Run the Cedars is back for its second year! With a prize purse of $2550, Run the Cedars draws amazing athletes from all over Tennessee and surrounding states. Leading up to this year's race on April 8th, 2023, we will be highlighting those who previously participated.
Up first is Andrea Jackson of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee.
Andrea's running journey began in 2007 when her sister-in-law, Shannon from Arkansas, challenged her to run the St. Jude Half Marathon in Memphis that December. Up until that point, Andrea had been walking for exercise for about 10 years. She was also a Tennis and Basketball player in high school, where she ran Track only to stay in shape for Basketball during the offseason (coach made her!). Running was pretty foreign to her at this point and she found the Jeff Galloway interval running plan and still uses it to this day. Her and Shannon ended up completing both the Country Music Half Marathon and the St. Jude Half Marathon in 2008.
Andrea says, “I guess you could say, I was hooked. I am now training for halves number 64 and 65 which will both take place in April. I have also run 1 marathon, 1 50K, 5 Ragnar Relays, and 3 multi-race weekend events, as well as multiple 5K’s, 10K’s, and 15K’s.”
Andrea is also a huge part of the Mt. Juliet Flyers Running Club (great friends of the Fleet Feet Mt. Juliet Running Club). She was nervous to meet them for a run one Saturday morning, but she said with how welcoming they were, she knew she had found her group!
Since then, Andrea has met many runners that have become lifelong friends! She says, “running can be great therapy when I can hit the road with just me and God, and I do love that time early in the mornings, but my Saturday morning runs and my destination races with these running friends are some of my most treasured times! We can cover a lot of topics when we’re out there pounding the pavement and this has led to enjoying other things in life with them as well!”
Andrea and her husband were both very involved with FCA in their high schools and their son went on to be one of the student leaders of the FCA program when he was at West Wilson Middle School. She says, “I ran the first FCA 5K at Charlie Daniels Park then ran the 15K when they moved the race and changed the name to Run the Cedars last year. With my love of hiking (yes I love that too!), Run the Cedars is a great race to hit the road, support a great cause, and get in the woods (even if it’s on the paved part!)! And who doesn’t love Crumbl Cookies that you get at the finish!
I want to encourage you, if you’re thinking about it but not sure if you can do it, sign up for the 5K! That gives you a goal-to run it, walk it or crawl it! And the running community is an encouraging group so you will love the atmosphere and they will help you reach your goal-to finish!”
She encourages those just starting out on their running journey, or even starting over, to “find your group! They are out there.” She says it is “so much easier and way more fun when you’ve got someone else with you!”
Did you enjoy Andrea’s story? Join the Mt. Juliet Flyers Running Club HERE on Facebook to connect with her!
Click HERE to learn more and sign up for this year's edition of the Run the Cedars 15K/5K!