Hey ladies!! I’m one of the chapter leaders for Flagstaff, AZ. If you’re not familiar with Flagstaff, it’s not your typical Arizona city. We’re at 7,000 ft above sea level, and we get quite a bit of snow. Every time I post a photo of snow, or mention freezing weather, my Facebook friends are so confused because they had no idea it snows in Arizona! We actually get more annual snowfall than Anchorage, Alaska!! Below is a photo of when 2 friends and I wanted to go for a snowy run/hike last winter. We didn’t make it far!!
So… on to ME! My name is Jennifer and I was born in Tucson and lived in Amado (right on the border of Nogales) for several years. Then we relocated to St. Simon’s Island, GA, then the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. I went to Salem College in Winston-Salem, NC (the oldest women’s educational institution in the US), and then moved back to Atlanta. I worked at a medical technologist in the microbiology lab of Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta for 10 years before relocating to La Serena, Chile with my husband. We spent two wonderful years there before moving to Flagstaff in 2011. The day after a huge 3-day snowstorm. I was sure we had made a huge mistake (we left summer in Chile)! But, Flagstaff has actually been pretty amazing.
As far as running, I don’t really remember when I started running. I was young. My dad was a runner, so I remember riding my bike alongside him while he ran 8 or 10 miles. Whenever he registered for a road race, I went with him and ran the kids fun run. I ran cross country in high school and college. I was never a superstar runner, but I loved it. After college, I ran on my own, just as a way to keep my mind clear and keep the stress out of my life! In 2009, I decided to run all of the Rock’n’Roll marathons (luckily, there were only 10 races in the series at the time). It was a great way to travel, and I had a friend run a few of the races with me. I made new friends along the race course. Plus, I got a lot of extra race bling medals. Who doesn’t love medals?!?
In January of 2010, my husband and I moved to Chile. Running wasn’t a huge thing there, but the beachfront access gave me about 13 miles of gorgeous running scenery. I was often the only one running there in the morning! A running friend of mine in the US invited me to run the NYC marathon with her in November 2010. How could I say no? That was a fantastic run, even though I was dealing with some morning sickness from being pregnant with my first child. I was 11 weeks along on marathon morning. He was born in June of 2011, and we moved to Flagstaff in December of the same year. It took me until late spring to really get back into running – running in the snow is no joke!
Flagstaff has an amazing running community. Of course, there is Team Run Flagstaff with Tuesday night track practice, tons of fun, and lots of friendly faces. There’s also the Flagstaff Trail Divas, a group of amazing women. All ages, all abilities. They run on Thursday evenings when the weather cooperates… basically from April through October, or longer if the weather is nice like this year! Our little chapter of MRTT was started a few years ago. The founder recently moved to California, so I stepped up to help out.
If you ever find yourself in Flagstaff, we’d love to have you run with our little MRTT group!