Cross country coach set to run 100th marathon this weekend - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Cross country coach set to run 100th marathon this weekend

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WIS) -

To 65-year-old Jerry Stokes of Lugoff, it's just another step, just another race.

But to the rest of us who know the mental discipline and physical endurance required to run a marathon, what Jerry is about to do is quite the feat .... On feet.

"It's just another number," Stokes said. "It's a round number, an even number and I would like to get there."

Once Jerry crosses the finish line in the Myrtle Beach marathon on Saturday, he officially will have completed 100.

That's quite an accomplishment for someone who did not run his first marathon until he was 40. And his plan at that time was to - run one and be done.

"I didn't intend to run anymore, but it's one of those deals where you kind of get hooked on it," Stokes said. "I kept running and I wanted to get to 20. Then I wanted to get to 30, then 40, then 50. And after 50, I just wanted to see how many I could get. I never thought about 100."

Counting miles comes easily for Jerry. He's an accountant and owns his own practice. His bride of 43 years has always been supportive - traveling with Jerry to some of the fun race destinations.

In fact, it's the breathtaking beauty of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina that makes that marathon Jerry's very favorite. He's run it 14 times. And that's some difficult elevation.

"To be able to run 40 years and run as many marathons as I have been fortunate to do, I am blessed, and I realize I am blessed," Stokes said. "And I am very appreciative."

Jerry also coaches the Boys' Cross Country team at Camden High School. Perhaps, without even realizing it, his students are learning lessons that go far beyond physical.

Many runners compare life, itself, to marathons.

"In every marathon something bad is going to happen, you don't know what it's going to be, but something bad is going to happen at some point and time and the question is how do you deal with adversity?" Stokes said. "And that's a part of life. What will you do when adversity sets in? And it will surely come. There will always be pain, there will always be difficulty, and it will surely come. The question is how will you deal with adversity?"

I know what you're asking now. Will there be marathon number 101?

Jerry said he doesn't know.

Like every race, he'll face that down the road.

Copyright 2014 WIS. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • BREAKING

    Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault

    Bill Cosby convicted of sexual assault

    Tuesday, April 24 2018 5:55 AM EDT2018-04-24 09:55:21 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 3:31 PM EDT2018-04-26 19:31:34 GMT

    The jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial has reached a verdict: guilty on all counts.

    More >>

    The jury in Bill Cosby's sexual assault retrial has reached a verdict: guilty on all counts.

    More >>
  • Suspect in serial killings was obsessed with lawn care

    Suspect in serial killings was obsessed with lawn care

    Thursday, April 26 2018 2:39 AM EDT2018-04-26 06:39:08 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 4:51 PM EDT2018-04-26 20:51:07 GMT
    (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli). Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, left, talks to reporters about the arrest Joesph James DeAngelo, seen in photo, on suspicion of committing a string of violent crimes in the 1970's and 1980's after a news conference. ...

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    More >>

    The suspected Golden State Killer became less prolific but deadlier after losing his job as a police officer.

    More >>
  • Ford shifts gears, will stop making nearly all its North American passenger cars

    Ford shifts gears, will stop making nearly all its North American passenger cars

    Thursday, April 26 2018 11:55 AM EDT2018-04-26 15:55:54 GMT
    Thursday, April 26 2018 4:25 PM EDT2018-04-26 20:25:34 GMT

    Over the next few years, the automaker will cut its North America passenger car lineup by more than 80 percent.

    More >>

    Over the next few years, the automaker will cut its North America passenger car lineup by more than 80 percent.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly