Updated: Aug 1, 2019


I am so excited to launch the Medals & Tiaras blog and to welcome you all to the Sparkle Community! I started this blog to connect with fellow runners, runDisney enthusiasts, and anyone who is dedicated to improving their health through fun activity. Every Monday starting August 5th, I will be posting a new blog on topics such as training and staying motivated, healthy eating, race costumes, and rest and recovery.

All of this will be tied to my journey to the 2020 Walt Disney World Marathon where I will be running the Dopey Challenge. For those who are unfamiliar, the Dopey Challenge consists of completing 4 consecutive races over 4 days, a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and full marathon, which totals 48.6 race miles. I am so excited to be participating in this tough challenge and Medals & Tiaras will help keep me consistent with my training through January 2020. In addition to this blog, you can also find me on Instagram, @MedalsandTiaras for more frequent updates!


My name is Jerica, I live in San Francisco, CA but I was born and raised in Orlando, FL. I grew up with the sounds of Disney World fireworks in my backyard and the screams from Universal Studios’ roller coasters echoed through my high school hallways. The university I attended, the University of Central Florida, was designed to mimic Epcot. Needless to say, Disney and other theme parks run deep through my veins.

While Disney comes natural to me, running most certainly does not. Until the age of 23, I was a ‘no distance’ runner with ‘Run a Marathon!’ on my bucket list. I always figured I would get there someday, but it wasn’t until my mother started running that I felt like this was something I could do too. After signing up for my first race, The Color Run 5K, I was hooked. I loved the feeling of accomplishment, the medal, the sweat sparkle. After The Color Run, I signed up for many more 5k’s and 10k’s including the Run 10 Feed 10 race in NYC, a Harry Potter 5k (which my husband won!), Ugly Christmas Sweater races and the list goes on.

Now confession time. I have run 5 half marathons but have only trained for 1 of them. Funny enough, I love having a full race calendar but had always defaulted to the thinking “ehh I can suffer through the race” when it came time to train. Each of my first 4 half marathons I completed in 2:45mins exactly. After spending full days in bed recovering and generally hating every decision I made, I decided to dedicate myself to a training program and put my body to the test. That test was the 2019 Biofreeze San Francisco Half Marathon. After following Hal Higdon’s 12 week Intermediate 2 training program, I completed one of the most challenging courses in San Francisco (hello hills) in 2:15mins. Afterwards, I was still standing and only said a couple curse words! Although I say it lightly, I share that not to impress anyone with my time but to highlight what dedication and consistency can do. I have never felt healthier or prouder of myself for sticking to my goal.


As I mentioned earlier, Medals & Tiaras is my way of staying accountable to my training but above all, I hope this blog will inspire someone to take the first step in their fitness journey or to push through during tough times. Let’s use this as a platform to encourage others, share what gets us through, and collect some sparkly things along the way!

xoxo Jerica


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