RAAM Team Spotlight: Jessica Marino

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Meet Jessica Lynn Marino! Describing Jessica as being an athlete would be an understatement. Learn more about her and her RAAM journey to date!
1. Give us a brief introduction of yourself. Hobbies/Interests/Occupation, etc.

I am a competitive, amateur endurance athlete with a full-time job. I have completed 5 Ironman triathlons, and soon to be 6 with my upcoming second appearance in Kona, HI for the World Championships. Always an athlete, I am a former child gymnast, turned D1 college soccer player, turned recreational marathoner, turned Iron(wo)man, turned endurance cyclist! I am personally sponsored by and proudly support Soulcycle and Betty Designs. In my career, I spend my time as a Global Equity Salestrader for Instinet, LLC. My hobbies include hanging out with my friends when I find some precious free time!

2.  When did you first learn about RAAM?
I first learned about RAAM a few years ago when I started to get more serious in the endurance athletics arena. It was shortly after my first Ironman that someone mentioned it to me as a passing suggestion that I should check RAAM out. From there, the seed was planted and the dream would continue to grow. At the time, it seemed far too an aggressive goal that I was nowhere near able to achieve for all the reasons- physical, logistical, and otherwise. I had put it away in the back of my mind, but as I continued to become increasingly competitive in Ironman, the thought of RAAM moved quietly closer in my mind.
3.  What made you decide to participate and be a member of the team?
Last year, the year after I had qualified and competed in my first Ironman World Championship, there was a group who was putting an 8-man team together. One of those 8 was my coach, and another was my chiropractor. All of a sudden, RAAM was within focus, but the team had been filled with all 8 team members already. This would not stop me from pleading and begging (literally) to be apart of their journey. This earned me the spot of alternate should anyone get hurt or choose to drop out before race day. Although they did not end up needing me to step in, I was able to train with and truly enjoy getting to know Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes. They ended up winning their division in 2014 with an impressive effort and perhaps surprising the field with their effort. When this year rolled around, a few of the guys decided they wanted to do it again, but as a 4 “man” team and asked me to be their fourth!  I emphatically said yes, and here we are!
4.  What are you most looking forward to about the race?
Everything. Even the parts that scare me are the parts that I’m also most excited about. I’m excited to ride in the middle of the night, as I’ve never done this before. I’m excited to push myself further than I ever have before. I have trained and excelled at a now 10 hour/140.6 mile Ironman triathlon, but to cover over 3,000 miles solely on a bike with just 4 people in under a week?! I’ve never done that before, and THAT is what I’m most looking forward to. All of the unknowns, and all of the challenges and hurdles that we will have to work together to overcome will be a great feat of teamwork. Each of us doing our part and their best to contribute to our collective effort will get us over that glorious finish line. And the kicker that makes it even bigger and better, and puts it all into perspective, is that we are representing a very special cause and have worked very hard to raise a lot of money and support for our military heroes on behalf of Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. It’s going to be an epic ride across America in every sense of the word. Across America, for our American military heroes!!
5.  What are you most concerned with about the race?
Honestly, trying not to focus too much on the things that concern me, but I think for all of us safety is of utmost and key importance. Safe, fast, and strong in that order. There are a few of the more technical descents that I personally don’t have much experience with. Additionally, the wind can have your back one minute, and knock you over the next! I plan to remain extremely focused every time I get on my bike as best I can, control what I can, and be ready to adapt, adjust and learn to that which I cannot.
Follow the Intrepid Fallen Heroes RAAM team on their website, Facebook, and Twitter, and using the hashtag #TeamIFHF. You can also make a donation right on their website. Thanks for your support!

Posted on June 24 2015 in Blog

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