Charity Miles Champion: Jill Serrano

Table of Contents


This week's Charity Miles Champion is Jill Serrano. She is a super mom and super runner, who is taking on TWO fall marathons. This inspiring woman went from running one mile, two years ago, to over 65 miles in races in one month! If running three races this fall isn’t enough, Jill is raising funds and awareness for Every Mother Counts (EMC). EMC is an organization dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Read about her journey, training, and motivation. Don’t forget to log some miles for your favorite organization today #everymilematters


Bored with going to the gym and looking for a more convenient way to exercise, I decided to try running. The first time I ran was on a track. I ran around four times and thought I was going to die. Even though I was exhausted, I felt an incredible sense of accomplishment, like I had changed the world in some way. Well, I had. That day changed my world completely because that was the day, I became a runner. I had no idea what I was doing. I just ran until my brain said “OK – quittin’ time!”. I didn’t know that half marathons existed, what a 5K or 10K was, and I certainly had no idea that a marathon was 26.2 miles.  


After about a year of training, I decided to run two half marathons. The first was hard and I missed my goal time of 2:10 by 5 minutes and 54 seconds. The second half-marathon was an easier course so I had a better chance of getting my goal time. Unfortunately, around mile 2, my knee flared up. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to finish. I toughed it out and ended with a  PR by more than 6 minutes! Finishing at 2:09:00. As I crossed the finish line I was overcome by emotion. I cried because of the pain I was in. I cried because I wanted 2:10 and I did it. I just sat there in the middle of the lawn, with my race medal and my banana, and cried amongst all of these amazing runners who had fought their own battles and won too.

 After I conquered the half I was inspired to take it to the next level. I had my eye on 26.2. The Walt Disney World Marathon 2015 would be my first. I was undertrained and naïve about the enormity of the marathon. I ran in 5:02:20. I was thrilled to finish, but those 2 minutes and 21 seconds made it hard for me to be satisfied. I was determined to run a marathon in under 5 hours. In May I ran The Vermont City Marathon. Training through the New England winter was a personal feat in itself. I finished the marathon, but I missed my goal of sub-5 hours by 1 minute and 55 seconds. I couldn’t stop thinking I could have tried harder, wondering if I had trained well enough if I was fueling correctly, if I went out too fast. I did know that I was overwhelmingly tired. I had spent the past year in constant training mode. 


Third time’s a charm?

I am going to take on the marathon again. I chose the Hartford Marathon as my goal race for October despite already being registered for the Cape Cod Marathon, and the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) Half Marathon. In order to get my goal time of under 5 hours. I am training to run a sub-4 marathon. I don’t anticipate running close to sub-4 hours in the marathon, but I wanted a training plan that was a little outside my comfort zone. To increase my speed I have added an interval workout, I love it! I have also tried to incorporate as much core and strength training as I can during this cycle. I am feeling stronger and more confident in my abilities as a runner. I am excited to take on two marathons this fall.

I am not only training and running for myself. I am running all of my races and dedicating my training miles to Every Mother Counts (EMC). EMC is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe for mothers throughout the world. I was inspired and heartbroken to learn that there are women who have to travel more than the distance of a marathon on foot just to obtain adequate care. Providing these women access to trained personnel and supplies to ensure a safe childbirth experience is a critical global health issue. As a mother and as a professional dedicated to writing on issues related to pregnancy and women’s health, I felt compelled to help in some way. I found Charity Miles through the Every Mother Counts website and am so grateful for the opportunity to give back simply by doing something I love – running. 

None of what I have accomplished over these past 2 years would have been possible without the love and support of my husband and my beautiful daughters. I run to be a role model for my girls and to show them how important it is to set goals and work hard to achieve them.

Share this article with a friend

Create an account to access this functionality.
Discover the advantages