Jenny Murray is Embracing the Weather

Melissa Road Race 1
Jenny Murray (right) with her coach Amanda and sister Kelly at the 2018 Melissa Road Race

Another year, another personal best for Jenny Murray who recently completed the 2018 Melissa Road Race.

The Melissa Road Race, described as the “perfect mix of fun, fitness, and serene mountain beauty,” is a 5k, 10k, and 21k run through the picturesque streets of Banff.

Jenny ran with her older sister, Kelly and her SOA-Edmonton snowshoe coach Amanda Trenchard, who Jenny stated are great running partners, adding that they always help her push through any obstacle.

Running for her third straight year, Jenny was able to overcome the snowy weather on the day and complete the 5k with her fastest time yet, which earned her third place in her age category.

“This year was the worst weather, so I guess I’m getting used to it,” said Jenny. “This training helps because this year I ran my fastest 5k (26 minutes and 26 seconds).”

The snow did not deter her and she has already signed up for the 40th Anniversary race next year.

“The elements play a big role because if there is fresh snow it is difficult to get around,” said Jenny.

Bad weather is not a match for Jenny who has experience braving the elements in competition.

At the 2016 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games in Corner Brook, Nfld., Jenny was challenged with a small snowstorm while competing in her snowshoe events.

However, she was able to push through, earning two gold medals in the 200m and 800m races.

“That moment felt pretty good and everyone was cheering,” said Jenny. “My coach Amanda even got Team Ontario cheering for me.”

Jenny and Amanda in Banff
Jenny and Amanda in Banff

Next year Jenny plans to compete at the 2019 Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games in Calgary for her second time in snowshoeing. She is planning to do the 5k race and potentially the 800m and 1600m races as well.

Jenny said that she is always excited to attend games and that Calgary will be another incredible experience.

Although her snowshoe practices are just starting back up, she continues to run to stay in shape during the offseason.

“Right now Amanda and I train by running and do the stair machines,” said Jenny. “We did that throughout the summer and it is improving my cardio.”

Amanda is a role model for Jenny and she continues to motivate her during runs, help her with training, and acts as a mentor for her and other athletes.

“As a coach, Amanda is very encouraging,” said Jenny. “She always pushes us to do our best. She is really awesome to talk to.”

The two completed a half marathon in Orlando, Fla. last year and are planning to do the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon in November.

This cardio training combined with snowshoe practice has Jenny determined that she will be ready for the competition in Calgary.

“I basically want to go out, have fun and do my best,” said Jenny. “I am hoping to make it back for Nationals in Ontario.”

As Special Olympics celebrates its 50th Anniversary athletes like Jenny believe it is important for everyone to feel included.

People with intellectual disabilities are done being left behind. We’re ready to show the world the power of inclusion.

Jenny Murray is up for the challenge. Are you?

Help raise awareness of our mission and shift the focus from disability to ability.