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November 2018-Jessica Purcell

Q: Tell me a little bit about yourself. (Where you’re from, what you’re doing now…etc)

A: I grew up here in Rapid City. My husband I got married in 2007. He was in the Army, so we lived in Georgia for four years and Kansas for a three years. We moved back home to Rapid City following our time in the Army. I have four children- 3 sons and 1 daughter. My boys are ages 9, 6, and 4. My daughter is 2. I am currently attending Nursing School at the University of South Dakota here in Rapid City. I feel I stay busy balancing it all.

Q: How long have you been running and how did you get started?

A: I have been running for approximately 6 years. I started shortly after my second son was born, while living in Kansas. I got started when I signed up for a 5K dog & jog that Kansas State University put on each year. In 2014, I joined the Black Hills Runners Club and began running with the club. That same year I also signed up for the Mickelson full Marathon.

Q: Would you rather run with a group or alone?

A: While I do many miles on my own, I prefer the company of others to make the time more enjoyable and motivating.

Q:  Tell us a little trivia about your running?

A:  I had never ran anything more than a 5K, but was motivated to lose baby weight and challenge myself- so I signed up for the Mickelson full marathon. I eventually worked up the courage to attend a Saturday run with the runners club. That was the best choice as I do not think I could have ever completed this without the motivation I received from fellow runners.

Q: Do you prefer roads or trails?  

A: Roads, but the Mickelson Trail never disappoints. We are so fortunate to have so many great places to run in the black hills.

Q: What is your favorite distance or race?

A: Can’t go wrong with the half marathon, but I enjoy the challenge of completing greater distances such as a full marathon.

Q: How do you stay motivated when you don’t want to run?

A: I’m driven out of my home by my husband and kids just prior to insanity. But honestly, I enjoy running and normally it is the highlight of my day most of the time.

Q: If I didn’t run I’d ………..

A: Have to consider therapy

Q: What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about running?

A: The positive influence on my overall health. I also enjoy seeing how much I can challenge myself, and watch the improvement I make.

Q: What is your favorite running memory?

A: Finishing the full marathon. When I hit mile 23 I just told myself that I got this- I am actually going to finish.

Q: Do you have a pre-race ritual?

A: My recipe: 2 cups of coffee, oatmeal, and a quick snack prior to the race start. Of course bathroom duties are a must as well.

Q: What’s the most valuable lesson you have learned from running?

A: I have learned that monitoring myself for injuries and the need for rest is very important. I could have prevented injuries by allowing time for rest.

Q: What are your running goals for the future?

A: I would like to definitely complete another full marathon in the near future, and an ultra is also a goal as well.

Q: What advice do you have for new runners?

A: The first time I came to a group run I was so nervous that I would not be a good enough runner and they would be too fast for me. If I would have known how many friendships I would gain from joining the runners club; I would have laughed at the fear I had to go. We all start somewhere. Some sooner than others. The bottom line is we are all here for the same goal- friendship and improving our running together. I started running to improve my health: I have gained so much more than that. I also cannot say enough about rest. Sometimes it is so hard to give yourself rest, but it is so important to prevent injuries.