Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Jenny Crain and The Milwaukee Running Community

If you subscribe to Runner's World or buy it off the shelf, you may have read a nice article in the November Issue this year. It was an article about Jenny Crain. If you don't know her, here is a brief recap:

Jenny was an Olympic caliber marathon runner from Milwaukee. She had qualified for 4 US Olympic Marathon Trials and even was the first American woman in the 2005 New York City Marathon. In August of 2007, she was on training run in Milwaukee getting ready for the Olympic Trials in Boston about 8 months later. While on a morning run, she stepped off the curb near the end of her run and was hit by a car almost killing her. The superior shape her body was in helped save her life. Her running career was over in an instance.

I won't go into detail of what the article said. It was about her recovery and her rehabilitation and how her family is coping and how she has new and old friends helping her out. Please read the whole article to read more. Then today in the local paper here in Milwaukee, there was a story of her finally leaving the Rehab facility to live in her own apartment with a live in assistant. If you want to read that article, see HERE.

What is not said too much in the Runner's World Article or the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article, is exactly how much Jenny Crain was loved and endeared by the local running community. I do not know her personally though it is possible I have spoken to her before. What is really great about her when she was a world class runner is that she was so open and friendly with the Milwaukee running community. She ran a lot of the local charity races from 5K's to 10 milers. I mean a lot of them. I can't tell you how often I saw her at races, at least I saw the back of her, for a little bit. All the kidding aside, she may have only been doing a Tempo run or a training run, but she was there with the masses of us regular runners. And she was not the type to gloat over her wins in these races or gloat about how great she was. She was humble and generous to all.

How often do you go to a local race and have a world class runner there? And with her, it was often.

I have run with a couple other world class runners in my past, and it seems that most of them are extremely nice, just like Jenny Crain. Dan Held (represented the US in the Ultra-Marathon World Championships one year) lives in the Milwaukee area and is this way. I have run with him a few times at the Pettit Center in my past faster running days on cool downs. Dan is the same, runs in a lot of the local races and is extremely friendly to everyone as well.

I wouldn't wish what happened to Jenny Crain on anyone. It is such a sad story that it happened to such a great person. But she is getting better and we all like that, especially all the runners in Milwaukee who have seen her so often.

1 comment:

KBam said...

I was riding the subway in New York on my way home from work, paging through my Runner's World magazine, and when I saw the article about Jenny Crain I think I stopped breathing for a few seconds. Donna, her mother, is a close friend of my parents and I've known her most of my life, so I've met Jenny once or twice. Her story is devastating and yet uplifting because she has already surpassed so many people's expectations in her recovery.

I'm glad I found your post. I read both the Runner's World article and the one in the Journal Sentinel and I agree with you, neither article did justice to her kind and generous spirit -- although they did speak highly of her.