A couple years ago, he decided to once again take up distance running. J-Mac was a fairly successful high school cross country runner long before he was a viral basketball sensation.
The 2014 Boston Marathon became his new goal and on Monday, J-Mac reached it.
And then some.
McElwain's goal was to finish in three hours. He completed the 26.2 miles in 2 hours, 57 minutes and five seconds. However, McElwain acknowledged this Marathon was about more than a race and a time.
"It was an unbelievable experience," McElwain said by phone. "It's one of the most historical events in all of sports. Seeing the helicopters go over the start and the flags that said 'Boston Strong', it was an unbelievable start and an unbelievable race all around."
McElwain admitted he hit a wall between from miles 18 to 21 and was "racewalking" the final three miles, but he was ecstatic about his personal best marathon time. "I couldn't believe it. It was a dream come true," he said.
J-Mac always says winning a sectional title with his Greece Athena basketball team during his senior season in 2006 remains his all-time top sports achievement. That did not change Monday, but he says running the Marathon was "the hardest race I've ever done."
The top thing he'll remember most about his Marathon experience was something he saw every mile, every inch along the course.
"The people screaming every mile and encouraging you and having enthusiasm for it. It's one great community of Boston coming together for this," McElwain said. "With the city shut down for it, it's just unbelievable."
J-Mac wasn't the only Greece star in the Marathon. Jeffrey Eggleston, a 2003 Arcadia graduate, finished in 8th place overall among 36,000 runners and was the third best American in the race.
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