We have selected eight enthusiastic runners to be the friendly faces of the 2019 Servus Edmonton Marathon! They will be sharing race updates and training tips to support and inspire our running community along the way. Learn more about them–meet Jen!
Hi! I am Jen Ference. I am an educator and community-builder. I am currently an assistant principal in Sherwood Park and I co-lead the Edmonton free fitness community, November Project, Run Collective, and Edmonton Run Crew. This year I am running the Servus Edmonton Marathon for the third time.
I have previously paced the Servus Edmonton Marathon Army 10K, even earning the golden bunny ears! I loved being a pace bunny, helping people to their goal times and encouraging them along the route is so rewarding! The second time I ran the marathon distance I qualified for the Boston Marathon. That was a huge success as I was able to achieve the goal I had trained for. I live in Sherwood Park with my husband Rob, son Robby, and our puppy Buddy.
What time of day do you like to run?
What fuels you – what is on your running playlist?
I don’t have any particular songs that I regularly listen to as I usually am doing my runs with company. However, when I am running on my own I listen to a random assortment of music, a go-to-dig-deep song for me is “My Body” by Young the Giant. On my long runs I will often listen to podcasts or audio books. This winter I listened to Michelle Obama narrate her book and this marathon training cycle I have enjoyed the conversations Carrie Doll has had guests on her Inner Circle podcast – a favourite being with my friend, Andrea Rice.
Where could we find you outside of work?
Outside of work, you will find me enjoying dinner at home with my family and hanging with my dog. I also enjoy baking and cooking for family and friends. I keep busy being active with November Project, weight training at Exist Fitness, and running with Run Collective.
What exactly is November Project?
November Project is a free fitness community that meets at 6 am every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday all year long – even in rainstorms, even on the -30 days and even on Christmas Day. You can count on this community being there for you. On Mondays, we do a circuit-style workout at various spots in the city (kind of like mini-Edmonton field trips, a chance for you to explore your city). On Wednesdays, we do stairs; during the light months (May/June – September) we meet at Commonwealth Stadium and during the dark months (October – May) we meet at the Royal Glenora Stairs. On Fridays, we run hills at Walterdale Hill, meeting at the Kinsmen Recreation Centre. The craziest weather we’ve experienced are the cold days–the really cold days–the ones that earn you the coveted -30 badge! With the right layers, you’ll be able to do it too!
Name a few of your favorite points along the Servus Edmonton Marathon course, why do they stand out to you?
Coming across McKinnon Ravine overpass is my favorite because you can hear the cheer station, it’s just the pick-me-up you need! Plus, runners are going in both directions so you can see many familiar faces and get energy from them.
Of all the places you have travelled to run (outside of Edmonton), which was your favorite spot and why?
Boston and Victoria. The Elk Lake loop in Victoria is a must anytime I go to the island to visit my parents. It feels like I am in the movie FernGully as I run through the trails. I also love seeing rowers out on the lake while I run by.
Additionally, my heart holds so many great memories of visiting family in Boston. It’s a beautiful city to explore! I have run the Boston Marathon once, when I qualified with the 2017 Servus Edmonton Marathon. I ran Boston in 2018 in the pouring rain with the wind at my face for all 42.2 km and…I loved it! The experience was amazing and I was able to share one of my favourite cities with my husband who had never been there. I would love to go back! I don’t know that I have specific advice for others wanting to qualify other than to set that goal, find a plan/coach to help you, and put in the work. You can do it!
Follow Jen on instagram @jen.ference
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