Holton's Jared Morris preparing to run Boston Marathon

About five and a half years ago, Holton resident Jared Morris came home from work and, on the spur of the moment, decided to see if he could run two miles without stopping.

The 2004 Holton High School graduate had been undergoing therapy for a work injury, and part of that rehabilitation effort included walking and eating healthy. But he wanted to see if he could take that rehabilitation work a step further, and he went on a two-mile run.

“It went really well,” Morris said. “It was actually fairly easy. It wasn’t fast, but it was easier than I thought it would be.”

That first run would be the first step on a journey that will culminate in Morris’ first appearance at this year’s Boston Marathon, set for Monday, Oct. 11. It wasn’t an easy journey, he said, but it’s been one where he’s had plenty of support from family, friends and community.

Morris, who ran track for HHS during his first three years of high school and played football for the Holton Wildcats and in the 2004 Kansas Shrine Bowl, went on to play football for a year at Mid-America Nazarene University after graduation, but between his year at Mid-America and his 30th birthday, he said he didn’t get a lot of exercise.

“There was a big window where I didn’t do anything at all,” he said.

It took getting hurt at work and undergoing physical therapy to change that.

“I started to realize that I had kind of let myself go,” Morris said. “I needed to be healthier. I lost some weight by changing my diet at first, and then doing some walking on a treadmill.”

And then, in the fall of 2015, that first two-mile run happened on a whim, setting the wheels — or the running shoes — in motion.

“I decided, you know, I just ran two miles, so I could probably do a 5K (five-kilometer run), so I thought, let’s see if I can do a 10K,” he said.

Morris’ first 10K run was in March of 2016, and that, he said, “went really well.” At his next 10K run, two months later, he was able to cut 10 minutes off his finish time, which he credited to “training more seriously.”

Not long after that race, Morris struck up a conversation with a man who’d just participated in the Boston Marathon, something he hadn’t given thought to at this point. It did, however, serve as a “springboard” into pushing himself to see how far he could go.

For more on this story, log in to your holtonrecorder.net account and select the May 19, 2021 edition under E-Editions.

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Holton, KS 66436
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