Run It Fast Club Member Profile – Jennifer Whitley #160

Jennifer Whitley RIF #160

This week’s Run It Fast Club profile is Jennifer Whitley #160. I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer at the Jackson Jackass 50K. I found out when I read her Race Report a few days after it was over that she’d had a rough day out there but finished. Then I heard that she had a bad fall at the Jackal Trail Marathon that required stitches and caused her to DNF for the first time in her 13 years of running… but she was still smiling. Finally, I read her response to our question about her proudest moment and came to the only conclusion possible… Jennifer is one tough runner!

Read on to find out more about Jennifer:

Name:  Jennifer Whitley
RIF #:  160
Facebook: Yes

Years running: 13 yrs
Favorite race:  Avenue  of the Giants Marathon
Favorite bling: St George Marathon


Who inspires your running and why?
So many people inspire me, but one that stands out is my friend Phil Weiland, who is 78! When I joined my first running group, the Las Vegas Track Club, in 2000, Phil was always encouraging me to push myself to run farther and faster, and to never give up. Phil is an amazing person. He still runs countless marathons and 5k races, even though he has suffered a stroke which blinded him in one eye.

If you could go for a run with any famous person (living or dead), who would it be and why?
I wouldn’t mind going for a run with Christopher Walken. I could hear him now… He would say “Jen… two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up… and drowned. The second mouse… wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually… he churned that cream into butter… and crawled out. Jen… as of this moment… I am that second mouse!”

What is the strangest/funniest thing you’ve ever seen while running?
It’s not that funny and probably not the strangest but I do find it strange when I come across a lone shoe on any path…

What’s the most beautiful place that you’ve run?
The Valley of Fire is about 50 miles northeast of Las Vegas. With beautiful majestic red mountains, this is Nevada’s oldest and largest state park. The valley gets its name from the red sandstone formations and the stark beauty of the Mojave Desert. Ancient trees and early man are represented throughout the park by areas of petrified wood and 3,000 year-old Indian petroglyphs. This is always one of my favorite and challenging marathons to run.

Which of your running routes makes you the happiest and why?
I really enjoy Bryant Grove 8 mile trail. It’s a single track trail that’s mostly shaded path that changes from dirt, sand, stumps, large rock and pebbles. You can almost always spot deer and you are shore side throughout the path. You can listen to the water hit the shore and it’s just peaceful.  4 miles in you end up at a small beach side and when you return you can go canoeing at Couchville Lake for 5 bucks.

Why do you race?
I love the feeling I get before a race… the excitement, the preparation, and going to be seeing friends at events. And of course how I feel after. It just feels good!

Big races or small races? And why?
I do prefer the smaller races because they are a bit more intimate and peaceful.  I am all for a more peaceful run. I’m not into all the hullabaloo.

What running moment are you most proud of?
My most proud moment would have to be finishing my first 50 miler, where I had twisted my ankle at mile four.

If you can’t run, _________?:
Nevada is where I found my passion for running. I started running to drop some weight, but after I lost the pounds I could no longer stop running. It just made me feel right. I have had many great experiences traveling around and participating in marathons and different races throughout California, Nevada, Utah, New York and now Tennessee! If I can’t run… well… you know what happens… life seems unbalanced.


I don’t know about you but I can picture and hear that run and conversation with Christopher Walken in my head! Seriously though, Jennifer’s answers remind me that if we don’t give up and we keep on trying, we can succeed. Just like Jennifer and her running inspiration, Phil Weiland. Oh, and like the second little mouse too. 😉 If we just keep going no matter what obstacles life throws in our way, we will finish and hopefully… Run It Fast!

Thanks for sharing Jennifer!

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[All photos submitted by Jennifer Whitley and Naresh Kumar]




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This post was written by:

- who has written 717 posts on Run It Fast®.

Lisa (RIF Club Member #5) has completed 27 half marathons, 13 marathons, 5 50Ks, 2 12 Hour races, and 1 100K. Her favorite races to date are the Disneyland Half Marathon, the Leading Ladies Marathon, the Bataan Memorial Death March, and the Jackson Jackass 50K. You can follow her on Twitter @runlikeacoyote

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2 Responses to “Run It Fast Club Member Profile – Jennifer Whitley #160”

  1. Erik Whitley says:

    I am so proud of my wife’s achievements. She is really an incredible person who has happily found out what really makes her happy. I have seen her when she hasn’t been able to shred a few miles for a day or two, and that can be quite disconcerting. For years we always had to plan our vacations “coincidentally” when places would just happen to be having marathons. Funny how that works out, isn’t it? I’m sure I’m not the only one married to a runner who experiences this phenomena. Jen’s evolution from someone trying to shed a few pounds, to competing in 5ks, to marathons, and now ultras is truly amazing! Run strong, my love!


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