Heading towards his current position as President and CEO of the Institution for Savings three years ago, Mike Jones kept hearing a familiar refrain.
"Whenever I was coming toward that CEO track, people used to say; 'You're never going to make it to the CEO track if you're not a golfer.'” says Jones. “And what is interesting is that we have quite a few marathoners on our Board of Trustees. We actually have more marathon runners than we do golfers."
Lucky for Jones, he is an avid marathoner himself and is prepping for his first Boston Marathon as part of a comeback tour.
"I'm hoping to do something right around 3:20," Jones says of Boston. "But within the next two years I hope to be somewhere within that 3:10 range. Maybe it will be 3:25."
Jones has run most of his life and has always enjoyed long distance. But he had to put a halt to his marathon running in 2002 when he and his wife, Linda had four kids in four years. At that point he figured he’d take 10 years off but he was back at it in December of 2011 when he headed down to South Carolina for the Kiawah Island Marathon where he finished a personal best of 3:17:23 and qualified for Boston. From there he went on to Miami in January 2012, Virginia in March, Vermont in May, Falmouth in October, North Carolina in November and he ran the Melbourne Marathon in Florida this past February.
"I think that marathoning is a sport in and of itself," says Jones. "And until you are actually doing one, you just have no idea what to expect. From how you feel when that gun goes off, to how you feel 20 miles in, it's anybody's guess."
Jones tries to run about 50 miles a week to prepare for his marathoning, sometimes starting at the Institution’s Ipswich branch and ending at his office on State St. in Newburyport. Jones says the interesting days are when he makes it a 22-mile round trip.