Jess McClain Re-Signs With Brooks After Fourth Place Finish At U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials

By Chris Chavez

March 25, 2024

Jess McClain (née Tonn) has signed a professional contract with Brooks Running a month after finishing fourth at the 2024 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in a personal best of 2:25:46.

Here’s what you need to know:

– McClain signed with Brooks upon graduating from Stanford as a seven-time All-American with a 5000m personal best of 15:18. She joined the Brooks Beasts in November 2015 and was with the team through the end of 2018.

– She moved to Arizona and had been running unattached when she finished second at the U.S. 5K Championships in November 2019. Her plan was to debut in the marathon in 2020 but the pandemic pushed those plans.

– McClain burst onto the marathoning scene winning the Mesa Marathon in Feb. 2022 and then securing a U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials qualifying mark of 2:29:25 at Grandma’s Marathon in June 2023. She has been coaching herself.

– She was not on many people’s radars heading into the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Orlando but managed to move from 13th place to fourth place in the second half of the race. She was only 15 seconds behind third place finisher Dakotah Lindwurm, who will represent the United States at the Paris Olympics with Marathon Trials champion Fiona O’Keeffe and runner-up Emily Sisson.

– Tonn is the Olympic team alternate, which means if O’Keeffe, Sisson or Lindwurm were to get injured and unable to race in Paris, she would be called in as the replacement.

McClain On The CITIUS MAG Podcast In February

Following the Trials, McClain was a guest on the CITIUS MAG Podcast. Here’s what she said about being unsponsored and what she was looking for in a potential partner.

“I feel like you can be a professional without being sponsored. Yes, it would be so cool to be sponsored and to have that support. I'm very open to having those conversations – but I don't think that should define the professional level to which you're approaching it or others are thinking about you…I hope people can take from the performance and help those people realize it's not impossible to run at a very high level and have to get up and go to work in the morning.”

“I commend my husband. My husband started his own business this year and he's like, ‘I don't want anybody to be my boss. I want to be my own boss. I want to pick the people that I want to work with and I want to treat them so well and build an amazing company.’ And it's like, I want to do that. I just kind of took that approach to my running. Why should somebody tell me where I need to live? Why should a company tell me that I'm going to lose $10,000 if I don't run a certain time? It's not for me. And I know there are companies out there who aren't doing that, and I am very excited to hopefully find out who that is. But, at the end of the day, it's not it's not going to change how I run. And that's the main message: I'm running because I love it now.”

We will be interviewing Jess McClain on Monday, March 25. Subscribe to The CITIUS MAG Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or wherever you get your shows to hear our conversation on why she chose to re-sign with Brooks.

Here’s what they had to say:

– McClain: “I’ve always connected with Brooks’ goal to inspire everyone to run their path and experience the power that comes with it. Returning to Brooks is an exciting next step and I’m looking forward to my future here as I continue to learn more about myself and this journey towards my goals.”

– Brooks Head of Sports Marketing Garrett Heath: “We’re incredibly excited to have Jess back at Brooks. Jess’s energy for the run is infectious and we can’t wait to support her through her racing career.”

Chris Chavez

Chris Chavez launched CITIUS MAG in 2016 as a passion project while working full-time for Sports Illustrated. He covered the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and grew his humble blog into a multi-pronged media company. He completed all six World Marathon Majors and is an aspiring sub-five-minute miler.