Jon Golden: Athlete of the Month

by Sara O'Grady

Photo of Jon running in a trail race, courtesy of Jon Golden

Name: Jon Golden

                   Photo of Jon at the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon, courtesy of Jon Golden

What is your age, occupation, background, hobbies, and other sports?

I am 50. I am an accountant with the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC). My wife, Dee, and I love to travel for races and for visiting MLB stadiums. I have participated in triathlons from 2017 until 2022. While I loved the challenge of doing three sports, I never enjoyed swimming. So now I primarily run and bike. My goal is to run the marathon distance or longer in all 50 states. As of April 2024, I have completed 48 marathons in 34 states.

Photo of Jon finishing an Ironman Triathlon, courtesy of Jon Golden

When and why did you start running?

I ran the Run for the Roses 5K in Grafton a couple times while in High School, but I didn’t start running seriously until 2009. My oldest son was running cross country for Shen at the time and that became my motivation to run. That year I wanted to run the Corporate Challenge with OSC. Let’s just say, after that, I was hooked. From there, I ran the Boilermaker that July; then my first half on 1/1/10 (Hangover Half) and then my first marathon on 10/10/10 (Mohawk Hudson River Marathon).

What’s your favorite race to date, and why?

I have a few favorites:

The Troy Turkey Trot 10k – I love seeing dozens of familiar faces and this is the race I have run most often.

The Utica Boilermaker 15k – The challenge of the weather and hills is thrilling and the Post race party isn’t that bad to end with.

St George Marathon - Loved running this race, seeing the sun rise over the mountains as you descend 2400+ feet makes for a memorable moment. The scenery is also really fantastic.

Boston Marathon – I have run this 5 times and hope to be back in the field for 2025. There is something absolutely magical about Boston. I have always loved the City of Boston growing up a Red Sox fan. My first Boston experience in 2013 was surreal: from lining up in Hopkinton, listening to just the sound of foot falls for the first few miles before the cheers of the crowds kicked in, seeing family on the course and running down Boylston Street and seeing that finish line for the first time. The athletes, volunteers and crowds are second to none.

Photo of Jon running in a fall marathon, courtesy of Jon Golden

What is your approach to training? Do you follow a particular training plan, or do you work with a coach and if so, who?

I have worked with a number of training groups and coaches over the past 15 years. I started training with the HMRRC half marathon/marathon training group led by Jim Thomas. I then went to Team Utopia for a few years before working with Mat Nark. I am currently being coached by Kerrianne Sanicola (six years now). She trained me through my triathlons (including Ironman Lake Placid) and continues to help me reach my goals (and keep me healthy) through cycling and running workouts.

What is your weekly mileage in peak racing/marathon training season? What is your approach to the off season?

During peak marathon training, I used to approach 50 miles per week, but found I was more injury prone at that volume. Now the peak is about 40 miles for 1 or 2 weeks but normally 30-35 miles is a good range. Cycling has been a life saver, allowing me to add cardio work without the wear and tear.

I really don’t take much of an “off season” as there is usually another marathon around the corner. Coach does reduce my run volume (10-15 miles a week) post marathon for recovery.

      Photo of Jon finishing a triathlon, courtesy of Jon Golden

During our cold winter days, do you brave poor weather conditions or stick indoors on the treadmill? If you do run outside, what safety measures do you take?

I absolutely detest the treadmill. I will run the treadmill if the temperatures are under 10 degrees and the wind is blowing sideways, but even then, I prefer to run outside. I will reschedule workouts for snow and ice, but still refuse to do more than six miles on the “dreadmill.”

On cold days, I will wear running tights, a long-sleeve Craft base layer, a long-sleeve tech shirt over that, and then an outer shell or running jacket. Gloves (sometimes 2 pairs) and a hat.


  5k – Arsenal City 5K 18:43 2011
10k – Troy Turkey Trot 39:40 2016
15k – Stockade-athon 1:01:37 2017
13.1 – Saratoga Palio 1:24:52 2011
26.2 – Mohawk Hudson Marathon 3:02:04 2011
50k – Firebird Trial Races 7:26:54 2021(only 50k so far – ran for fun)

Photo of Jon and his wife Dee at Virginia Beach, courtesy of Jon Golden

What is your favorite distance?

Marathon and half marathon

Your favorite shoe for training and racing

I train and race with the Mizuno Wave Riders. Been wearing these for 10+ years.

Photo of Jon and his friend Dennis with their finisher’s medals, courtesy of Jon Golden

What are your favorite pre-race and post-race meals?

Pre-race is typically pizza, either pepperoni or Hawaiian; sometimes chicken parm. Post-race is not as routine. I love going to microbreweries and “rehydrating” after marathons – a beer or two or three is always in the plan. Food-wise, my favorites are a cheeseburger or Mexican.

What challenges / races / adventures are you planning for the coming year?

I’m planning to run the Cellcom Green Bay Marathon in Wisconsin in May. We are also looking at Wyoming, Colorado and Mississippi as potential options for later this year.

Editor’s Note: Cellcom Green Bay Marathon Results: 3:56:40

What is the greatest piece of advice you've ever received in the sport?

Be patient and trust the plan/process. Never try anything new on race day. Do what works for you.

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