Cherry runs record in Oakland marathon, eyes Olympic Trials

March 23, 2015

Jesse Cherry running

Jesse Cherry – photo credit Contra Costa Times

Jesse Cherry of Chugiak returned to competitive running over the weekend in grand fashion, winning the marathon at the Oakland Running Festival in California.

The 28-year-old covered the 26.2-mile course in a record time 2 hours, 25 minutes, 14 seconds.

“It was my first race since 2012 and it was nice to do it in my current hometown,” he told me. “It felt great to get out on the roads again.”

The course took runners right through the heart of the city.

“It’s definitely a hilly one,” he said. “The race climbs more than 800 feet. I even had a blister pop mid race when I was going down a long stretch of a downhill.”

The former High Point University standout is an Olympic hopeful eyeing a return trip to the Trials. He competed in the 2012 Trials in Houston and wants to run at the 2016 Trials in Oregon.

Cherry, of Chugiak High fame, needs to run 2:18 to qualifying for the Trials. He will try again June 20 in the Grandma’s Marathon in Minnesota.

“That’s a week before my high school reunion, so I guess I have some incentive to qualify so I have some bragging material,” he said with a laugh.