The Usual Prospects: Jessica Bari
As runners, we all have different reasons behind our miles. For some, it’s to qualify for Boston. For others, it’s to raise money for a cause. And for others still, including Jessica Bari, it’s about fitness and sanity. Originally from Minnesota, Jessica dabbled with running a bit in high school when a swimming injury forced her to switch her athletic pursuits and try out cross country. But, it wasn’t until after college that Jessica decided to give running another shot. Jessica was living in the Twin Cities, working long hours and desperately in need of an activity that would allow her to gain some mental perspective (and wasn’t based around eating and drinking). With those dual goals in mind, Jessica found running. Jessica ran a local Twin Cities turkey trot as her first race.
Jessica didn’t have a “love at first sight” moment with running. Rather, she grew to enjoy and respect the sport of running and really relish the fitness gains she was experiencing as she continued to pound the pavement. In fact, Jessica is quick to point out - with a laugh - that she still doesn’t “naturally love running [and she doesn't naturally] bounce out of bed to get an early run in before work.” For Jessica, running is the activity that leads to real fitness results and has helped her in other areas of her life. As a producer, Jessica often works long hours and, like most New Yorkers, feels that the chaos of the City can be draining. Running has helped Jessica maintain perspective which has helped her personally and professionally.
Jessica left her native Minnesota in 2008 to pursue producing opportunities in a big market. She’s very proud to have moved directly from the Twin Cities to Brooklyn and bypassing Manhattan altogether! Jessica had heard wonderful things about Prospect Park Track Club from her childhood friends, General and Shontay Butler. Jessica knew General from middle school and Shontay from high school. She loved the idea of being a part of a supportive community and making more running buddies.
Thus far, Jessica’s running highlights include running her first half marathon, the Brooklyn Half Marathon, in 2010, and training for her first full marathon, this year’s New York City Marathon. Jessica can’t wait to see the five boroughs a whole different way on marathon Sunday. Most of her family will be travelling from Minnesota to see her conquer her first full! We have it on good authority that Mr. Bari, Jessica’s father, will be one of the best cheerleaders at the PPTC cheer spot on 4th Avenue!
Jessica is a huge champion for new runners and middle and back of the packers. “A lot of us aren’t going to win anything from being in races, I know that I’m not, so being out there is purely about reaching my goals. And I think it’s incredibly humbling and amazing to see people who [may] not consider themselves athletes out there jogging, training, working on their fitness or running races. I think runners [of] all paces and all distances are inspiring! And for me, the PPTC community is something I wanted to be a part of because it’s based on something positive that I do in my life.”