Runner Spotlight: Jen Hill

Jen finishing “Run With Santa,” her 11th 5k for 2014
Jen finishing “Run With Santa,” her 11th 5k for 2014

Jen and I met during Potomac River Running 101 training in 2013. She ran her first race ever just days after I met her. She was nervous but determined. Then, in 2014 she set a goal to race 40k before she turned 40. She met and exceeded that goal, and in 2015 she has her mind set on conquering new distances – ten miles under the Cherry Blossoms (and I predict a half marathon won’t be far behind)!

When did you begin running and why? I began running in the summer of 2013. I started earlier in the year with walking/hiking on the Reston trails, trying to be more active. It was a natural (and a very surprising!) evolution.
What is your proudest running moment? The proudest is probably when I finished my very first race – the 2013 Dulles Day 5k: On the Runway. I was scared to death for days leading up to the event and kept doubting my ability. The second proudest was the 2014 =PR= Birthday Bash. It was hot, humid and the most miserable I’ve ever been while running. I came in dead last, but I never gave up! Can I have a third? Actually, this ties with first place for my proudest moment. I set a goal for 2014 to run 40k by 40 – eight races by August. I completed that goal a month early and surpassed it with a total of 11 5k races for the year.
Why did you sign up for the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run Training Program with Potomac River Running? =PR= is awesome! The coaches’ passion for running is contagious. And skipping the lottery is certainly a bonus.
Have you run the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run before? Nope.
What is your “why” for running the 2015 the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? Who wouldn’t want to run on such a beautiful course? This race will take me to the next level in my training and running it will be an incredible reward for all the hard work leading up to it.
What is your goal for the 2015 Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile Run? To finish strong while enjoying every single step.
Do you have a running mantra? What is it and what does it mean to you? Don’t trip. 🙂 You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. I came across this quote at the beginning of my journey and it fit perfectly. It’s stuck with me and is the perfect reminder that I am great!
If you could use only one word to express what running means to you, what would it be? Awakening
What is your favorite New Balance running gear? =PR= training participants received $50 New Balance gift certificates, and I’ve got my eye on the Glow Beacon Jacket.
What is a fun/interesting fact you learned about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals? I had no idea that 1 in 10 kids are helped each year.  That’s a lot of healing, good job Children’s Miracle Network!

Kimberly, @KimberWestrich

kimwestrich blog smallKim has been running off and on for 25 years, but only recently got serious about figuring out how to keep that switch turned on. The secret for her is a broad and supportive running community through Potomac River Running Training Programs, Moms Run This Town, Reston Runners, and followers of her blog, Kim Runs Miles With Smiles. Kim will be coaching the PR Cherry Blossom Training Program at Reston in 2015 and is excited to share her enthusiasm for all things Cherry Blossom, which was her first BIG race in 2014. When she isn’t running, she is tackling the nation’s health care issues in her job as a health care services researcher for a non-profit association.

About Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan

Elizabeth is a writing mom on the run and was one of two Social Runners from 2012-2013. Originally from Maryland, Elizabeth now runs up and down the hills of Pittsburgh, PA, where things (like rivers) come in threes. She loves triathlons, has published three books and has three sons! She runs her own writing business and finds that a good long run is often the source of her creative ideas. Elizabeth loves being married to a great runner who was a finisher at the 2013 Boston Marathon.

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