Georgia Jewel 2013 - Glad to be done!

Age: 39
Number of years running: 14ish years
Location: Jackson, MS

Occupation: Therapist
I began running in October of 2001, the same day that I stopped smoking. I went out and tried to run a mile, and made it about 200 yards before coughing my brains out…at that point I knew something had to give, so I threw away my smokes, and signed up for the New Orleans Marathon that following March (2002). I suffered greatly through that event, but made it to the finish line, and was immediately in love with the sport.
During 2002, while driving down the Natchez Trace here in Mississippi, I spied an opening leading into the woods. I pulled my car over, and realized that it was a trail of some kind… so what better to do than to see where it went! Well, it ended up going much further than I was ready for at the time, but needless to say, I discovered a whole new world of running. I quickly became more interested in finding events that were off-road, and stumbled upon the Stumpjump 50k in Chattanooga. With little hesitation, I mailed in my entry, and was in training for my first ultra! I ran the event and loved it, and ever since my passion has been ever-increasing for the opportunity to run on trails.

Since running my first ultra in 2003, I have participated in over 50 ultras, ranging in length from 50k to 100+ miles, and have been fortunate enough to have some podium and top-10 finishes along the way. Also, I have been a member of the Rock/Creek Race Team for the past several years. Rock/Creek is an outdoor retailer based out of Chattanooga, TN, and they have been a major contributer to the growth of the sport of trail and ultrarunning here in the southeast. This is a great platform for me to share my passion for running with lots of folks, and I have really enjoyed being a part of the team.

Although I primarily run races in the south, I do try and find a few races each year to travel to. I may not always be at the top, but I always try and do my best, and enjoy each step. The pursuit of the sport has given me life-experiences and life-lessons on perseverance, discipline, and endurance that I would have been hard-pressed to learn elsewhere. I have been able to learn about myself, about who I am, about who I was created to be. Long live the run!

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