Jen Nicholson runs for the joy of it.
“Adventure and challenging myself has always been a huge part of my life,” said Nicholson. “Through COVID, running was always something that kept me going mental health-wise. I love running and exploring in Muskoka.”
Marathons are among the challenges she has set for herself, and she recently returned from her seventh: the Berlin Marathon.
Runners travelled from all over the world to compete in the Sept. 25 race. All participants had to be fully vaccinated and have a negative COVID test prior to the race. They were required to wear a mask to the start line and were given another to put on as soon as they finished the race.
Nicholson’s finishing time of 3:17:12 placed her in the top 200 in a field of nearly 25,000 racers, and 19th in her age category (W45) which included more than 900 women.
“Goals are no longer about beating my personal best,” said Nicholson. “It kind of takes away the joy and fun for me. For me running is about mental health, being outside and seeing the sun set and rise, appreciating my health, and being able to travel. I also didn’t want to push myself so hard to the point of injury.”
One of the best parts of the trip, she said, was biking around the city and being able to relax and take in the sights.
She was able to enjoy the art, food, culture, and history of Berlin in her downtime before and after the race, as well as visit cousins who live in the area.
“It was lovely and so much fun visiting Berlin,” said Nicholson. “The crowds were very welcoming, amazing and supportive, especially as we are emerging out of the pandemic. For me I felt it was a very hopeful experience. It was also nice to travel again.”
Nicholson has now completed three of the six marathons in the World Marathon Majors: Berlin, plus Boston and New York City. Her goal is to complete the three remaining marathons before she turns 55: Chicago next fall, London in the next couple of years, and then Tokyo to finish off the series.
She thanks everyone who has supported her over the years and who have helped her achieve her running goals, including Kat Ahokas from The SportLab, Muskoka Algonquin Runners, her friends, parents, daughters, and her cousins in Germany.
Don’t miss out on Doppler!
Sign up here to receive our email digest with links to our most recent stories.
Local news in your inbox three times per week!