Jessica Tondre

I didn’t find running. Running found me back in 1996. As a cheerleader, dancer and gymnast, I never saw myself as a runner and felt like a fraud even though my track coach saw something in me. I felt too big, too new, too awkward, and too tall. I tried hurdles and was laughed at because I leapt like a dancer over them. That didn’t happen in gymnastics and cheerleading. It was my strength, it felt natural. After college, when I couldn’t cheer anymore, I realized I could keep running. I began running 6 mile runs daily and felt good about myself. I started racing in my late twenties and while I was never great, I was good. I made friends and felt a part of a community. A move to a different city a few years ago required me to find a new running group and make new run friends. The running community is fast to adopt you and make you feel at home no matter your speed. I still don’t consider myself a “natural” runner. I work hard for the race times I achieve and suffer far more injuries than most, but I can’t imagine my life without running. I feel like when you find your passion you have to run with it, literally. Share it, spread it and live it. That’s what I’m trying to do.




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