Jessica Barker Profile


Runner’s Profile

Introduction By Joe Howell and Gene Deering

Do you know anyone from Kwaljalein?  ….ok, have you ever even heard of Kwalajein? Well, read on and learn about the pride of Kwalajein-  runner, wife and mom, healthcare professional, Boston Marathon qualifier/finisher, triathlete and standup paddler Jessica Barker who, if permitted, would pursue her favorite sports……..reading and sleeping.

Name: Jessica Barker

Age: 40

Nickname: Jess

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Employment: Physician Assistant

Family: Husband- Pete, Kids- Olivia 7 and Ben 4

Other sports, interests: cycling, swimming, Pilates. Going to the beach; stand up paddle board. Reading and sleeping…my favorite sport.

Most Prized Possession: My kids

Favorite Food: Cantina Breakfast Burrito

Favorite Movie: Sound of Music, Rear Window (Hitchcock)

Favorite Spectator Sport: Basketball (NBA)-grew up in Denver with season tickets to Nuggets- don’t make fun!

Car I’d Love to be Driving: Any car with a third row- I never have enough room for all the kids I am toting around. But when I am done with that… I will take a BMW 535i.

My friends describe me as: Considerate and kind.

If money were not a consideration, I would love to: Travel, train properly for races, volunteer.

In the next 5 years, I hope to: Be raising happy and healthy kids, still training for races, have a partially remodeled home, not working full time.

In the next 10 years, I hope to: See above, but with a fully remodeled home with a second story and an ocean view

Personal fact that will surprise my friends: I was born on a small island in the South Pacific called Kwajalein in the Marshall Islands. It is the world’s largest coral atoll, located 2000 miles from Hawaii.

Favorite Running Shoes: Asics Nimbus… many times over

Favorite Distance and PR (post collegiate): half marathon; America’s Finest City (San Diego) 1:44

Best Race and Why: St. George Marathon. My running buddy from graduate school travelled all the way from Illinois to St. George to help me qualify for Boston. He is a sub- 3 hour marathon runner, but he ran my pace and insisted I not wear a watch. He wanted me to just enjoy the day, and he would get me in under goal time. And… we did it! (By the skin of my teeth) He easily could have carved another hour off of his time. True friend!

Worst Race and Why: Arizona Rock and Roll Marathon. It was the inaugural race. The course closed while we were still on the bus. I started my race from the bus stop- making it a 26.5 mile race. Proceeded to be a hot day and ended up with Gatorade gut. Enough said.

Average Weekly Mileage (last 12 months): Not telling- I might not be profiled!

Favorite Local Race: Nite Moves- don’t totally love the actual course, but love that my kids look forward to going even more than I do!

Most Memorable Running Experience: Boston 2006

Favorite Place to Run: Mountain Drive

Glory Days PR: My glory days are yet to come.

Realistic Running Goals for this Year: Run a half marathon at 1:47

Wildly Optimistic Running Goals for this year: Beat my half marathon PR, break 22 minutes at Nite Moves.

Lifetime Running Goals: Break the 4 hour barrier on SB Tri Long Course. My original goal was under 4:00 before I turned 40. New goal is under 4:00 before I die……hopefully these two won’t go hand in hand. Run Bug Sur and Chicago marathons.

Local Running Heroes & Why: Drea- she kicks my “ass in the grass” at Pilates in the park and on the bike at the YMCA/Fit Buddha. She is an inspiration to lots of moms in SB. Patty Bryant- I don’t know her well, but I admire her from a far. She is a very accomplished and humble athlete and kind person. Arnie Brier and Joe Howell for always having a good story on a Saturday morning and making the tempo run that much more enjoyable. Laura Turner -working full time, raising two sweet girls as a single mom and still winning marathons. Finally, Mike Swan –as an athlete, health care provider and human being.

Why I Run: To be a nice mom and wife.

I love runners who: Smile and are humble.

I don’t care for runners who: I don’t think I have met a runner I didn’t like… it’s the bikers that never smile and don’t like share the road. J (sometimes)

Suggestions for local races: Half marathon on Mountain Drive. My favorite distance on my favorite route- what could be better?

Suggestions for SBAA: SBAA rules!

SBAA Member since: 2003