2017 New York City Marathon Logo.2017 New York City Marathon Logo.

Concordia University President Dr. Patrick T. Ferry epitomizes the quintessential marathon man, as he and his wife, Dr. Tamara Ferry, Concordia’s director of institutional research, continue their daily training for the New York City Marathon on Sunday, November 5.

New York will mark Ferry’s 22nd marathon, who began his 21st year as Concordia president this semester. Tammy Ferry will be competing in her 11th marathon, having qualified for both the New York Marathon and Boston Marathon by virtue of a strong finish in the 2016 Lakefront Marathon that traverses part of the Concordia University campus.

One might wonder how a university president can find time to train for such a grueling event. “I honestly don’t follow a regimented routine, often running in the late afternoon when our student athletes are heading out to the practice fields,” said Patrick Ferry. His passion for running has him approaching an astonishing five-year mark of running at least one mile every day. “By the end of this year alone, I figure I’ll have logged over 2,000 miles.”

Tammy Ferry, on the other hand, has implemented a 16-week training plan she discovered reading Runner’s World magazine. “I run five days straight and then cross train in the swimming pool the other two, often leaving the house by 5:30 a.m.”

Nearly 50,000 runners will compete in the 26.2 mile race across the Gotham City, which begins at Staten Island and winds through five boroughs of New York City before ending at Tavern on the Green in Central Park. Open to both amateurs and professionals, it attracts runners from across the globe.

While Patrick Ferry said he’s hoping to break the 3:30 mark, “my main goal is to finish and have a good experience. The start will be congested, the course is remarkably hilly and the weather could factor in,” continued Patrick Ferry, who posted a time of 3:31 in the Denver Marathon and is competing in what has become the world’s largest marathon by virtue of raising funds for the New York chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF).

New York will have yet another family member competing, Ferry’s son-in-law Zach. “Zach is an excellent marathon runner and he will probably break 2:30,” he quipped.

“Juvenile diabetes has turned into a journey for our family,” noted Tammy Ferry. “As parents we were blindsided by this chronic condition that affected two of our boys,” she noted. “Both of them have matured and learned how to manage their condition, even traveling extensively and playing professional basketball in Europe.” For many years Tammy Ferry has been extremely active in raising awareness about this affliction. She remains on the Board of Directors of the Wisconsin Chapter of the JDRF, after having served as president the past two years.

At 58, Patrick Ferry asserted his marathon days are not over. “I’m definitely in for the Boston Marathon next spring,” he said, although Tammy Ferry has decided not to compete in the nation’s oldest marathon. Both tuned up for New York by competing in the 21st annual President’s Run on campus October 7, an event they initiated in 1987.

Vice President of Advancement, Rev. Roy Peterson, will also be running in New York by virtue of winning a spot via a lottery system.

— This story is written by Kali Thiel, director of university communications for Concordia University Wisconsin and Ann Arbor. She may be reached at kali.thiel@cuw.edu or 262-243-2149.

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