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By Miranda Alvarez, Community Engagement Manager
There are those who love running and there are those who fall in love while running. Jamie Rizzo gets to check both boxes.
If you follow Jamie on Instagram, it’s hard to imagine her life without running. Her feed boasts of countless training runs, logged miles and completed marathons. However, Jamie wasn’t always “The Runner Girl.” Though she grew up in an outdoorsy family, she did not consider herself very “sporty.” She had just enough hand-eye coordination to perform in the band, but otherwise stayed off the playing fields. Her family would hike, camp, and spend time in nature. Growing up in Mountain Top, her family would go for outings throughout the Anthracite Region of the D&L Corridor.
However, it wouldn’t be until college that Jamie would lace up her shoes to start long distance running. She joined the cross-country team at Penn State, partially in efforts to shed the freshman 15. As a result, she found a hobby that would bring her calm after a long day. After college, she kept up with the habit. Open to challenge, she steadily increased her mileage. Where she once ran a few miles a day, she pushed for five miles or more. The thing that most pushed her to keep running was the strength and confidence the sport gave her.
In the middle of her love for the sport, she met someone who would keep up. A far less seasoned runner at the time, Jamie invited her now husband on a 10-mile run through the Lehigh Gorge section of D&L Trail on an early date of theirs. Despite only running a couple miles regularly, Jonathan Rizzo matched her stride. This would eventually translate to their engagement and marriage. Jamie completed her first marathon with Jonathan as they worked to look and feel their best for their wedding day.
Today, Jamie and Jon still run together along with their two pups and an abundance of love. Jamie has also gone on to become a Boston Qualifier. Now that she’s tackled running and love, she’s chasing the World Marathon Majors, which will hopefully take her to Germany this fall. The D&L Trail is proud to have been a training ground for Jamie from her first marathon and for all of her future accomplishments.