Marathon runner Jorge Garcia meets goal of competing on 7 continents

Marathon runner Jorge Garcia meets purpose of competing on 7 continents

MARYVILLE — For some folks, touring the world means flying hundreds of miles to sit down on a seashore or dine at a five-star restaurant.

For Jorge Garcia, a 49-year-old Maryville resident, it’s all about working marathons.

In 2015, Garcia accomplished his purpose of working a minimum of one amongst 50 states. Now, Garcia has accomplished an much more bold purpose of working a minimum of one marathon on all seven continents, together with Antarctica.

Garcia, an SIUE grad, completed his newest quest on March 5, working within the Tokyo Marathon.

Try our interactive map and comply with Jorge on his many marathons:

Within the course of, Garcia additionally accomplished a secondary purpose of incomes the Abbott World Marathon Majors Six Star Medal for working all six main marathons, which include Boston, New York, Chicago, Berlin, London and Tokyo.

“I’d say that working marathons in seven continents was extra significant to me as a result of I like to journey, and I can immerse myself in several cultures and completely different meals,” stated Garcia, who works for Boeing in St. Louis. “I like to expertise stuff that different folks don’t imagine is feasible.”

Antarctic journey

Garcia’s seven-continent listing included the Spirit of St. Louis Marathon in April 2006, the EDP Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon in Spain in April 2016, the Comrades Extremely-Marathon in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, in Could 2016 and the Blackmores Sydney Marathon in Australia in September 2019.

His most memorable cease for him, although, was the White Continent Marathon on Jan. 15, 2019, at King George Island in Antarctica.

“We left from the southern tip of Chile and chartered a flight to King George Island, and we had a three-day window relying on the climate and whether or not the airplane might land,” Garcia stated. “On the airplane, we have been altering and ensuring we bought our gear prepared.

“Inside an hour of touchdown, we have been on the beginning line, so there was definitely an adrenaline rush. Folks suppose Antarctica is actually chilly and it’s, however it was their summer season, comparatively talking, and it was really colder in St. Louis that day than it was there.”

Garcia couldn’t fly out instantly after the race and spent the evening in a tent, including to the journey.

“All the things was so quiet, and the glaciers have been so white,” Garcia stated. “You could possibly see whales and penguins and it was a phenomenal expertise.”

Garcia flew again to Chile the subsequent morning, and 4 days after his race in Antarctica, he was in a position so as to add South America to his listing of continental conquests by competing within the Punta Arenas Marathon on Jan. 19, 2019.

Incomes the Abbott World Marathon Six Star Medal, whereas a secondary purpose for Garcia, nonetheless held loads of that means for him.

“I’m lucky that I’m quick sufficient to enter a few of these races, however in others, there’s a lottery to get into them and the probabilities of being chosen are slim,” Garcia stated. “I ran in London final yr and I used to be capable of safe a bib by way of buddies. My spouse Paula, who has additionally run in all 50 states, went with me however she wasn’t capable of run. That’s how robust it’s to get in a few of these races.

“I needed to wait three years to run in Tokyo. They hadn’t had the race since 2020 due to COVID.”

Whereas the individuality of working in Antarctica was particularly memorable for Garcia, probably the most enjoyable race for him was the New York Marathon, which is without doubt one of the six main worldwide races. He has been within the race twice, the primary time in 2019.

“I used to be lucky to be one among 95 runners from Illinois chosen by the Michelob Extremely crew and so they gave us an all-expenses-paid journey for the New York Marathon in 2019,” stated Garcia, who grew up in New Jersey and has lived in New York. “Not solely did I get to run the 26.2 miles by way of all 5 boroughs, I bought to fulfill to so many Michelob Extremely runners and now they’re lifelong buddies. There have been a variety of glad tears on the end line.”

Causes to run

Garcia runs each marathon carrying a photograph of his mom, who was killed by his father when he was 7 years outdated. That tragic occasion led to years of jail visits, custody battles, shelter properties and making an attempt to suit into numerous faculties, together with 4 excessive faculties in 4 years.

“My brother and I turned wards of the state of New Jersey, and we went by way of shelter properties and adoption businesses and foster properties,” Garcia stated. “We saved working away and ultimately my aunt, who was my dad’s sister, took us in for 3½ years. After that, we have been again on the streets.”

Garcia was by no means in any college lengthy sufficient to get entangled in sports activities and his solely working expertise as a toddler in New Jersey was out of necessity. Within the Marines, he ran as a result of it was required.

“Within the Marines, you run loads and I spotted I wasn’t that unhealthy at it,” stated Garcia, who’s sponsored by Michelob Extremely and Newton Working. “After I bought out of the Marines, the 5K phenomenon was happening and I occurred to win the primary race I ran in. Then I began working nationwide races and I discovered about marathons. I believed it was loopy really paid to run in these races till I spotted why they have been doing it.”

Garcia ended up in Edwardsville by way of connections with a Marine buddy and his spouse and attended SIUE by way of the G.I. Invoice. He ultimately earned a BA in worldwide enterprise and an MBA and has lived within the space ever since.

Garcia and his spouse, Paula, have two daughters: Alexis, who turns 20 this month, and Alicia, 17. They’ve lived in Maryville for 4 years after spending the earlier 18 years in Glen Carbon.

“For me, working a marathon is my time to heal and my time to be alone with my mom,” stated Garcia, who will have a good time 22 years with Boeing in October. “She by no means bought to see me do something as a result of she handed away once I was 7 years outdated. I’m all the time emotional once I cross the end line as a result of I want she was there to present me a hug.”

The following marathon for Garcia is the GO! St. Louis Marathon on April 2. He’s additionally scheduled to run marathons this yr in Kenya; Missoula, Montana; Belleville; Huntington, West Virginia; and Valencia, Spain.

“Life is lengthy and each resolution you make goes to have an effect on you a technique or one other,” stated Garcia, who has informed his story to inner-city youngsters who’re experiencing robust instances and has given them greater than 100 of his medals. “I inform youngsters to set an inexpensive purpose and work for it as a result of that’s what a marathon is.

“No matter I do with my races, I prefer to pay it ahead. I give youngsters my medals as a result of it provides them hope and so they need to earn their very own medals.”


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