From One Step to One Hundred Miles: How Jennifer Stepped Forward

From One Step to One Hundred Miles: How Jennifer Stepped Forward

When you first meet Jennifer Kimble, she comes across as quiet and unassuming. You might even call her shy. But you soon realize that her quiet confidence has been hard-earned, because Jennifer has accomplished things most people only dream of.

Jennifer’s story starts in a way many of us can relate to – she wanted to lose some weight. But an extra 30 pounds wasn’t all she was trying to shed. She wanted to leave her old self behind, to redefine herself as something more. More confident. More determined. More herself.

So when Jennifer signed up for a local running class, she didn’t just step out of her comfort zone. She stepped forward. And that first step would change her life.

Jennifer soon discovered that she had quite a talent for running. At that beginner class’s first time trial, she came in first. She’d never felt so exhilarated. Her coach, Mike, told her there was no reason she couldn’t run a marathon. So she dove into her training with an intensity she hadn’t known she possessed.

But Mike had underestimated her. She couldn’t just run a marathon. She ran several, including the Boston Marathon. Twice.

Then, following her coach’s lead, she decided to try her hand – or, more accurately, her feet – at trail running. She loved the peace and freedom of the trail. She started running longer and longer distances, digging deeper and deeper into herself.

That’s when Mike, her coach, friend, and mentor, succumbed to cancer. But not before encouraging Jennifer to pursue the runner’s ultimate achievement: completing a 100-mile ultramarathon.

Somewhere around the 90-mile mark of the Western States Ultra, she decided what her next step forward would be, and how she would carry on Mike’s legacy: She would become a coach.

Now Jennifer trains runners of all levels, from beginners to ultrarunners. She doesn’t just help them take their first steps forward. She also inspires them to take the several thousand steps that get them to the finish line.