Gotta run: Jasen Weber chooses different types of marathons

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 14, 2022

Most runners want to run regular marathons, 26.2 miles on roads with reasonable courses. Jasen Weber goes a different way. Both of his marathons were unusual, and he said, “Probably because there seems to be an extra bit of adventure with the ‘unusual,’ they take place on paths less traveled. They’ve taken me to places even folks that live close by have never seen. Taking in the secluded nature is just wonderful!” 

I met Jasen when he showed up for one of our COVID pandemic prediction 5K runs at City Park last year. He said, “I was born in Virginia, but I bounced around quite a bit as a military brat. I lived mostly in Washington state and Maryland.  I’ve lived on both sides of the country and seen just about every state…just not on foot! I came to Salisbury shortly after my mother, Maria, and younger sister, Shaina, died in 2017 in separate incidents, I came out here to be closer to living relatives and explore where my mom grew up. Life has been good here.” 

Jasen started pursuing a healthier lifestyle at 30 years old when his doctor suggested adding some cardio regularly or his cholesterol would require medication. Jasen said, “So I started running on January 26th of 2021. Shortly after that I was all in!” 

He’s 31 years old and works in food service for Levy Restaurants, usually at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Jasen has called Salisbury home for five years.

Jasen’s most recent marathon was extremely unusual at  Pandora’s Box of Rox in Burnet, Texas. Packet pick-up had to happen within 30 minutes of start time and runners could begin the race whenever they wanted.  With no crowd of spectators, just a man and his cow bell sent each runner off into the dust. The terrain was brutal, running up, down, and around rock faces. Some areas were marked exceptionally well, others, not so. Jasen said, “I ended up off course a couple times and accumulated almost 2 more miles. It was so hard, but I loved every moment of it — so much that I plan on doing the race again next year with my brother.”

There were 53 total marathon finishers, male and female, and 10 DNFs. Jasen said, “I finished 19th overall on another multi-loop course.  My time does not reflect my typical marathon time, finishing at a whopping 5 hours 53 minutes. There were printed signs on some trees during the last couple miles and my favorite one read, ‘It’s OK to feel like quitting, just don’t.’ My brother was going to meet me back at the start line for the second loop to hand off my hydration pack so I could run ‘naked’ the first loop. He wasn’t there, so I just had to press on and rely on the aid stations. That was interesting because I had my pack set, planned, organized and ready for me after that first loop.” 

At an aid station called “Rock,” one of the only aid stations with a person present, Jasen met a guy who said he’d been guarding that aid station for the last eight years. Up in those rocks was his happy place, and he pointed out that he owned the giant boulder that sat in front of his canopy. 

Jasen’s first marathon was also pretty interesting. It was a 2.62 mile loop course mixed with trail and road. There was a 45-minute cut-off time for each of the 10 loops. Everyone joined in to start each consecutive loop together. Cumulative running time was tracked, not the waiting for others. This one is called The Carolina Reaper Challenge and takes place in Seneca, S.C., on a very hot July course.

Running goals include Jasen’s first ultra, a 50K in October. He plans to complete his SRR mileage club goal of 1,500 miles for the year before attempting his biggest, and wildest goal to run to the state of Maryland.

Jasen’s family members are his dogs, Sam and King. He has a cousin, Jana, a brother, Bobby, plus all the kids that surround them provide many second cousins, nieces, and nephews. Jasen remains very active with Rowan County running.

The next race locally is the Bare Bones 5K at Knox Middle School. It benefits Relay for Life.You can visit www.
salisburyrowanrunners.org for more information.

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