Jessica MacDonald began running over the summer when she was rehabbing from shoulder surgery.
Canadian wrestler Jessica MacDonald had shoulder surgery over the summer and turned to running during her rehab.
Five months later, she ran her second marathon and finished second, just under 2 minutes out of first place.
The 5-foot-5, 105-pound MacDonald, who according to her official Wrestling Canada bio mostly competes in the 48kg weight class, might have won Sunday’s Eau Palm Beach Marathon & Run Fest in Florida had she not started the race near the back.
“I didn’t know how fast I would be … I didn’t want to be the person slowing the fast people down,” MacDonald told the Palm Beach Post. “I just ran as fast as I could the whole time.”
MacDonald, who turned 30 the day of the race, took second in the 48kg class at the Senior Canadian Championships earlier this year. She also placed second at the Senior Pan American Championships and the Paris Grand Prix, while she won the Dave Schultz International and the Austrian Ladies Open.
In 2013, MacDonald was third in the 51kg class at the Senior World Championships.
MacDonald works as an elementary school French teacher and finished Sunday’s race in 3 hours, 29 minutes, 31 seconds. Winner Mary Kreis broke the tape in 3:27:33.
MacDonald is married to Evan MacDonald, a 2004 Olympian.
“It’s been a really tough year,” Jessica MacDonald told the Post of dealing with her shoulder injury. “When something is taken from you, it puts things in perspective and you realize how lucky you are. In the long run, this is only going to make me that much stronger.”