It's not that anyone questioned Gwen Jorgensen's running ability, but the 2016 Olympic triathlon champion and St. Paul, Minn., resident had never run 26.2 miles before starting Sunday's New York City Marathon.
Even though she says she wasn't entirely prepared for her first marathon, she turned in a pretty solid effort, finishing 14th overall in 2:41:01 against a strong field, just 71 days after winning gold at the Rio Olympics.
Jorgensen, 30, said she wasn't entirely happy with the result and admitted she had some muscle soreness she's not used to, but overall said she had a great experience.
She wound up beating a few notable pro American runners in the race, including two-time U.S. Olympian Kim Conley, who was also making her debut at the distance and placed 16th in 2:41:38, and Janet Bawcom, a 2012 Olympian at 10,000m on the track who placed 19th Sunday in 2:48:13. (For reference, Kenya's Mary Keitany won the race in 2:24:26.)
"It was a new experience for me and it was really exciting," Jorgensen said after the race. "I have a great respect for the course and the distance, and I know the other professional runners in the race are very talented and hard-working. A couple of them flew by me at the end and I couldn't hang on."
Jorgensen committed to running the New York City Marathon shortly after the biggest triathlon win of her career on Aug. 21 in Rio de Janeiro. Her race distances for that event included a 1.5K swim, a 40K bike ride and a 10K run.
Then on Oct. 8, Jorgensen held her own at the U.S. 10-Mile Championship on the roads in Minneapolis, placing third overall in 53:13-about 5:19 pace per mile and just 24 seconds behind winner Jordan Hasay.