• Photo for Real Athlete: Marathoner Jay Zimmerman
    Photo Credit: Nicolas Smith

Real Athlete: Marathoner Jay Zimmerman

By RealJock Staff

Real Athlete is an ongoing series of interviews with inspirational, out gay athletes from around the world. Are you a Real Athlete? Take our Real Athlete Survey.

He's a native of Canada, but you wouldn't know it from talking with him. Gay Games marathoner and Manhattan resident Jay Zimmeran has been in New York for 10 years ago, and he has "New York Lifer" practically tattooed on his forehead. We liked his saucy sense of humor and his charm; we were not surprised to learn that Zimmerman had lots of admirers on the marathon course.

When did you get into Chicago?
Last Friday. I've been here the whole time.

What other sports have you participated in?
None. I've just been playing and having a good time. I lived in Chicago about three years ago, and so I've been catching up with friends and doing the social thing.

Do you run with a team in New York?
I don't. I run by myself.

What kind of training did you do to prep for this race?
Um, half-assed training. I never logged miles. I would just go out whenever I had time and just go for a run. I don't recommend doing it, but when you have a crazy schedule, you just got out and run when you can. The day of the event, you just got out and hope you rise to the occasion, and hope that you're inspired by all the half-naked men and motivated by fear of humiliation [laughs]. That's enough to get me going.

Is this your first Games?

And how many marathons have you done?
This is my third.

What was your time?
I got a 3:56. I don't care about times. I have short little legs; I'm not a gazelle [laughs].

What else have you been doing here besides running?
Eating, drinking, and hanging out with friends. For me it's not about winning. I know I'm never going to get a medal in an event like this. I just do it for the challenge.

Have you met a lot of people?
Yes! I've gotten so many phone numbers from this marathon. It's really funny, but I guess people see your number, and then go to the [bag check] and ask to put notes in my bag. So when I went to pick up my bag there were notes from people in it, which is hilarious.