Name: Jennifer Vargas
Marital Status: Married to Charlie (16 years)
Kids: Cruz (Junior Warrior, 11 next week), Mateo (8) and Lola (5)
Occupation: High School English Teacher, bartender on the side.
Hobbies: Running, being outdoors, rescuing animals, volunteering, going to farmer’s markets, cooking, gardening.
Current Town: Commack
College: SCCC, St. Joseph’s College (undergrad), Touro College (masters)
Favorite Race: NYC Marathon
Frequent Running Spots: Sunken Meadow and the Hills
Hey everyone! I’m so excited (and a little bit nervous) to be Warrior of the Week! This group has given me such a warm welcome since I joined in January.
In the past, I would run as a warm up, never as the main event. The first time I ran a 5K was a few months after giving birth to my first child. I was so out of shape. It was the Brentwood Pancake Run 2009, which many of you know is in early December. It was so cold and snowy. Afterwards I was sore for days, but I did it. I can’t believe how far I’ve come, that 3 miles used to be a huge deal and now its nothing.
After that I would run occasionally, never more than a mile or two. Fast forward to 2017, I was having a conversation with my kids about the people in their lives and what they like to do. My kids said that their father likes to play sports. I asked them what they think I like to do, and they said “cooking, cleaning, you know, mom stuff.” I looked in my daughter’s eyes and realized I needed to set an example for her that women are more than just caretakers. We are strong. We are powerful. We are determined, fierce and capable of doing hard things. Shortly after that I signed up for the 9+1 and my road to the NYC marathon started.
After driving into NYC for races basically all of 2018, I spent 2019 training for and running the marathon. In 2020 I decided I would shift my focus and run strictly local races (we all know how that ended up). I wanted to run just for the love of running for the first time since becoming a “serious” runner. After many failed attempts to convince any friends to start running with me. I realized that I needed to find people who didn’t need convincing. That is where the Selden Hills Warriors came into my life. I have seen this group at so many races, and you had the vibe I wanted; chill people running together and having a good time, regardless of pace. I met Jen Genova while completing my 9+1, so I reached out and asked her to lead me on my first classic. I ran it right after the Patchogue 10 Mile Run to the Brewery. SHW has become a family to me, and I have made many amazing friends who share more than just a love of running. It has been more than I could imagine.
I hope that throughout this process I learn more about myself as I open up and you all learn more about me as well. Thank you for reading my story. Thanks to Lou Lafleur for choosing me this week. More to follow…