If there was ever a figure in sports that proved anything is possible, Gwen Jorgensen has to be at the top of that list.
A member of the swim team and track team at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jorgensen excelled the most in track. She was an All-American in track and cross country but decided to pursue a traditional career upon graduation.
After earning her CPA she ended up working at Earnst & Young where she stayed until USA Triathlon contacted her.
At the time USA Triathlon was pursuing collegiate swimmers and runners to help expand the field of talent in the sport. When they contacted Gwen they said a line that really resonated with the young adult and has helped shape her life ever since: “We think you could be great.”
☑️ World Champion in Triathlon
☑️ Olympic gold in Triathlon
☑️ Become a mom
🔲 Olympic gold in Marathon pic.twitter.com/ap466BOw06
— gwen jorgensen (@gwenjorgensen) November 7, 2017
She quit her job and dove head first into the professional world of triathlons. In 2010 she was named USA Triathlon’s Rookie of the Year.
Only a year later in 2011 she placed 2nd at the World Championship Series earning her spot on the 2012 US Olympic Triathlon Team.
Unfortunately she suffered from a flat tire at the 2012 London Olympics and finished in 38th place.
In the 4 years between the 2012 Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics the triathlon world belonged to Gwen. She won race after race and dominated the sport more than any female ever has.
At the 2016 Rio Olympics Gwen accomplished something no other American has ever done. She won the gold medal in the Olympic Triathlon.
After the Olympics Gwen continued to race and continued to win for the couple months immediately following the games. She also checked an item off her bucket list: run her first marathon.
Gwen Jorgensen and The 2016 NYC Marathon
According to Gwen, the marathon was a race that she had always wanted to do. However, thanks to such a demanding schedule for the sport of triathlon, she never had the chance to do one.
Having never done a run longer than 16 miles Gwen Jorgensen decided that this year was the year she was finally going to do a marathon. She decided on the 2016 NYC Marathon.
Having a 3-day triathlon race the weekend before the marathon, Gwen and her coach decided on a modest training plan that would let her have a relatively successful marathon debut without sacrificing her dominance in triathlon.
She toed the starting line of the marathon with a lot of confidence and even more excitement. Running hard early on she soon realized what it truly took to run a great marathon.
With only running a max weekly total of 57 miles prior to the race, she soon faded a bit and ultimately finished in 14th place with a respectable time of 2:41:01. While most people would be happy with that time, Gwen was not.
She knew she could do better and that hunger only grew.
Training and Stanley
After the NYC Marathon, Gwen decided to put in some quality run training. Her and her husband Pat even moved to the mecca of running: Portland.
She even started doing some training runs with none other than the 2017 NYC Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan.
Soon after that pic was taken Gwen and Pat announced that they were expecting! While pregnancy may sideline a lot of people from training, Gwen was determined to continue.
She continued to run and build up miles to the point where she had a 100 mile week at 7 months pregnant!
That momentum quickly faded as she entered the final weeks of pregnancy and in mid-August 2017 she gave birth to her and Pat’s little boy named Stanley.
New Mom, New Goals
After giving birth to Stanley and enjoying her new role as a mother, Gwen had a lot of time to think about what she wanted to do next. Would she continue the Olympic distance triathlon, try out the Ironman distance, or do something else?
Ultimately Gwen decided that she wanted to do the one thing of the sport trio that she enjoyed the most: run.
Not only did she just want to retire from the sport of triathlons at the top and start running, she wanted to aim high once again. In typical Gwen Jorgensen fashion, she wanted to get to the top in one of the most grueling run race distances out there: the marathon.
Yesterday Gwen Jorgensen announced that she would be solely training for the marathon distance and has 3 goals. She will attempt to win a World Marathon Major, make the US Marathon Olympic Team, and win the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
It will not be an easy road ahead as it will take a 20 minute PR from her marathon debut time in order to have a shot at these goals. But if there is anyone up for the challenge it is Gwen Jorgensen.
We wish you the best of luck in your new endeavor Gwen and look forward to watching you go after your new goals!