Online Voting for Jorge Garcia Continues Through August 16

GLEN CARBONThere are the moments in one’s life that tear a person down, but at the same time, help him find the strength to build himself up stronger than ever before. From losing his mom to domestic violence as a child to suffering a devastating injury during the Pikes Peak Marathon, ultra-marathoner Jorge Garcia has used everything he’s faced to achieve greatness on the running trail.

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A veteran of the United States Marines, Garcia discovered his passion for running in boot camp. Since then, he has pushed the limits of physicality as a two-time Boston Marathon Qualifier and 100-mile ultra-marathoner. This May, Garcia achieved his biggest goal – completing marathons in all 50 states. He’s also a Boeing employee, father of two, and an avid cheerleader for St. Louis’ running community.

Garcia’s uplifting story has secured him a spot as one of the 100 semifinalists for Runner’s World Cover Search, the magazine’s search for two of the most inspiring runners in the country. From July 27 through August 16, 2015, the public can vote for Garcia by visiting or tweeting #RWCoverSearch #591. The top 10 finalists will be announced by Runner’s World on August 19.

In addition to receiving a VIP NYC Marathon Weekend package, the winner collects a TAG Heuer watch and gift cards. If he wins, Garcia will donate the items to Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital in honor of his daughters, both of whom received life-changing and life-saving surgeries at the hospital.

For Garcia, the cover shot is more than an award, it’s a way to honor others who have overcome incredible obstacles. “My journey is to inspire others, specifically kids and people who have experienced tough breaks or gone through hard times, to aim high, set goals, work hard, encourage others, be kind, and pay it forward.”

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Finding hope through running

Like others before him, Garcia found his solace in running. As a child, he became a ward of the state of New Jersey after his mother was killed by his father. In the years that followed, Garcia attended five different high schools in four years, surrounded by the gangs and drugs of inner-city Newark, N.J.

Thanks to a recruiter with the Marines, Garcia found an escape from desperation and gained an opportunity to study International Business at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville on the GI bill. After graduation, he stayed in the St. Louis area with the Boeing company and in his free time, began discovering his passion for running.

In 2006, he ran his first marathon and nine years later, completed his goal of running marathons in all 50 states at the Long Island Marathon on May 3. In addition, he participates regularly in ultramarathons, including the Pike’s Peak Marathon in 2014 in which he suffered a severe head injury in a fall, but thanks to the camaraderie of his fellow runners, was able to finish the race. His next goal is to complete marathons on all seven continents starting with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Madrid Marathon in April 2016.

Said Jen Schaller, owner of RunWell running specialty store and coaching center in Edwardsville, Ill., “Jorge is the most deserving of the cover because of his perseverance. Against all odds, he pulled himself up from nothing and vowed to not let his past best him. He went from being a ward of the state to a Marine, college graduate, employee at Boeing, and a loving and devoted father. He always sees the best in people and will help out anyone who needs a hand. He’s a great role model and one of the most amazing people. Jorge encourages beginners and ultra-runners and every runner in between.”

You can learn more about Garcia, his story and the contest by following him at or @JorgeRWCover on Twitter.

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