After finishing third last year, Jason Cook still had no expectations of winning the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon on Sunday.
In the previous four attempts in the marathon, he had started too quickly and ultimately faded down the stretch.
But there he was nearly speechless following a winning time of two hours, 42 minutes and 29 seconds in a race highlighted by tough weather conditions.
“I really wanted to win this one sometime,” the Norman native said. “I tried to go out slowly and not fall apart today. I guess it worked out.”
Cook, 33, finished just four minutes ahead of Joshua Vaughn, a Golden, Colo., native, for his first victory in a marathon.
He had run in the Boston Marathon along with marathons in both Dallas and Tulsa.
This one, though, was a challenge even for a runner like Cook who runs in nearly all weather conditions.
“It was a tough race, but I’m glad we got it in,” Cook said. “It was a little bit cooler start than I thought we were going to have, so that worked out, but it warmed up towards the end.”
Cook, who works at the University of Oklahoma in human resources, picked up running nearly six years ago, saying he wanted to remain active.
And run Cook did, so much so that he struggled to find the words to explain how it felt to win the hometown event that carries so much meaning.
“It’s wonderful,” he said immediately following the race.
Late Sunday, though, the words started coming to him.
“I’m sure it will set in what I’ve accomplished,” Cook said. “I’m very happy and it’s a special win, but I’m sure it hasn’t set in yet.”