JEFF SMITH '95 RUNS & RUNS
Graduate runs 50 marathons in 50 states
Running 26.2 miles for a marathon may sound like a challenge to some but imagine running a marathon in all 50 states. Thirty-seven-year-old St. Mary Central Catholic graduate Jeff Smith ‘95 of Columbus completed a quest to run a marathon in all 50 states, plus Washington, DC, on Sunday, October 12, 2014 in Newport, Rhode Island.
It all began eleven years ago. After Jeff’s brother, Nic ’97 of Vermilion, was diagnosed with Lymphoma and a law school professor, Brian Freeman, died from Leukemia that same year, Jeff decided to run his first marathon in their honor. He ran the 2003 San Diego Rock-n-Roll Marathon for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society charity. His wife, parents and most of his seven siblings, including Nic, were there to cheer him on.
Since that time, Nic is now cancer free and Jeff has run marathons all over the country, including Alaska and Hawaii.
Over the years, his times and abilities have improved greatly. He has qualified for and run in the prestigious Boston Marathon and he belongs to an elite group of runners that can run a marathon in under three hours, with his best time being a 2:59:53.
What began as a family affair in San Diego in 2003, ended as a family affair in Newport, Rhode Island in 2014. After logging more than 1,336 miles in marathons in every state in the nation, Jeff’s family was there to cheer him on and run alongside him as he completed his 50 state marathon journey. Jeff’s brother, Ironman Triathlete Jon Smith ‘94 of Sandusky was Jeff’s wingman on the course and crossed the finish line with him. Jeff's sisters Susan Whelan ’99 of Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida and Joy Roth ‘92 of Sandusky also ran the full marathon. This was Roth's first marathon while Whelan is a seasoned marathoner. Brother Patrick Smith ‘01 ran his first half marathon alongside Dan ’05 both of Columbus. Sister Natalie Smith and family friend Vin Pietrafesa, both of Brooklyn, NY, ran the 5k along with Jeff’s wife Kristy Smith ‘95, of Columbus, and his sister-in-law Diane Smith of Sandusky.