American Institute Student Goes for the Gold at the Hartford Marathon

October 8, 2016, West Hartford, CT – It took American Institute student Ricardo Jackson a little longer than he expected to finish the 5K race at this year’s Hartford Marathon.

“I started off late and was in the back of the group. I ran faster to try and catch up, and I wore myself out,” Ricardo said. “Another runner came up along side me, and she encouraged me to keep going. She guided me on breathing and helped me to set a good pace.”

American Institute student Ricardo Jackson rings the bell to celebrate finishing his first half-marathon

American Institute student Ricardo Jackson rings the bell to celebrate finishing his first half-marathon, while Medical Assisting students provide blood pressure screenings

Boosted by his fellow runner’s support, Ricardo kept going. And going. Instead of a 5K (3.1 miles), Ricardo finished the half-marathon, running 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 39 minutes and 35 seconds.

“I just thought ‘This is my moment, I have to do it.’ And I went for the gold,” Ricardo said. “The woman I ran with said most people don’t complete the half-marathon on their first try. She was amazed. I was a little amazed myself.”

American Institute is a proud sponsor of the Eversource Hartford Marathon, which attracted more than 12,000 runners this year. AI medical assisting students provided blood pressure screenings during the pre-event expo and at the race, demonstrating their skills and gaining valuable experience providing hands-on care.

Ricardo is enrolled in the Computers, Networking, and Security program at the West Hartford location. He hopes to use his new skills to get a better job and eventually continue his education in audio engineering and music production.

“Once I got into class, I was transformed,” Ricardo said. “I feel great every morning, and I like the progress I’m achieving. If I can make this change, anybody can make it.”

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