Hi! I’m Jen and I am an athlete, adventure racer and ultrarunner.
Having come from a competitive ice hockey background I actually hated running. So. Much. I would beg my hockey coaches to let me do anything but! I moved to Connecticut when I got a scholarship to play ice hockey at The Gunnery School in 1998 and found my love for trail running in the Berkshire hills.
When I went to university to get a BSc in Geology running went on the back burner for a few years unless it was to get fit for Varsity ice hockey.
Ever since I was a kid on a farm in Ontario watching “Danger Bay” and “Beachcombers” on the CBC I knew I was going to move to British Columbia some day. I would wistfully finger the mountaineering section of the MEC catalog that would come to my house a few times a year knowing that some day I would see mountains for real. I still remember how I felt the first time I saw the Rocky Mountains – I think my mouth was actually hanging open in awe. Growing up in the Ottawa Valley and living in Toronto, Montreal and Kingston it always seemed to me like man had a hand up on the wilderness, having tamed it into farms and cities over the last few hundred years. Seeing the Rocky Mountains for the first time solidified my fascination with the wild places untouched by humans.
When I (finally!) moved to Vancouver Island in 2008 I finally found that place on Earth where I felt most at home. My feet touched the ground and I can’t explain the feeling of coming home to a place I’d only read about but it was magical. It still is. At the time I was working at a mine in the middle of Strathcona Park. I needed something to keep in shape that fit with my crazy work schedule and found I could hit some of the most beautiful trails right out my office door. It started slowly – I remember how excited I was the first time I ran 3 Kms over my lunch break! I decided to scare myself – I am very goal oriented and signing up for crazier and crazier races was almost a goal in and of itself. First a 3K Gutbuster, then a 12K trail race, then the MOMAR! I was hooked. Since then I have done The Coastal Challenge twice, STORMY 50 Miler, Frosty Mtn 50K, Orcas Island 50K, Way Too Cool 50K, Diez Vista 50K, Yakima Skyline 25K, 8x MOMARs (Adventure Races), STORMY AR, CR50K (bike and run) and too many shorter races to name including two road marathons. I had some wonderful coaches who have stepped up my game and challenged me to do more and bigger including Jen Segger and Sara Seads. I am an absolute back-of-the packer – my personal mantra is “I am a completer not a competer” but I feel like if I don’t stop and smell the flowers sometimes what am I doing up here on this mountain?
I have also climbed many mountains all over BC, Alberta and Washington State. I have trekked in Nepal and Tibet and hope to add Patagonia to my list in 2019. I think part of the reason why I love travel and adventuring so much is that my Auntie Kim died very young from cancer and I feel like I’m living life for both of us, Huntington’s Disease runs in my family and there is the real possibility I won’t be able to run and jump and dance into my old age so I want to live my best life and not waste time getting on with it. I love to inspire people to set goals and dream dreams that seem out of their reach which is why I am so stoked to be a part of RLAG.
I also love field hockey, orienteering, tap dancing, ballet, and hiking with my two fur babies Zip and Bentley.
I am currently getting back into racing shape after getting a separated shoulder and concussion in September and my Big Scary Goal is to race in Primal Quest 2018 in September.
I feel so blessed to be able to share my passion for running through RLAG to empower and inspire others to lead a remarkable life.