Saskatoon marathoner makes podium by making running a priority

Saskatoon runner Jen Kripki has roughly 20 marathon finishes under her belt, but her second-place finish at the GMS Queen City Marathon in Regina this month is the race she’s most proud of.

Kripki, 38, was the top-placing Saskatoon finisher at the province’s biggest marathon, running a 3:10:35 to finish 90 seconds behind the first-place woman, Rhonda Loo of Lake Newell, Alta.

The last time Kripki ran a marathon was in September 2017 when she also raced the Queen City Marathon. Then, she was the first woman across the finish line in a time of 3:21:50.

In the two years between the two races, Kripki gave birth to her second child, a daughter who recently turned one, and started taking nursing classes on top of running her own personal training business and working as a massage therapist.

“It was very trying, that’s for sure. It was a lot,” Kripki said of training for this year’s marathon on top of her other commitments. “So that’s why I feel it was probably —  for me — my most accomplished run because I feel like the road to get there was that much more difficult than it’s ever been in the past.”

Kripki said she was able to train for the race by making it a priority. Every Sunday she got a list of workouts from her coach and then figured out how they would fit into her schedule — even if it sometimes meant running at 4 a.m. or after dark when the kids were asleep.

Kripki said she knew training for the marathon would be difficult, but she chose to do it because of how much she loves the sport.

“I love running. Running is my time,” she says. “I don’t have a lot of time to myself so I use running, I see that as me time and I feel like it just sets me up for my days and my weeks and it’s my outlet.”

Kripki’s legs were feeling recovered less than 48 hours after the race and she was already looking forward to training for her next marathon — the 2020 Boston Marathon. Kripki ran the race a decade ago and says she is looking forward to going back.

There were 334 runners in this year’s Queen City Marathon. Les Friesen of Steinbach, Man. won the men’s side in a time of 2:41:46.