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Ali on the Run Show

Apr 27, 2021

“The water took everything, but we had ourselves and all of our communities and friends who made sure we had everything else.”

Welcome to the newest series on the Ali on the Run Show: The Everyday Runner. For the next four weeks, we’ll hear from runners who are just like you and me. Not professional athletes — these runners have jobs, families, and responsibilities beyond this sport we all love so much.

First up: Meet Jen Correa! Jen is a mom of two (plus two dogs!) from Staten Island, NY. She works in insurance, and we met through the running blog world in the early 2010s, when Jen was blogging at Mom’s Gotta Run. On this episode, Jen shares her running story, which started when her friend convinced her to run a Corporate Challenge race. She wasn’t an athlete growing up — “I have nightmares of gym class,” she says — but after her first race as an adult (and a pack-a-day smoker), she was hooked. Eventually, Jen gave up smoking, but she stuck with running, including marathons. In 2012, Jen and her family lost everything when Hurricane Sandy touched down in Staten Island. Their house was lifted off its foundation, and floated nearly a mile away. They had to start over, and on this episode, Jen, 46, talks about how, exactly, they did that. She shares her poignant takeaways from losing it all, and talks about the controversy surrounding the New York City Marathon’s cancellation at the time.

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What you’ll get on this episode:

  • Reflecting back on the early 2010s, and what it was like being a part of the running community in New York City during that time (5:45)
  • Jen talks about her childhood, and about how she found running (9:00)
  • On adopting and owning the “runner” title (15:45)
  • On being a New Yorker on September 11, 2001 (18:30)
  • What Jen’s relationship with running was like during and after her pregnancies (20:00)
  • Jen talks about her family’s experience in the wake of Hurricane Sandy (31:30)
  • “When you’ve lost everything — except each other — what do you do?” (46:00)
  • What running — and finally running the New York City Marathon — was like after Hurricane Sandy (52:00)
  • What it was like running the 2016 New York City Marathon representing Staten Island as part of the Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge (1:01:30)

What we mention on this episode:

Michele Gonzalez on Episode 87 of the Ali on the Run Show

Michele Gonzalez on Episode 19 of the Ali on the Run Show

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