Saturday Spotlight- Jenn Mercurio

Name: Jenn Mercurio
Age: 45 (ouch)
Occupation: Photographer- self employed for 20 years
Married: Mike, for 23 years (yikes)
Kids: Jenna(18), Sara(17)

I had a pretty average childhood growing up in Ronkonkoma. I was NOT ATHLETIC, at all in high school. In fact, I was a grease monkey. I had a 1970 Challenger that I bought when I was 15 and I pretty much devoted all my spare time to working on my baby. I did all the work myself, engine, suspension, tranny….all by my hands.

I worked in a speed shop after school, it was one of the best jobs I ever had. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was building the engine myself, I never would have met my husband. I was 16, a junior in high school when we met. I was looking for some car parts, so I put an ad in the paper….and lets just say he had the parts. At the time, Mike was into competitive body building, and we spent a lot of time at the gym. I started working out with him, and I just loved feeling fit, healthy and strong. A gym rat was born.

I graduated high school, and went on to college at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. I maintained my workout schedule while working full time at a big commercial darkroom in Midtown, and going to school at night. I decided around this time to add running into my workout regimen. Shortly after college, I started my business- Lasting Impressions Photography. Building a business is a lot like running, you have to be disciplined, patient and put in the work to see results. My studio mainly works with families and babies. I have devoted much of my career to photographing children with special needs, and their siblings.

We moved from our first house in Lynbrook to West Islip in 2006, and that’s when everything changed for me. My next door neighbor hosted a benefit run in her daughter’s name, the Elizabeth McNamee run, on Mothers Day. They invited me to run, so I did……it was my very first race. Instantly I was hooked on the energy and adrenaline. Since then I have completed 11 half marathons and too many 5 and 10k’s to list. I recently ran my longest distance to date at the Caumsett 25k. I plan on running a full for my 50th birthday.

In June of 2014, I was invited to run Selden by Kim Russo. I was nervous, but excited. We ran the course in 1:05 and I thought I would die a few times, but I did it…..and then I did it again, and again…and well you know how it goes. I met up with some great people and we had our regular Thursday morning hills run.( Lisa, Anny, Jackie, Paul, Staci, and my daughter Sara even gave it a go a few times.) I saw my pace times improve, on the hills and off! Pennies in the bank, the hills were helping me to get stronger. And I just loved the feeling of being totally spent. Leaving it all on the course, completely emptying my tank and knowing I gave it everything I had, is the best part of running to me.

That’s my story, thanks for listening.

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