Welcome to My First Half

We recruited hundreds of first-time half marathoners, and let you choose who would star in a video series chronicling the journey to the finish line. You chose Jerry. Follow Jerry's journey as he takes on his first half!

Race day finally arrived, and I was ready to put it all on the line in Las Vegas! I was attempting something that just a year ago would have been flat out impossible for me: 13.1 miles down the center of the Strip.

Was I nervous at the starting line? You bet! But I had been serious about my training. And I had my amazing family and friends supporting me from the sidelines. Throughout my journey, I've made positive changes to my lifestyle, and have continually re-evaluated what is "impossible." Now it was time to put impossible to the test.

The experience was incredible: The energy at the starting line. The magic of finding my family at mile three, and their big smiles warming my heart. Hundreds of Team Challenge supporters cheering and high-fiving me throughout the course. And finally, the beautiful finish line.

I heard my name called out, and knew I had really done it! Could I have run faster? Probably. But this was my first half marathon, and I wouldn't trade the experience for anything. It was a blast! Thanks for sharing the ride with me!

Want to see the next video? Follow hashtag #BrooksMyFirstHalf for updates.
  1. Episode 1: First Miles

    Jerry began running one year ago and has lost over 50 pounds. But is it enough to get him to the finish line after 13.1 miles?

  2. Episode 2: Tips From A Pro

    Jerry goes running with Brooks pro Angela Bizzarri and walks away with valuable training advice.

  3. Episode 3: How to Drink from a Cup... The "Runner" Way

    Sometimes the most simple details are the hardest to nail. Competitor's Mario Fraioli gives Jerry the low-down.

  4. Episode 4: Jerry Meets His "Q"

    James Bond had Q. Jerry has Competitor's Mario Fraioli, who hooks him up with the running gadgets he needs to accomplish his half marathon mission.

  5. Episode 5: Feelin' Fresh

    Jerry walks us through the recovery routine he uses to train — and race — at his best.

  6. Episode 6: Race Day

    The day has come for Jerry to run longer than ever before, 13.1 miles. We tag along for the journey!

Episode 1: First Miles

Episode 2: Tips From A Pro

Episode 3: How to Drink from a Cup... The "Runner" Way

Episode 4: Jerry Meets His "Q"

Episode 5: Feelin' Fresh

Episode 6: Race Day

Meet Jerry

Meet Jerry Wright of Sunnyvale, CA. He is an ex-couch potato, is 3,600 miles into his quest for fitness and is taking on a new challenge.

For the last 30 years I've pretty much been a couch potato. Last year, my doctor told me I was obese (65 pounds overweight), had high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and was borderline for diabetes. If I was going to make a change, it had to be soon.

A friend invited me to run in the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 5K. I had never run and didn't think it would be possible. But I finished a Couch to 5K program and had a great time. I kept running and started pushing for longer distances.

This year, I've run in three 10K races, and I have plans for at least three or four more. My weight is down by 50 pounds. I'm off all of my medications. Running has given me increased energy and a chance at a healthy life. My next goal is a half-marathon. To date, I've only gotten to 9 miles.

I'm not fast, but every time I get out, I surprise the hell out of myself that I am doing something I used to think was impossible. And the really cool thing: if I can do it, almost anyone can!

For the last 25 years, I've worked in research at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. Most of my work has focused on improving quality of life after serious neurologic injuries, mostly traumatic brain injuries.

One of the biggest complaints after brain injury is debilitating mental and physical fatigue. My team created a study that looked at whether increasing physical activity would improve this fatigue. Coaches worked with participants to increase their physical activity and participants logged their steps using pedometers.

We used a website to log activity, and it was a motivator to show how far participants had travelled on a virtual course that went from San Jose to Los Angeles to the Grand Canyon to Reno and back to San Jose (1,833 miles). Four years, 125,258,201 steps, and 59,224 miles later, we found that increased walking led to decreased fatigue, depression and stress.

This study was a big part of my embracing more physical activity. The study is done, but now I've got about 60 friends with pedometers running on the course with me. The course is open for anyone who wants to join in and take a 1,800-mile trek. You just have to put in the real steps! It's a great training motivator, especially for people that are just getting started. I've done the course twice (3,600 miles), and now, I am doing it again with a new group of people.

"I'm not fast, but every time I get out, I surprise the hell out of myself that I am doing something I used to think was impossible. And the really cool thing: if I can do it almost anyone can!"


Jerry is running in Brooks Adrenaline GTS. Find the perfect pair of runnings shoes so that you too can Run Happy.



Rock the strip with Jerry. Whether you're a half marathon newbie or a veteran, running together is more fun!