Jerry Smith

smith 94 goat
Jerry Smith

Jerry hails from Fayetteville and grew up with another of this years inductees, 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 onto 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 championship.  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 coaches 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.  In 2002, as a result of the impact of 9-11 and the growth of the race, the use of the Woodland 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 of 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".