On June 25, Jenny Arnzen completed the Mt. Misery 57-mile relay race that begins in Asotin Creek Canyon, ascends to an elevation of 6194 feet between Mt. Misery and Mt. Horrible, and then concludes in Troy, Oregon. Except that she did not run as part of a relay team — she ran the entire 57 miles solo.
“Mt. Misery was exactly that: misery,” says Jenny. “Running that many miles on flat ground is hard, add a few mountain ranges in there and it’s crazy hard. Although I definitely had a time goal in my head when I started, ultimately my main goal was to finish.”
Her sisters Alanna and Jasmine drove a support rig and followed strict instructions to not let her quit. “Sometimes in the pain of the moment you make the decision to give up and then look back later and wish you had just pushed through,” explains Jenny. “That goes for many things in life, not just running.”
Jenny started running only three years ago. She had just overcome peripheral neuropathy and vowed to herself to never feel that weak again — “Lord willing.” Her first race came when her sister Alanna asked her to run a race with her in February 2016. “I never knew how much that decision would change my life and create such a passion for me to pursue,” says Jenny.
Aside from running, Jenny is a volunteer coach for junior high track in the spring and high school cross country in the fall. She gets to be a stay-at-home mom for her two teenage boys where the family also raises registered Nigerian Dwarf goats.
She originally planned to run the Mt. Misery race next year to commend her 40th birthday though changed her plans to this year for two reasons: It turned out her sister Jasmine, who lives out of state, was able to fly in to be part of her support team. Her second reason had to do with the kids she coaches: “I was eager to show the kids that I coach that I believe what I say when I tell them they are capable of whatever they put their mind to. It is something I probably sound like a broken record about, but I really believe it. Most people that heard what I was doing either told me I was crazy of that there was just no way.”
For her next running event, Jenny will enjoy a shorter distance and stay closer to home: She will run in the upcoming Raspberry Festival Fun Run & Walk on August 7 that takes place at the Monastery of St. Gertrude. Get more information and register…