Next up in our weekly spotlight is Jen Deskins. Known as an encourager to all she meets, Jen is an active participant in the Westerville Women Running group.⠀

Hi, I’m Jen Deskins. My husband is Elden and we have four young adult sons—Nathan, Jacob, Eli, and Isaac—a dog Roscoe and cat Benson. I’m surrounded by boys!⠀

Why did you start running?
I ran in high school but did not take it seriously. I was afraid to compete so ran to be with friends and have nice legs, which is important when you are short like me, right? I started really running after son #4 to help lose the baby weight I gained and to get back in shape. It was mood therapy too! That was in 2002, I believe.⠀

Favorite thing about running?
I loved to run by myself at first. It was my alone time and time to pray and sing and just listen to the LORD!⠀

Favorite race(s) in Central Ohio?⠀
The Nationwide Columbus Marathon. It was my first race but was called the Columbus Marathon then. I ran it as a relay with a friend who roped me in! I’ve done it every year, either the full or half. It became my favorite when they merged it with Nationwide Children’s Hospital and little did we know what a blessing it would be to our family—Laura and Josh Fitzpatrick, our cousins with their son Judah.⠀

I also love the Amish Country Half Marathon in September. They support a group called Gift of God. It supports adoption. Being adopted myself, I love to support their race, and of course, they have the best food after! Hot buttered noodles!⠀

What advice would you give to someone just getting started?⠀
Do not compare yourself to others, do you! Have fun and enjoy each run!⠀

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