runners with medals

In 2018, Jennifer Faith and her son Joe signed up to run the Tomato 5K in East Nashville. “We thought that we would be able to do it without any issue,” Jennifer shares. But, when the race day was upon them, they felt unprepared. “It brought up something we were aware of but never really had the courage to face,” she says. “We were out of shape and did not look or feel as good as we used to.”

Jennifer and Joe decided to start taking their health seriously. They began to exercise together, and ended up losing a combined 130 pounds—Joe lost 80, and Jennifer lost 50. In 2019, they signed up for the Firecracker 10K. “During that race, it really pushed our physical capabilities. We’d only done 5Ks up to that point. The 10K was difficult for us, but it really helped us to deepen our love for running, and, more importantly, running together.”

runner

They decided to take the next step and sign up for the Harvest Half—both of the racers’ first half marathon. As always, the mother-son duo trained together. “It keeps the training fun when it could otherwise be competitive,” Jennifer shares. “It’s comforting to have a training partner who is at a similar level.” The two ran five or six miles together during the week, with longer runs on the weekends.

They ran the Harvest Half together in November 2019. “It was incredibly satisfying to partake in the race with my son,” Jennifer shares. “It really helped to capstone this two-year journey we had been on together, in terms of us losing such a large amount of weight and changing our lifestyles.”

She calls the moment that they crossed the finish line “hard to describe, in some ways.” It was the culmination of two years of hard work. “We were both overtaken with emotion in the realization of how far we had come,” she says. “It is one thing to change your life for the better, but it is so much more rewarding to go through your fitness journey with a partner.”

Jennifer encourages others to sign up for a race to help kickstart their fitness journey. “Sometimes, just having a deadline for an event can motivate you to get started on your training or take it seriously. And, you never know—you just may find yourself enjoying it along the way.”

Sign up for your first half marathon (or 5K/10K) with the VIRTUAL Harvest races from Oct. 30-Nov. 1! You can run, jog, or walk it all at once, or gather your family and split the distance over the weekend. Register today and set a new personal record!