Eleanor Jones, 11, of Sequim wins the Sequim Railroad Run Saturday, taking first among the women in the 5K by two minutes. It was not her first Run the Peninsula first-place medal. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Eleanor Jones, 11, of Sequim wins the Sequim Railroad Run Saturday, taking first among the women in the 5K by two minutes. It was not her first Run the Peninsula first-place medal. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

RUN THE PENINSULA: Sequim's Eleanor Jones already a phenom at 11

SEQUIM — People who have competed in the Run Peninsula Races the past couple of years might have caught a glimpse of Eleanor Jones.

Maybe. If they look quick.

Because she will likely be well, well ahead of most of the other runners. And she’s not terribly tall. Not yet.

Eleanor can be spotted with her trademark dark gloves that she wears for cold races. She won the Sequim Railroad Bridge women’s 5K almost on a whim, taking first place by a whopping two minutes. That was good for fourth overall, including men and women. For the past two years, she has consistently finished in the top 10 among women and overall runners in both the 5K and the 10K.

And she’s 11 years old.

It wasn’t her first victory in the Run the Peninsula series. She burst upon the scene way back in October 2022, when she was 10 years old, winning the women’s Larry Scott Trail Run. Not the 5K, the 10K.

She won a 10K in the Run the Peninsula series back in 2022 at the Larry Scott Trail. She’s also won the Jamestown Glow Run 5K, winning by nearly two minutes. And she didn’t beat just anyone. She beat a state and Nike gold medalist in Sequim’s Kaitlyn Bloomenrader.

She is so young that technically she is too young to run middle school cross-country, but the program allowed sixth-graders to run so she could participate. All she did was win all three races the team competed in, beating seventh- and eighth-graders.

She is still at least three years away from her first high school race and she is already catching the eye of the running community. She appears to be the next long-distance phenom to come out of Sequim, a community that has produced recent state high school champions such as Riley Pyeatt and Murray Bingham.

She even had a fan club at the Railroad Bridge Run as a group of runners pointed her out and said “that’s Eleanor” when they saw her walk past them in her trademark navy blue gloves.

Eleanor’s mother, Laura Gould, is also an accomplished distance runner. She was a top women’s placer in the North Olympic Discovery Marathon in the 2000s, and since then, she has won multiple Run the Peninsula plaques, with she and Eleanor finishing one-two a few times. She won the Sequim Railroad Bridge 10K in dominating fashion in her own right, taking first by an astounding nine minutes, as she and Eleanor have made it their goal to win all 10 Run the Peninsula metal posters.

When did she begin running. “Every since I was real little,” Eleanor said.

Laura said Eleanor’s running career began because she wanted to come along with her mother on her runs.

“When I would go out for a run, she was willing to come along. At first it was slow — one-mile jogs,” Gould said.

Gould said she isn’t running marathons at the moment, preferring to run with her daughter.

“I do whatever race she does now. I’d rather spend my time with her,” she said.

Eleanor doesn’t have a favorite between cross-country and track.

“I like whatever season I’m in,” she said. Though she also is a pretty serious soccer player and once she hits high school will have to choose between soccer and cross-country, which are both in the fall.

Running isn’t always easy on the Olympic Peninsula. Saturday’s race was soaking wet by the end, but not terribly cold. At a race on the Elwha Bridge in February, it was cold, very windy and wet with a sideways rain. Eleanor wasn’t in a good mood after the race, collapsing at the finish line after the 10K, even though she finished a solid second behind her mother. “I was cold. I hurt a lot,” she said.

That one hard day didn’t slow her down, as she was right back on the trail in Sequim this weekend. What motivates her to keep running in the wet and the cold? Eleanor said she likes setting a goal and then accomplishing it.

“I think I like working for something and getting results. That’s really rewarding,” she said.

Laura Gould and her daughter Eleanor Jones celebrate their double win the women’s 5K and 10K races Saturday at the Sequim Railroad Bridge Run. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Laura Gould and her daughter Eleanor Jones celebrate their double win the women’s 5K and 10K races Saturday at the Sequim Railroad Bridge Run. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

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