49 Voices: Jerry Ross of Anchorage

Jerry Ross coaches Alaska Endurance Project runners. (Emily Russell/Alaska Public Media)

This week we’re hearing from Jerry Ross in Anchorage. Ross coaches runners with the Alaska Endurance Project and is part of a group of runners racing in this year’s Boston Marathon.

Listen now

ROSS: This year I’m leading a group of 18 runners from our group to go and run the Boston Marathon. I’ve been running since I can remember– since maybe fourth or fifth grade at Chugach Optional, so it’s been a really long time.

I worked at Skinny Raven for 20 years. At some point during that, Todd List and I– Todd List is the other coach– we decided, “Hey, we should have a training group. We really should share what we know about the sport of running.” So that’s how it [Alaska Endurance Project] originated.

I’ve had moist of my success at the marathon distance, but I’ve done a lot of racing, from shorter distances, like 5k, 10k [and] I’ve done mountain races. Recently I’ve been more engaged in trail running and mountain running in the summertime.

When the bombs happened in Boston in 2013, I had athletes that I was coaching. So I was watching TV expecting certain athletes to come around the corner and I was really angry after that. I told myself there’s no way that I’m not going to go and run that marathon again in 2014. So, since then I’ve done it every year and it’s been great.

One thing that’s exciting about this year, in some ways for us, is the weather forecast for the marathon Monday is, I think, a low of 37 or 38 degrees and a high of 50 with winds between 20 and 40 miles per hour and up to an inch of rain. So that should make it interesting. Being from Alaska, I think it works to our advantage.

My goal is to finish close to what I did last year. I’m not quite as fast as I was last year, so I’m just hoping I don’t hurt the team too much. I think I’m expected to be the fastest, but anything can happen on marathon race day, so I just want to try to do my part and make sure that we have a good team finish.

Emily Russell is the voice of Alaska morning news as Alaska Public Media’s Morning News Host and Producer.

Originally from the Adirondacks in upstate New York, Emily moved to Alaska in 2012. She skied her way through three winters in Fairbanks, earning her Master’s degree in Northern Studies from UAF.

Emily’s career in radio started in Nome in 2015, reporting for KNOM on everything from subsistence whale harvests to housing shortages in Native villages. She then worked for KCAW in Sitka, finally seeing what all the fuss with Southeast, Alaska was all about.

Back on the road system, Emily is looking forward to driving her Subaru around the region to hike, hunt, fish and pick as many berries as possible. When she’s not talking into the mic in the morning, Emily can be found reporting from the peaks above Anchorage to the rivers around Southcentral.

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