TSR Runner of the Week-Laura Jarrell

By: Kayla Dodd

Congratulations to TSR Runner of the Week, Laura Jarrell! She first started running while she was in college, so about 14 years now!! She said, “I remember that I started out running laps around the WVU football stadium. One day the coach of the football team came out and asked me how many times I planned on lapping this stadium? I think he was worried I was going to pass out, ha!”

Her first race was the Parkersburg News & Sentinel Half Marathon in August of 2005. She remembers that is was a hot and humid day and that the race ran out of water at mile 10. Her current 5k PR is 24:12 (Path to the Cure), Half Marathon PR is 1:52 (Marshall Half) and her Marathon PR is 4:23 (Marshall Full). Her running goals consist of continuing to smash her current PR’s!!

When asked what motivates her to run she said, “I have 2 kids, so it’s important for me to be able to keep up with them as they get older. I also run to raise awareness for my little buddy Maxwell. There is this amazing organization called “I Run 4,” where athletes of any level are paired with children and adults with physical, mental and developmental special needs. I was paired with Maxwell who was diagnosed with a very rare genetic condition called FOXG1 Syndrome. We update/motivate each other a couple times a week by sending pics about our workout/day.”

When asked what her coolest running/race experience was she said, “The coolest thing that has happened to me on a run was being able to run in a 5k race with my husband and 6 year old son. This was their first race and it was great crossing the finish line with my son. I’m hoping there will be many more! The weirdest thing I have seen on a run was lady pushing her cat in a stroller.”

Her race calendar consists of a few upcoming races already on the schedule and more to come! Currently, she is training for the Dirty Dog 15K and after that she plans to start training for the St. Mary’s Triathlon, Charleston Distance Run and then either the Marshall half or full. Laura really wants to improve her Marathon PR! Her dream race is the Boston Marathon, which she hopes to qualify for one day. 

Her favorite running/motivational quote is, “Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it.” Another favorite quote of hers is, “Push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you.” Her best experience from running is being able to see how far she has been able to come over the years. “The best experience I have had from running is seeing how far I have come when it’s finally race day. I recently ran my first Marathon last year and the training was brutal. The farthest mileage my training took me was 20 miles, so those last 6 were the “unknown” miles. I took it easy during the race since I had no idea what to expect and once I got past mile 25, I literally started crying because I knew I was going to finish. The training paid off.”

Her favorite brand of running shoes are the Saucony Freedoms. “My favorite piece of running gear is a charm with my mom’s name on it. My mom passed away a couple of years ago so I always run with a small charm that has her name on it. She was my biggest fan so it would be hard to run without it.” Her second favorite piece of running gear is her Garmin watch, if the miles aren’t recorded, they don’t count.

When asked what advice she would give to a beginner runner she said, “There are going to be days where you hate running and your body just feels like concrete. It won’t always feel that way. Running is something that is improved on over time, but if you persevere, the reward is great…the shiny metal at the end of the race helps too.”

Running has truly benefited Laura in several ways. “With my line of work, I juggle many project requests and deadlines at one time. I’ve found that if I start my day off with a run I am more focused throughout the day and I actually have more energy.” Running can change your life for the better. Congrats to Laura on all of her runner accomplishments, Team TSR will see you at the finish line!  

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