Jennifer O’Connor | Lessons from Western States and Marking the Course

Sarah joins me again to talk to the woman responsible for getting her into running 25 years ago.

Sarah and Jennifer on mt diablo
Sarah Lavender Smith and Jennifer O’Connor on Mt. Diablo in Northern California.

Jennifer has lined up at Western before but had a bad day and was carried out on horse back. She’s also finished with less than an hour to spare, and has moved into the position of Course Marking Captain for the race.

Jennifer o'conner course marking
Chris and Jennifer O’Connor marking the course.

In this interview we learn about the indignities of being hoisted onto a horse after a DNF, what she’s learned in terms of what type of mileage works for her, and she talks about her and her husband Chris’ role as Course Marking Captains at the Big Dance. How many flags are used, how many pounds of flour, and what kind of thought goes into material and color of ribbons…this is all stuff that goes into putting on a big race!

We finish up the chat with a discussion about which five or six we’ll each be keeping our eyes on…Sarah will be watching remotely from Colorado, I’ll be at the race, and Jennifer will be running it. Who’ll YOU be watching?

Jennifer at Vermont 100 with Tropical John Medinger

Jennifer O’Connor Episode Notes:

More on Jennifer’s coach right this way…the incredible Meghan Laws.

Here’s the book Jennifer mentioned: Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why (affiliate link)

I mentioned that I’ve started wearing compression shorts…Got mine from XO Skin and you can save 20% if you use URP at checkout.

Ultimate Direction “nipple bottle.”

I noticed in post production that I referred to Stephanie Violett by her maiden name…my apologies.

Hey, join the URP Patreon crew and I’ll choose one of the first ten $5+ members to get a copy (autographed and personalized!) of Sarah’s The Trail Runner’s Companion: A Step-by-Step Guide to Trail Running and Racing, from 5Ks to Ultras. Thanks for the support.

Here’s the band Jennifer and I were talking about: Greta Van Fleet. They won the Grammy for best Rock Performance last year.

Intro and outro music used with permission from David Rosales

Jennifer O’Connor marking the course with her friend Keith.

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