Jenna Chapman, a sophomore at Michigan State University, is training for her first 13.1. She’ll be sharing her training and racing experience here on MRG.

Hi, my name is Jenna, and I’m a Michigan Runner Girl from Stockbridge, Michigan. My hobby of running began on my middle school track team, but my love for the sport bloomed during high school cross country. For me, there is no better feeling than lacing up your shoes and hitting a dirt road with your friends during the peak fall season.

Jenna, far left, ran cross country in high school.
Jenna, far left, ran cross country in high school.

While I was a competitive runner in high school, now that I am a sophomore at Michigan State University, I appreciate the sport in more relaxed manner. After a tough test or a long day of classes, I find myself running around campus. What I love about running is this: you can be as serious or as relaxed as you want to be. Pushing yourself to a better runner can either mean a faster time or a happier run.

I am a part of the MSU Running Club, which magnified my love for the sport. Being surrounded by others who love the same thing as you is uplifting and a great way to make friends. When I think of running, I think of all the smiling faces on the team.

Jenna (right) with MSU Running Club friends.
Jenna (right) with MSU Running Club friends.
Jenna and her family.
Jenna and her family.

My family also comes to my mind when I think of running. My younger brother is a high school cross country and track runner, my dad is one of my favorite running partners and my mom is the best pre-race meal maker and finish line cheerleader I know. Right now, my dad and I are training for my first half marathon. I am so excited to run this race with him. This leg of my running journey has been the most fun yet.

I am running the Clarkston Back Roads Half Marathon in November. While I am a little nervous for the long distance, I know that I am up to the challenge. A half marathon (and eventually a full marathon) is high on my running bucket list.

When I’m not doing anything running related, I am studying journalism at MSU. I love telling stories, and I can’t wait to make a career out of it. Because I am privileged to live in the great Mitten state, I am also very in love with the outdoors. Camping, hiking, kayaking – I love it all.

Traveling, in the state or outside of it, is another passion of mine. One of the best running experiences I have ever had was when I ran the Nike Womens 10K in Paris this past summer. What was so great about the race (besides the beautiful location) was that people from all over the world were cheering you on as you ran. I may not have spoken the same language as most of the spectators, but I knew what they were saying. That is the best aspect of running. It brings people together for a common passion.

At the finish of the 10K in Paris.
At the finish of the 10K in Paris.

Running has helped me in all aspects of my life, and that is why I can’t wait to write about it on MRG! I will be contributing articles about my half marathon training and other running related topics. I hope you all enjoy!

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