Brendan Jackson established himself as an excellent 400 meter and 800 meter runner at CBA Syracuse in high school, highlighted by anchoring the 1977 state champion team in the two-mile relay. He went on to run cross country at LeMoyne College. After graduation, he returned to LeMoyne as the men’s cross country coach. He also joined the Syracuse Track Club and The Syracuse Chargers, continuing a strong showing in the 400 and 800 meter runs, and winning medals in these events at the Empire State Games. Later in life, he completed many marathons including Boston, New York City, and Chicago and many triathlons, including Iron Man. Even while competing Brendan was always known to assist or inspire others to press on. At Benjamin Rush Center, he led teams in the Corporate Challenge races. He coached TNT marathoners for the Leukemia-Lymphoma Society. At Fleet Feet, Brendan became a well-respected, and well-loved coach for countless runners and triathletes. Coaching for Brendan was his calling. Helping others to find self-confidence and pride in achieving a goal was important to him.
Though he was a strong competitor in many Mountain Goat races, Brendan’s contributions to this race are much more than participation. In his capacity as a coach, he would bring his athletes to this race knowing that finishing the Mountain Goat was an accomplishment of which to be proud. Of course, his “chalking of the hill” at Thornden Park has become a race trademark: spending many knuckle-scraping hours in the dark, early morning - rain or shine, writing witty and encouraging messages to all of the runners. He would often recruit others to help him cheer the participants up to the top of the last hill. If anyone began to falter, he would run with them helping them to rally their strength and determination. It was said that Brendan’s choice to coach may have taken him away from the training hours that could have cost him the continued reputation as a great runner. But it did something far better: It gave him the reputation of a great man and the personification of the heart of the competitive spirit and The Mountain Goat Race.