Hometown: Neosho, MO to Fayetteville, AR

Profession: Shopper Marketing Paid Advertising

When and WHY did you start running?
I noticed playing basketball in 8th grade I could run all practice long and not get tired, I decided to give track and cross country a try in high school which then flourished into a college track and field career. It wasn’t until after college I really appreciated running and it then became fun and a hobby for me.

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Where do you prefer to run? Do you have a favorite route?
Country roads on the west side of Fayetteville. I like to run roads that turn a lot so you can’t ever really see how much further you have to go.

What was your “I’M A RUNNER!” moment?
Running was more of a job for me in college, so I didn’t become a “runner” until I was married and had kids who kept me up all night but I was still excited to crawl out of bed at 5:30 am to run before the sun came up with little to no sleep. That’s when I knew this was for real.

If you could go back and give yourself a piece of advice as a beginner, what would it be?
It’s okay to take it slow and build a base, you always don’t have to push it.

What motivates you in running? Medals? PRs? Fitness?
PR’s and fitness. My competitive nature always wants me to break my own records and knowing I can improve. The fitness just comes with it. When my wife was pregnant with our first child I vowed to not become the “flabby daddy” and to be an example to our kids to be healthy and accomplish your own goals so I really made an effort to increase my fitness level.

Do you have any racing superstitions or traditions?
The obligatory pasta the night before a race and right before the gun goes off I always untie and retie my shoes, even if it’s not necessary.

Do you run solo or with a group?
Both, prefer to run with a group to have others to talk to. It’s also a lot harder to bail on other people early in the morning than trying to do it yourself. The accountability is key. You can’t send yourself mean texts saying you’re disappointed you missed a run.

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Why do you run the Hogeye? What makes it special? Are you running the Hogeye this year?
It’s my hometown race. The first year I ran the full marathon I saw so many people I knew along the route who I worked with, went to church with, or school with and would extend a high five to motivate me through.

How can folks connect with you on social media?
Follow me at @jasnelson on instagram for a plethora of running, cycling, and pictures of my kids.