Q&A: Ironman contender Jennifer Brown

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

In August, Jennifer Brown will make a second attempt to finish Ironman Louisville, a three-sport test of strength, focus and endurance. This time around she's better prepared, more focused and racing for Friends of the Shelter, a local nonprofit that assists the Franklin County Dog Shelter. The everyman athlete shared more about refusing to quit.

There are two races in my life that I haven't finished. Ironman Louisville and the Philadelphia Marathon. I'm doing both this year.

An Ironm an is the real deal. It's a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike and a full marathon - 26.2 miles. You have 17 hours to finish. It starts at sunup, about 7 a.m. Everyone gets in the water, and you've got until midnight.

When I get done, I'll have cold pizza and champagne waiting for me in my fridge.

To train, y ou've got to log the miles. You have to do it when you don't feel like doing it, and you can't look at anything as a waste. I'll run sometimes, and I walk the whole thing. I've got nothing. People remind me that those are the workouts you can't miss.

I'm not very athletic. People laugh when I say that, but I'm just not. I have no hand-eye coordination. I'm slow. For me, it's about overcoming all those feelings of self-doubt and being self-conscious. There's just a lot of personal strength that comes from that.

There's a quote that I really like. It says, "I started the sport of triathlon to prove who I was, and in the end, I realized the person I was had nothing to prove." That's kind of what I love about it.

To unwind, I read a lot. I'm pretty proud of my library. I love local restaurants. I love walking around the Short North. I do love a good night out dancing and drinking with my friends. That lets me let off a lot of social steam.

Three things I can't live without are my dog, my bike and my all-time favorite water bottle.

I've had my dog, Jackson, since 2006. I suffer from pretty severe chronic depression. I always say that as much as I saved Jackson's life, he saved mine. When nothing else is making me laugh, Jackson does something that makes me giggle. There's something to be said about rescue dogs. That's why I chose Friends of the Shelter.

Know someone doing cool things around Columbus? E-mail John Ross at

Age: 30

Neighborhood: Short North

Day job: Freelance communications consultant

Playing Favorites

Favorite movie: "My Fair Lady"

Favorite book: "Sweet Potato Queens" series

Favorite food: Pizza

Favorite drink: Pear martini at Mozaik