Jennifer Andress is a lifelong running addict. She began running at the age of 11, and ran high school track and cross country while growing up in Texas. After college, she moved to Atlanta and ran her first half-marathon. She re-located to Birmingham, where she was born, but running took a backseat for a while. It was her husband Keith that re-introduced her to the love of the sport.
In 2004, Jennifer and Keith faced the toughest year of their life. Their son John, at 11 months old, was diagnosed as severely hearing-impaired. Jennifer was pregnant with their second son at the time, and the baby was also at-risk for hearing impairment due to a recessive gene. Jennifer was then diagnosed with breast cancer a month later, and underwent a mastectomy while 6 months pregnant. Her son Will was born later that year, and diagnosed as profoundly deaf.Jennifer had radiation after Will was born, and a prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction.
Today, Jennifer is thankful for her sons and their remarkable progress, her wonderful husband, and her health. Since turning 40, she has gone on to run 4 marathons, including 2 Boston Marathons, 15 half-marathons, 2 triathlons, and countless other races. She appeared on the cover of the July 2011 issue of Runner's World magazine, "Outrunning Cancer". In the cover photo, she is wearing her favorite lululemon black Speed Shorts, at her insistence.
Jennifer is also the President of the Birmingham Track Club, PTO President of her sons' elementary school, an active and long-term member of the Service Guild for the Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs (where her sons attended), and a member of the Board of Directors for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama.