Saturday Spotlight- Jaclyn Dagnall

Name: Jaclyn Dagnall
Nickame (s): Jac, Jax, Captain Jax, Dagz …Anything but Jackie!
Age: 30
From: Long Branch, NJ
Live Currently: Long Beach, NY
Occupation: Event Planner, Marketer, DJ and Professional T-Shirt Shooter 😝
School: Rutgers
Relationship Status: Occasionally spotted in public with Craig Alan
Pets: The Love of my Life, A Corgi Puppy named Dodger

I hate running. Especially really, really long distances. I prefer to spend my leisure time downing shots of Fireball, horseback riding on the beach and on Wednesday’s I lead a clothing-optional hot yoga class.

Just kidding. Thought I was Kevin Ford for a second there.

For as long as I can remember, I have been a competitive little thing. As I grew into a pre-teen and eventually a teenager, this competitiveness manifested itself into some serious basketball playing. When college days came, I left behind my beloved bball in favor or chasing my radio dreams.

Suddenly overweight (I went to the #2 party school in the nation) and in desperate need of some nutritional and athletic structure, I tried the whole gym thing. I failed pretty much instantly. Frustrated with my lack of interest in the gym scene, I put on a pair of well-worn street Sketchers (def NOT running shoes) and went for what I thought was a 5K run. It was actually a 5 mile run (I had yet to understand the difference). From that unnamed day in March 2011, this ultra-marathoning, endurance-junkie was born.

I’m a born and bred Jersey girl, which, if you talk to me for more than 20 seconds, you can probably deduce from my love of Springsteen, my confusion and utter panic at the gas pump, my swift ability to navigate a traffic circle and my love of the Jersey Shore.

I didn’t land on the island until 2014 and it has been a tough love story. I was excited when Lou asked me to be Warrior of the Week during Thanksgiving festivities because I have a lot to be grateful for, in particular many of the warriors.

Yanked from my beloved Jersey Shore, I had trouble adjusting to island life when I first arrived. Things only got more complicated when a major life event forced me to hit the reset button on just about EVERYTHING in my life. Feeling very alone in an unfamiliar place, I retreated to my favorite defense mechanism: running and racing. I remember meeting Jodi Brett Clarin at an Arthritis Foundation race and after exchanging stories, she suggested I join the warriors. To me, the warriors were just a bunch of speedsters I didn’t understand. Anytime I showed up at a local LI race, I just started counting the red jerseys and assuming that’s how far down the age group rankings I would be. After joining GLIRC’s Fast Feet racing team, I had begun to solidify more friendships and relationships with the LI running community and I eventually ended up at the infamous Rob’s Run afterparty last year.

That’s when I realized I finally found my tribe. These Warriors understood: Run Hard. PARTY hard!

Throughout the year I’ve enjoyed getting to know many of the warriors more and remain so thankful for the friendships on and off the course. When I was hurt in a bad bike crash days before my “A” race, Ironman Atlantic City 70.3 (more on that for “What Was I Thinking Tuesday?!?”), it was the people in the Selden and Wildwood Warriors that truly kept me going.

When I’m not downing copious amounts of the aforementioned fireball, a few of my running career highlights include winning a local marathon in 2016 and finishing my first 100k (I’m on the hunt for the 100 mile Ultra) earlier this year. You run fast, I’ll run far.

See you on the hills!