This Women’s History Month, we’re excited to spotlight Sara Jacobson, a dedicated runner and valued member of the Zwift community.
Born and raised in Chicago, Sara admits she wasn’t always an athlete. “I would try different sports like gymnastics, soccer, and softball, and get bored or want to try something new,” she says. It wasn’t until she met her husband Ari, a lifelong athlete with a degree in Exercise Physiology, that Sara caught the running bug.
Ari and Sara met in 2006 when Ari tried to buy Sara’s friend a drink on a Halloween bar crawl in Washington DC. They started talking and realized how much they had in common. They married in 2009 and their son Cooper was born in 2012.
Ari, Cooper, and Sara
Sara’s Running Journey
Over the last 8-10 years Sara has become a consistent runner, completing six marathons and 26 half marathons. She’s proud of her achievements, such as her 1:56 half marathon PR and recently completing the Goofy Challenge at Disney World.
For Sara, running is not just about a goal time, but also the experience. “Sometimes it is quite freeing to not worry about time and just enjoy the movement and experience of running,” she says.
Challenges Faced by Women Runners
As a woman runner, Sara acknowledges the challenges she faces, such as safety concerns while running alone. "Fortunately, where I run in Chicago there are usually people around, but it’s important to stay vigilant and aware of my surroundings. It’s harder when you travel and aren’t as familiar with the area," she explains. Sara has noticed a positive shift in recent years, with more open conversations about the unique challenges women runners and people of color experience just to enjoy the freedom of running.
Sara emphasizes that more universal support within the running community is crucial for change. "We can't do it alone," she says. Sara is hopeful of a future with more body acceptance and size diversity in running. "In the world we live in, people of all ages, genders, races, ethnicities, and bodies are runners, and we should recognize the value everyone brings to the sport."
Sara’s Experience with Zwift
Sara discovered Zwift through her husband and has since embraced the platform, running 90% of her miles on a treadmill with Zwift. She loves the community aspect of Zwift, describing it as “a small but mighty bunch.”
The platform allows her to interact with others in a way that suits her personality and she appreciates being able to run with people at different paces. “The Film My Run live streams are also a great way to interact and bridge the gap between virtual reality and reality,” she adds.
Sara has even hosted some live streams and has been the Run Leader with the yellow beacon in other events!
Actual Friends, Not Just Zwift Friends
Over time Sara has formed strong connections with fellow Zwift runners, some of whom she has even met in real life. “They have become actual friends, not just Zwift friends,” she states. Grateful for her experiences with Zwift, Sara says it has “totally changed how I view treadmill running, running in general, and the total power of a strong running community."
Let’s celebrate Sara and other inspirational women this Women's History Month as we continue to support and uplift one another in the running community and beyond!