Jerry Smith.png


2018 Nominee

Jerry hails from Fayetteville and grew up with another of this year’s inductees (2018): Randy Clark. To say Jerry has done it all in running would be an understatement. 

In high school, Jerry was a 4:46 miler.  But in his freshman year of college in 1961, he walked on to the cross-country team at the University of North Carolina, one of the top college running programs in the country. Jerry said as a freshman he “had no talent and no clue” and “had no business being there”.  But by working hard at “UNC”, he was able to lower his mile time to 4 minutes and 23 seconds and run a sub 20 minute 4-mile race.

In 1963, as a non-scholarship athlete, Jerry finished 5th at the 1963 ACC cross-country championships. Most of those finishing ahead of him that day were his teammates.

After Jerry graduated from college, he joined the family business during the glory days of retail stores on Salina street in downtown Syracuse.

Jerry stayed active in running as a member of the Syracuse Track Club and when the Mountain Goat Run started in 1978, Jerry ran at the front of the pack finishing in the low to mid 50-minute range on the old course.

Jerry was a long-time board member of the Syracuse Track Club and coached cross-country and track and field at Cornell University and local high schools, where he still coaches today. If you have survived one of his 75-minute Thursday night green lakes workouts, congratulations.

Jerry was a founding board member of the Mountain Goat Run Foundation and was head of traffic control for a long time.

In 2002, as a result of the impact of 9-11 and the growth of the race, the use of the Woodlawn and Thornden park reservoirs had to be removed from the course.  Always an” idea guy”, Jerry imagined and designed the current course, featuring the sweeping vistas of Onondaga park that we are in today.

Among Jerry’s most important contributions to the Mountain Goat was his participation in a small group of board members who worked with the city of Syracuse to secure having the streets that the Mountain Goat is held on closed to automobile traffic. 

Jerry coined the phrase, “Runners, today the streets of Syracuse are yours”.