Gwen Jorgensen became the first triathlete, man or woman, from the United States to win gold at the Olympics in Rio last summer. However, the St. Paul resident admitted last month she wasn’t sure if she could finish a marathon.

She competed in the Twin Cities 10 Mile, the longest race of her running career, as part of her training and finished third among women. Not bad.

Sunday at the New York City Marathon Jorgensen not only finished, she placed ninth in the women’s category and 115th overall in a race that includes many of the world’s best long-distance runners. The 30-year-old completed her first marathon in 2 hours, 41 minutes, 1 second for a 6:09 mile pace.

She told the Star Tribune last month “I really hope I finish it. … It’s a huge unknown for me.” Sunday she told “It was just so tough. I didn’t know what to expect. My muscles are definitely going to be pretty sore.”

Jorgensen never ran more than 12 miles during her training runs and kept her focus on triathlon competitions. She won the Island House Triathlon a week before the New York City Marathon.

“For me to just jump into a marathon without proper training and just expect to do well is a bit naive,” Jorgensen added. “I’m happy I was able to finish and I’m still standing.”

Jorgensen’s husband Patrick Lemieux, the former pro cyclist from Fargo, N.D., said “We were both nervous going into it. But what’s the worst that’s going to happen? ... For us, after the Olympics everything is pretty easy. She would have wanted to run better, I’m sure, but we’re both smiling at the end of the day.”

The couple's next goal is to try and start a family before turning their focus to the 2020 Summer Games in Tokyo. 

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