Jackie Whelan

Jackie Whelan smiling and running through the streets of Haiti during her 200-mile Ultra Marathon.

Jackie, a Buffalo, NY native, has eclipsed and conquered some of the most extreme running races out there. We playfully joke that for Jackie, the more extreme the race, the more it fuels her passion. 

After hanging up her soccer cleats following college graduation, Jackie decided to enter the world of running in one of the most challenging ways possible–by competing in the World’s Toughest Mudder, which is “a 24-hour extreme endurance experience”. For 24 hours, competitors lap a grueling 10-mile course with obstacles as many times as they can. In true Jackie fashion, she ran over 50 miles during the competition. What might be even more impressive is that she hasn’t just participated in the World’s Toughest Mudder once; she has done it twice! 

Since the World’s Toughest Mudder, Jackie has added an impressive array of accomplishments to her running repertoire. With 11 full marathons under her belt, including 3 major marathons and numerous half marathons, Jackie’s journey is a testament to her unwavering commitment to the sport. 

Her marathon times continue to impress: Chicago witnessed her crossing the finish line in an incredible 3 hours and 11 minutes. The iconic Boston Marathon - times of 3 hours and 18 minutes and 3 hours and 34 minutes on separate occasions. New York City, another notch in her running belt, saw her complete the marathon in a swift 3 hours and 34 minutes.

Jackie Whelan heading towards the finish of the Boston Marathon on a very rainy April day.

Cruising to the finish line of the Boston Marathon!

Jackie Whelan passing spectators around mile 18 during the New York City Marathon.

Speeding through the boroughs of the NYC Marathon!

Jackie Whelan and Co-Founder Genny standing together with their medals at the end of the Chicago Marathon.

Celebrating after crushing the Chicago Marathon!

Jackie has also taken her passion for running international. In 2019, she ran 200 miles over the course of 6 days across the country of Haiti for Do Work Foundation to raise money for impoverished Haitian families. She describes her time in Haiti as her favorite running experience. While the running conditions were undoubtedly challenging, with high temperatures, polluted air, and incredibly high mileage each day, her time in Haiti was for a broader cause, and she describes meeting the families she was running for as a once in a lifetime experience. Jackie wrote a few blogs about her time in Haiti, and you can learn more about her incredible journey here.

Jackie Whelan getting ready to start her day of running in Haiti with a headlamp on so she can see as she runs in the dark.

Action shots of Jackie during her time in Haiti!

Jackie Whelan smiling and running through the streets of Haiti during her 200-mile Ultra Marathon.
Jackie Whelan with a group of fellow women runners as they celebrate running a 200 mile ultra marathon across Haiti.

Jackie’s next goals are to conquer the remaining major marathons - Berlin, London, and Tokyo! 

With all of these running successes, we had to know what inspired her love for running, and what keeps her going race after race. Her answers show that Jackie is truly an inspiration to all women runners. We can’t wait to see what she accomplishes next!

Meet Jackie

Meet Jackie


How did you get started running?

I originally started running to improve my endurance for collegiate soccer so that I could make my way into the starting line up.  From that point on, I fell in love. After soccer ended my senior year of college I needed something to work towards.  And that's when I completed my first ever marathon in Washington, DC.  And it has been a large part of my life ever since.

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

Training is always a challenge because you have to stay consistent after long days at work and/or unfavorable weather conditions. But once you get to race day, the electricity you feel is unlike anything else. And makes the months prior of training worth it.

What keeps you motivated for your runs?

I love testing how far I can push my body and how I can continue to improve my body's efficiency.  And it's not only a physical challenge that I love, but I enjoy learning more and more about myself and how far I can push myself mentally and even emotionally. I want to see how fast I can truly go. 

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

Always have a healthy relationship with running. If you feel tired or sick, don't run. If you want to have a beer and stay out a little later with friends, do it. As long as you have that healthy relationship with running the more you will continue to enjoy it and the longer you will do it. Having that balance will prevent burn out and that goes for a lot of things in life too. It's truly a marathon...not a sprint. 

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

This is honestly one of the harder questions because each race is so different and unique, and I love them all for different reasons. But to answer… I would have to say running across the country of Haiti is my favorite. It's unlike anything I have ever done and to visually see the impact you have on the ground while running is truly amazing. And I'll never forget starting a run at 2am and seeing nothing but darkness. And then you look up at the sky and the milky way is one of the most mesmerizing things I have ever seen.

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

I would love to trail run in a lot of places...but if I had to choose...I would trail run in Madeira. It is a mixture of vast mountains and ocean on either side of you. It's a mix of all of the things I love...mountains and water. Plus, the airport is named after Cristiano Ronaldo who was born and raised there.