Princeton Grad: New School Likes: Cooking, Baseball, Socializing, Parks, Pop Culture, Feminism Loves: Traveling, Running, Lifting, Trivia, Teaching, Equality