The term “ultramarathon” may conjure up images from the scene from a popular film and catch-phrase “Run Forrest, Run!”
But for Josh Jacks, owner of Jacks Insurance in Purcell, it is just another day at the office.
While Jacks might not be running coast to coast and back again, he does put in the miles training for his next ultramarathon.
Runner’s World describes an ultramarathon as any race longer than the 26.2 miles of a marathon.
Basically if you run to your car after completing a marathon, you have also completed an ultramarathon.
Ultramarathons vary in length from a single day run of 31 miles to multi-stage races of hundreds of miles.
Marathons are usually run on paved, even surfaces while ultramarathons are typically over trails and rough terrain through mountains and deserts.
Jacks claims, “When I was younger, I hated running.”
Nowadays, he puts in 40 miles per week.
He gets this done whenever he can, whether it is before 5 a.m. or after 9 p.m.
He typically runs 20 miles on Saturdays and spreads the other 20 miles out over the rest of the week.
Jacks started running with a friend who did triathlons in the mid-2000s.
He completed a triathlon and a few marathons over the years and then took a break to raise his family.
In 2022 Jacks had a realization while coaching his daughters’ softball team. He started running again.
“I just wanted to get back in shape,” he said.
Jacks started watching videos of ultramarathons on YouTube. It wasn’t long before he was preparing for his first race.
Jacks ran his first ultramarathon around Lake McMurtry in April.
In July, he ran the Dark and Dirty Miles marathon at Robbers Cave State Park.
He enjoyed the solitude of this run with the only light coming from his headlamp.
“Running in the woods and around the caves at midnight, there were no distractions,” Jacks said.
“Running is widely known to help relieve stress,” Jacks explains
“As stressful as it is on your body and as much work as you put into it, it is stress relief,” he said.
Like any hobby, it takes practice and training to improve running. It takes much more than physical endurance to complete these long runs,” Jacks said.
“If your stamina is good to 30 miles, you can run 60 if your mind can handle it.”
Surprisingly, age isn’t a huge factor in ultramarathons.
The age range is often from mid-20’s to 70+ with the average age range being 40-50.
There is a percentage of people who compete in these races to win but Jacks explained that about 90 percent of people that do it “are just getting them done.”
Jacks’s next race is coming up at Lake Thunderbird.
This run will be 62 miles. For longer races, runners are allowed a pacer for the final push to the finish line.
Jacks’s wife will be running alongside him for the last 10 miles. He has big goals for his future in running as well.
“My goal is to do a 100 mile race in 2024 in Leadville, Colorado.”
A good portion of this race is up and over a mountain and back again.
As committed to running as Jacks is, he is even more committed to providing the community with excellent insurance coverage that comes with personalized service. At Jack’s Insurance,
“You get name brand insurance with personal service,” Jacks said.
Jacks is settled in Purcell with his wife of 10 years, Carlee Suchy Jacks and their daughter, Markee.
He can be found all around the area supporting many community events.
Jacks is a proud family man, a quality insurance professional, and a valuable asset to the Heart of Oklahoma.
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