Jackie Goergen

No matter the weather or conditions, be it the freezing cold temps and snow of winter or the scorching heat of summer, you will spot a determined woman, and one of our superheroes, lacing up her shoes and hitting the pavement for a run: Jackie G. By day, she is a high school teacher, but come the evenings and weekends, she is one of the most active people we know. Whether it is crushing personal running goals week after week at run club, cruising through scenic trails around Buffalo on her bike, perfecting her swing on the golf course, or dominating the pickleball courts, Jackie G. does it all. 

You could say that Jackie G. is one of our superheroes in more ways than one, because one of us is also lucky enough to call her mom (yep, that's right, she's Genny's mom!). Genny’s family always says that when Jackie G. sets her mind on something, she achieves it. Nothing is more perfect of an example of this determination than Jackie G.’s journey into the sport of running.  

Jackie G. has not always considered herself to be a "runner." In fact, it wasn't until 2013 at the age of 47, when both her children were in college, that Jackie G. fell in love with the sport of running. Intrigued by the idea of running in order to stay fit, she was motivated by her daughter Genny, who had recently taken up running herself. With a newfound curiosity and inspiration, Jackie G. decided to lace up her shoes and give running a try. She completed her first 5K in 2014, and left that race feeling energized and motivated to continue running. She never looked back. Since then, she has completed over sixty 5Ks, four quarter marathons, over ten 8Ks, and three half marathons.

Cruising to the finish line of the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon!

Celebrating with Genny after the Buffalo Marathon and Half Marathon!

Soaking up some rays after crushing the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon!

For Jackie G., it's the community aspect of running that she loves the most. Texting her friends about her latest personal best time, seeing fellow runners on the bike path where she frequently sets out on her runs, or meeting new people at races and enjoying the post-race party are the moments that keep her coming back for more. Jackie G. is also the most dedicated member of our weekly Saturday Buffalo run club, consistently conquering the Delaware Park hill and 3-mile loop. 

Running is also something that Jackie G. can enjoy with her daughter, Genny. They share a passion for the sport as well as a favorite running trail. When they can, Genny and Jackie G. meet up to run a few miles together along the Clarence Bike Path–a scenic, flat and fast trail that helps them both crush their running goals. Over the years, Jackie G. and Genny have run many races together, including participating in the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon in 2017, Buffalo Marathon and Half Marathon in 2019, Chicago Shamrock Shuffle in 2019, the St. Christopher’s Summer 5K in 2019, and the annual Buffalo Turkey Trot. Genny and Jackie G. both cherish the runs and races they have done together.   

In her 10 years of running, Jackie G. has learned and shared so many valuable lessons with us and our running community. As someone who did not grow up running but joined the sport more recently, the most important lesson she shares and can attest to is the importance of setting achievable goals for yourself. She'll be the first to tell you that progress isn't always winning the race or beating everyone in your age group, but it’s about setting your own, personal goals and working towards them with consistency and perseverance. Whether it’s finishing a race in a certain amount time, hitting a running distance she hasn’t done in awhile, or just getting out there after a long day at work, Jackie G. emphasizes the importance of not getting caught up in what other people are doing, but instead focusing on what her goals are, and steadily working to achieve them. 

All smiles after running in one of her favorite places - the beaches of Florida!

Celebrating after finishing the Shamrock Shuffle in Chicago!

An impressive medals rack of all of the races she has tackled so far!

Our favorite moments running with Jackie G. come from what we like to call "Jackie-isms", which are tips or advice that she shares either before or throughout a run. Her "20 degree rule" is extremely helpful to prevent overdressing and overheating on runs. The rule is to dress as if it is 20 degrees warmer outside than it actually is. She swears by this rule and has not overheated on a run in quite some time! Another one of her running tricks that truly encapsulates her spirit is the "cookie" break at stoplights and intersections. Whenever she has to stop for a light or intersection, she calls it her "cookie", a sweet treat and break from the hard work of the run. When the light changes, back to running! This little nugget is a reminder that even in the midst of the most challenging runs, there's always room for a little indulgence, a little joy. And isn't that what life, and running, is all about?

10 years ago, Jackie G. set out on her running journey. Since then, she has not only become an avid runner, but she continues to set running goals for herself and achieve them along the way. She shows us all that it is never too late in life to fall in love with the sport of running!  With summer just around the corner in Buffalo, Jackie G. is ready for all of summer’s upcoming races. We’re excited to see her continue to reach her personal running goals and add to her already very full medals rack.

Meet Jackie G.

Meet Jackie G.


How did you get started running?

I started to run in the Fall of 2013 to increase my fitness level. Genny also had just started running, so that inspired me to give running a try.

What is your favorite part about racing? Is it the training? Is it the race day?

While I do love race days and the events, I really enjoy the training aspect of running. After my school day or early on a Saturday or Sunday, I look forward to deciding on my route and how long I plan to run for my training.

What keeps you motivated for your runs?

There are a few things that keep me motivated for runs. The first is the fact that I’m active even after a long work day. I am also motivated to try and beat my previous run’s time. Finally, I really just enjoy being outside and running helps me to get outside.

If you could give one piece of advice to help people who are looking to get into running get started, what would it be?

It is important to set reasonable goals for yourself, especially when you first start running. It is also important not to be hard on oneself because you are actually already doing something that so many people don’t even try.

What is your favorite running event that you have done and why?

My favorite running event is the annual Buffalo Turkey Trot. I have done this race probably 9 times. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, and the Turkey Trot is a great way to start the holiday. It is a fun event and the Buffalo community truly comes together to embrace the event.

If you could run anywhere in the world and leave today, where would you choose to go and why?

The beaches of Florida. I love an early morning run at the beach.