Jenna Challenor is no stranger to the long distance running scene. She has been running most of her life, but more recently having come to the fore. She has received her SA colours in Cross-Country running and more recently her SA colours in Marathon running. Between running in numerous local races (most of which she wins), she compete’s in numerous races countrywide and has also represented SA at the World Half Marathon Champs last year in Denmark. I managed to catch up with her between all her training, shot some photos and had a quick chat.
Sessions with Jenna:
Anthony: How did you get into running?
Jenna: I have loved running all my life. I ran at school, my mother was a runner having done 10 Comrades. Growing up seconding at Comrades, it is something I have always wanted to do, it is really in my blood, I suppose! I haven’t done a Comrades as yet but definitely something I want to do, as according to everyone one in Durban, you are not a runner until you have done a Comrade’s …
Anthony: What are your preferred running distances?
Jenna: I have always been a 10km and 21km specialist, but last year I moved up to marathon distance and that is what I want to concentrate on now. I want to get my time’s faster and then eventually move into Ultra’s. I will be aiming for a Rio qualifying time (2hr37). At the moment I am running a 2hr41, so have some work to do, but we will see.
Anthony: On road or off road?
Jenna: Definitely on road! To race a particular distance, one has to choose, my choice at the moment is on road.
Anthony: Is it true you got lost on your last trail run, is that why you don’t do trails?
Jenna: I am a useless navigator (laughing)! I put my head down and run and don’t see anything. It was at Holla Trails and there was no sign which they did admit to, so I ended up doing 30km instead of 24km. (Side comment – she is sponsored by TomTom now)!
Anthony: What is your training schedule at the moment?
Jenna: I train about 15hrs a week, 2-3 times a day. I do track 3 times a week, as well as a long run on Saturday. I also do strength sessions in the gym.
Anthony: Highlights of 2014?
Jenna: The highlights of 2014 was obviously my debut marathon where I won the Mossel Bay Marathon in 2hr 41, which is a World Qualifying time. Also, going to World Half Marathon Champs in Denmark in March, placing in the top 50, where I also ran a personal best of 74min for the 21km. That was just an amazing experience. It was a good year!
Anthony: What are the plans for 2015?
Jenna: I would like to run 2 more marathons, and run faster marathon times. Chancing an overseas City marathon, which one I am not sure yet, working on that at the moment. Locally I will still be running the Spar Ladies series but using it as build up to my marathon training. Also will do the 21km Two Oceans, using it again as training for the marathons. I will also do some local races to keep up the training.
Thanks Jenna for your time, look forward to seeing the good results from this year’s racing!