AME Athlete Highlight - Jenn Maher

January 26, 2022

Meet Jenn!

Jenn has been training and racing for endurance events for almost 15 years. Since her training began, she has completed numerous events (too many to count) of all varieties. On the running end, these include 5ks through marathons and ultras, on both road and trail. In multisport, these include short course triathlons through numerous IRON distance events. In fact, last December she completed her 11th marathon after running a fun 5k with her husband and kids the day before. Currently, Jenn is training for the Jackpot Ultra 100 miler in February!

Jenn joined the AME team in October of 2021, she had just completed IRONMAN Maryland weeks before. Since joining the team, the focus of her training has been to build stamina and strength, both mentally and physically, for the ultramarathon ahead. An equally important focus has been working to cultivate and perfect her training and racing nutrition.

One of Jenn’s greatest strengths is her unparalleled drive and mental fortitude. A good example of this is her recent attempt at IRONMAN Florida. She had just completed IRONMAN Maryland not seven weeks before and was feeling strong and ready heading into her next 140.6. On race morning, the swim conditions were severe, even the pros were out of the water 10-20 minutes slower than their typical times. Jenn just missed the cutoff for the swim. Now, for anyone who has trained for an event of this magnitude, words cannot describe the weight of missing a cutoff and not finishing the event. However, Jenn’s phenomenal character was about to be revealed. She spent the next 12-14 hours cheering others both on course and at the finish line as the race progressed. Her ability to hold her head high and carry the positive and encouraging spirit she did the remainder of that day represents her incredible character and the true heart and soul of triathlon.  Jenn sets a phenomenal example to her family, friends, community and everyone she knows.

Jenn’s future goals include running a marathon in all 50 states and on all seven continents. She is excited to participate in more races with her family and continue spending time training and racing with her multisport community of friends.

We are THRILLED Jenn chose AME to share in her journey!

Q & A:

What got you into triathlon and endurance events?

I've been running since I was 9 years old, but I was a sprinter. I actually quit XC in high school because the race was too long! As I got older, I found a new love for endurance racing because it could push what I thought were my limits. While studying for the bar exam in the summer of 2007, I needed a stress outlet and signed up for Tri the Wildwoods sprint triathlon. I was hooked and started my quest to do my first Ironman, which I finished in 2009. Now I spend each year pushing myself to new limits with triathlons and endurance events.

What is your favorite event and why?

I've only done one so far, but I think ultramarathons are my new passion. Last year I completed a 50 mile race where I skydived to the start line (see picture). I'm an adrenaline junkie and this race was absolutely magical for me. Most ultramarathon races are very small and I love being a part of this new community.

What about triathlon and endurance sport brings you the most joy?

The finish line. I do every race for the 10 seconds of pure joy you get running down the finish chute. I still get a jolt of adrenaline and goosebumps when I see a finish line. Every. Single. Time. And that feeling will never get old.

What excites you the most about your upcoming 100 miler?

I'm a little wacky (I think most endurance athletes are in their own ways!) in that I enjoy the suffering and can find pleasure in the pain. I've never ran further than 65 miles consecutively so when I hit mile 66 I will enter uncharted territory. I'm looking forward to seeing just how hard I can push myself physically and mentally.

What has been the most valuable takeaway from your training so far?

Rest and recovery are as important as the physical training. Stretching, yoga, foam rolling, epsom salt baths, massages, and, most importantly, more sleep have been crucial for me to maintain the training regimen.

Pick your pain, your next six weeks of ultra-training solely on a treadmill because we are hit with numerous blizzards or developing a nagging blister at mile 50 of your upcoming event?

Easy choice - blister. Did you know treadmills were invented by the English in the early 1800's initially for prisoners to grind corn, but they later evolved into a form of torture? On average, one prisoner died per week on the treadmill.  Enough said.

What is one thing you want people to know about you?

I race for God's Glory (1 Cor 10:31). I've been blessed with a body and a mind that can withstand a lot. I feel it's my calling to use those blessings to show others that ordinary people can do extraordinary things (Phil 4:13).

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I have the education, experience, passion and energy to help you accomplish your dreams.
Philippians 4:13
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.