While some wouldn’t dream of tackling the world’s largest marathon once, seasoned runner Jennifer Lipack intends to cross the TSC NYC Marathon finish line for a second time come November. Having completed the marathon first in 2016 as a member of Team Mission United, Jennifer will once again run on behalf of the United Way of Long Island.
Jennifer, a Local 338 Member Assistance Program Directior, is no stranger to United Way’s missions, as they often intersect with her own work. “It’s always good to support United Way when they provide us with support, especially in the social work field,” she said. Through her work as a certified social worker, she has helped Union members facing possible struggles, including substance abuse and housing difficulties.
Running for Team Mission United, then, serves as another means by which Jennifer seeks to assist local communities. “People don’t understand the services [veterans] need…running for Team Mission United is a way to promote and make everybody aware of the services,” she explained. Additionally, she has found that running for an important, yet often overlooked cause was not the only benefit of sticking with Team Mission United.
For Jennifer, the team’s small size stands out as a large plus.“Being part of Team Mission United – being part of a smaller team, you get to know people, you get the support you need. You’re not just a number,” she said. From past experiences, Jennifer has found that larger groups are not always more sufficient. In fact, she shared, the personal bonds created through the smaller Team Mission United made the expereince more valuable. As it turns out, running in support of other communities is made even better when you have a community of your own.
So how exactly does she intend to rise to the challenge this year?
“My approach to training is different. I added crossfit training to my marathon training,” Jennifer shared. Crossfit, she said, adds more excitement to her workout and keeps running from becoming redundant.
Jennifer also looks to build on her performance from last year. “I’m hoping to improve my time and endurance.” She wants to be healthier, fitter and stronger not only for the marathon but also for her day-to-day lifestyle.
With her expereince and training, there’s no stopping this Team Mission United veteran from making this year even better than the last.