GROVE, Okla. — If Jacob Ingle has his way, his name will eventually be listed with the likes of Yiannis Kouros, Anna Frost, Courtney Dauwalter, Rob Krar and Anna Trabon.
All are ultramarathoners.
The former Northeast Oklahoma cross country standout is one step closer to his goal after winning the Colorado Springs Marathon on Saturday, Sept. 28, with a time of 3 hours, 8 minutes and 13 seconds.
Ingle, 21, averaged a 7.11-minute pace. He finished less than 10 minutes shy of his initial goal — to complete the 26.2-mile race in under 3 hours.
This is the second marathon Ingle has completed. His first, in November 2015, earned him a second place in the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
His next goal: complete an ultramarathon race, between 50K/50 miles to 100 miles, within the next two years. Ingle plans to run the Route 66 Marathon again this fall in Tulsa, and he said he may run his first ultrarace next year.
“I’m curious, because I want to see what I can do,” Ingle said. “Especially running a 100-mile race in the mountains. I’m curious about all of it.”
“Running helps me in every aspect of my life. It’s a great way to clear my head,” Ingle said. “I’ve found it helps improve my focus and helps me enjoy myself a lot more.”
Ingle, who graduated from Grove High School, was an all-state cross country runner his senior year.
He moved to Colorado two years ago after completing a year of schooling at the University of Oklahoma. He said he wanted to take some time off to work and explore the mountains.
“I just enjoy running a lot,” Ingle said. “I realized it had been a long time since I did it, and I wanted to do it again.”
For the last year, Ingle has worked to build his daily and weekly mileage. When he learned about the marathon, he decided to “jump into the race” to see where he stood.
His training has included low intensity distance runs mixed with high intensity shorter distances.
“I mainly do two long runs back to back, most of the time on Monday and Tuesday, and do a decent amount of mileage,” Ingle said. “I enjoy the exploration aspect of it. I leave home and run 10 to 20 miles and explore places. It’s a great way to see the world.
“I don’t know if it’s the regular exercise, the endorphins, or just getting outside in the morning and spending an hour or more outdoors, but I really enjoy (running),” Ingle said.
Role models, mentors
Ingle said he looks up to ultramarathoners such as Dauwalter because she accomplishes a lot of goals with mental strength and humility.
“She ran the MOAB 200 — a 240-mile race and won it outright in 10 hours, over everyone,” Ingle said. “I ran into her on a trail a year ago. It was really cool. It was inspiring.
“I thought oh, 'She’s just a person, not doing anything I can’t do if I just put in the work.' Meeting people who do incredible things you want to do makes it even more realistic, even fun.”
During the race, Ingle said he ran the first half a bit faster than he should, which left him struggling during the second half.
“I was worn down and wanted to give up and quit,” Ingle said. “I knew I had the lead and I just kept myself going.
“I finish what I set out to do,” he added. “I knew if I quit, the next time something came up that was difficult, it would be a lot easier to back away from it and quit. I knew if I finished it would make me stronger, but if I quit it would take me in the opposite direction.”
He admits it felt surreal to be the first to cross the finish line.
“I knew I was in the lead most of the race,” Ingle said. “I never let myself think I could win, until I came around the last corner. When I came around the last corner, I thought, 'Oh, I’m actually winning,'” Ingle said. “It was really cool.”