5 Questions with Ray Jerauld


January 8, 2024


Ray Jerauld shows off his finisher medal — and his Anti-Pesto logoed bib — after this year’s Chicago Marathon. PHOTO: RAY JERAULD

This month, we check in with Ray Jerauld, director of recruiting and retention at Anti-Pesto Bug Killers, based in Tampa, Fla. Jerauld recently trained for and completed the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 8.

1. Ray, how did you get your start in the pest control industry?

As a person with a human resources background, I was looking for a company that aligned with my values and wanted to do the next right thing. Initially, I responded to an employment ad by Anti-Pesto because I thought the name was funny and just wanted to meet the guy that came up with it. Having always aspired to be a stand-up comedian, I thought it was quite clever. I secured my interview and, after talking with the owner, Howard Bright, I knew almost instantly that this was the company I wanted to retire with.

2. What made you start running — and inspired you to run a marathon?

I initially started running to improve my health. I had quit smoking and drinking and put on a lot of weight. After realizing the gym was not my thing, I started running. Hating it at first, I was encouraged to just keep at it until I reached the 5K mark (3 miles). For whatever reason, that was the magic number because I was hooked and have been running ever since.

I first got the idea of running a full marathon when I was in my hometown of Boston, Mass., for my grandmother’s funeral. My mother and I had a few hours to kill before our flight back to Florida. We ended up at the finish line area of the Boston Marathon — in the snow, no less — and I made a promise that one day I would qualify and finish the Boston Marathon, which I did in 2018 after qualifying for it at the New York City marathon. Since then, I have run all three major U.S. marathons: New York City, Chicago and Boston. I just finished 100k (62.27 miles) in the monsoon we just had.

3. How did you balance marathon training with work and your personal life?

Ahh, the balancing act! That one is tricky. I first talk about it with my wife and make sure she is OK going through the “cycle” of four months of training. Then, it’s all about rearranging my schedule. Basically, I go to bed between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., and get up at 3:30 a.m. With that schedule, I can get my daily workout in, shower and get to work before 7:30 a.m. My personal life comes to a screeching halt, but my wife is also a runner and is very supportive.

4. How have your co-workers supported you as you have trained for various races?

Most of my co-workers are always asking me how far I ran — and then let me know that they wouldn’t run to the end of the parking lot! There’s a lot of ribbing because they kind of think I’ve lost my mind. I admit, I’ve also run a 46-mile, 54-mile and 50K race since starting at Anti-Pesto.

When I ran the Chicago Marathon, though, I did it to raise money for the American Cancer Society (ACS). Anti-Pesto played a big part in helping raise the money needed, and I am very grateful. Running as “Team DeTERMINation,” we helped raise $8.4 million for ACS.

5. Do you have any advice for other pest management professionals who want to start running?

Start short and start slow. Build up gradually to whatever goal to which you aspire. Far too often, people try to go too fast or too far and end up injured. Remember, none of us are professional runners and it’s about health, fitness and, most of all, having fun.
Next, make sure to go to a local running store and get fitted for your shoes. It makes a huge difference.

I personally like to make a playlist to listen to on headphones while running. Some people like podcasts, other people pray and still others just like the rhythmic sound of their breath. My advice is that whatever it is you enjoy, enjoy it.

About the Author

Ellen Wagner

Ellen Wagner is the digital editor for PMP magazine. She can be reached at ewagner@northcoastmedia.net.

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