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“I need to step outside my comfort zone.”


At 5 feet, 4 inches tall and north of 300 pounds, Jennifer Cardenas doesn’t cut the image of a half marathoner. But the 40-year-old San Antonio accounting clerk proved that runners come in all shapes and sizes at Sunday’s Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon, finishing in 4 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds.

A little more than two years ago, Cardenas told herself, “I need to get myself active. I need to step outside my comfort.”

If you hate running, which Cardenas said she did, what better way to challenge yourself than sign up for a 5K. Cardenas knocked off a 3.1-miler in January 2014 and now her half marathon count is up to three.

“I did a race in San Antonio,” recalls Cardenas, “and there were people who were blind doing it, people on crutches doing it. I said to myself, ‘If they can do it, what’s my excuse?’ As long as I can keep moving, I’m going to keep racing.”