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AMPED UP: COVID-19 pauses marathon goals for Central Georgia man

He was on schedule to run 3 more races until the coronavirus pandemic hit

MACON, Ga. — Jerome Owens has been a runner for the past 6 years, challenging himself and evolving from 5Ks to full marathons, becoming a part of the 1% Club, something he never could’ve imagined.

“I’m glad I did it because it kinda started something,” explains Owens. “Started a trend because now I’m on my fourth marathon, so 6 years ago, I never could have imagined this.”

More recently, Owens' newfound love for running has allowed him to set the goal to run the 6 World Marathon series, already completing Chicago and Berlin. He was on schedule to run 3 more races until the coronavirus pandemic hit, including Tokyo, which was cancelled until next year. London and New York were postponed and are yet to be determined.  

“That changed a lot. Now I have no races,” says Owens. “I have nothing to train for, so a lot of us are doing virtual 5Ks, virtual half marathons. We need to kinda keep the mojo going because you don’t want to lose it, because it’s easy to lose focus, especially if you don’t have anything to train for.”

But Owens says adversity won’t stop him from completing his goal. During his fitness journey, he has lost more than 100 pounds at his highest, allowing him the opportunity to join the Macon-Bibb Fire Department, so a slight delay won’t stop his shine anytime soon.

Owens says, “Continue and continue and continue -- you just have to keep pushing and not let anything stop you, no matter what it is, and I know there’s a lot going on in the world right now, so you gotta keep pushing forward.”

And now being at home without a gym, he still remains motivated to stay busy and prepared for the medals and roads ahead.

“Run before work, run after work,” says Owens. “That’s all I got right now.”

Owens credits Heather King for his introduction to running marathons. These days, he says he’s averaging about 15-20 per week but expects to add double-digit runs in May. That’s because he’s still training for marathons in London and New York City, hopefully rescheduled for later this year once heavy coronavirus concerns have the potential to clear up. 

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