Taylor runs the gauntlet

People enjoy doing different things with their time.

When it comes to leisure activities, a lot of folks like myself get satisfaction from playing golf or various other sports like tennis.

Of course, here in the Mid-Ohio Valley one thing a lot of people thoroughly seem to like a great deal is running.

After getting a heads up about local marathon runner Jolene Taylor’s endeavors, I was able to track down the Parkersburg resident via cell phone on Wednesday after she just finished a 26.2-mile race in Wyoming.

Taylor, who ran her first 26.2-mile distance back in 1995 at the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington D.C., made West Virginia history after she completed her marathon in Wyoming. According to the 50 states club, Taylor is just the fifth person from West Virginia to finish a marathon in every state and she’s also the first woman to do so in Mountain State history.

On top of that, the utterly amazing thing to me about Taylor is this – she ran a marathon not only on Wednesday, but also did one on Monday in North Dakota and one on Tuesday in South Dakota. Want to know something else? She’s running a marathon this morning in Montana and will conclude her easy week away from home when she plans to traverse another 26.2 miles on Friday in Nebraska.

“I know it makes no sense, but runners are a little bit crazy,” Taylor stated matter-of-factly.

Honestly, I was thinking the same thing to myself, but one can’t deny the love and passion Taylor has for something she wholeheartedly enjoys.

Taylor said she has been accompanied on her trip by Marietta resident and friend Nan Williams, who is running five straight days of half marathons.

“It’s beautiful out here. It’s really pretty,” Taylor added. “We went to Mount Rushmore yesterday (Tuesday) and did a little sightseeing.”

Taylor, who will be coming back to Parkersburg soon, admitted after she participated in her first marathon she threw her shoes in a hotel room trash can and vowed never again.

“After Friday I will have raced 76 marathons,” Taylor noted. “I have a goal of doing a 100-miler eventually and I figured if I could do five in five days that would be good. I’m going to take some time off and do my regular running.

“I have my first grandchild and I’m excited to be a grandmother. I’m looking forward to spending as much time with her as I can. That’s really what is in my sight for now.”

  • Prep football fans who are looking for something to do before Friday evening rolls around are reminded that Tyler Consolidated will play at 7 p.m. today versus host St. Marys at Imlay Field. The Blue Devils are currently ranked No. 2 in Class A behind top-ranked Greenbrier West.

Also of note, sincere apologies go out to Wirt County freshman running back Brant Freeland, whose first name I had wrong in last week’s game story when he scored a two-point conversion.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com