Jackie’s Journey

Jackie Palmer Merritt, 29, of Atlanta, GA, is an kick-ass ultra-runner and avid Pod data fan. Jackie is also a PhD, physical therapist and biomechanist – a perfect match for a running brand focused on gait and form.

Through the eyes of Jackie, we explore the “SO WHAT” behind the MilestonePod data. Come along as we follow Jackie’s training and racing journey….

December 2017: Jackie has decided to return to Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run in 2018. She will be wearing the F7 bib which she earned by finishing 7th female in 2017 (her first), with a time of 21:07:23.

January 2018: Jackie announces she has joined Team Hoka One One Time to Fly Elite Team as her shoe and apparel sponsor for 2018.

Personal Records:
– Marathon (road) 3:07
– 50k (trail) 4:07
– 50 M (trail) 6:57 @ JFK 50!
– 100k (trail) 12:03
– 100 M (trail) 19:04 

Schedule (subject to change):
1/27/18 Mountain Mist 50k
3/18/18 Atlanta Publix Marathon
4/28/18 Promised Land 50k
5/12/18 Ice Age 50
6/23/18 Western States 100 (F7!)

Jackie coming into Western State’s Robinson’s Flat, Mile 30.3. Image: Adam Moffat


Race Report: JFK 50

by Jackie Merritt, Milestone Sports Athlete THE PRELUDE The JFK 50 mile race and its storied history holds a special place in my heart The course runs through the same woods that I played in growing up It’s the race I grew up following as a kid before I knew anything about running It was the...



Brains over Brawn

by Jackie Merritt, Milestone Sports Athlete If you have ever attempted to change how you run, you know that it is not an easy task When we consider steps toward improving our running biomechanics, we think of strengthening weak hips or stretching tight calves/hamstrings/hip flexors While it is...



Something of a Wildcard: The Story of Western States F7

by Jackie Merritt, Milestone Sports athlete PART I - PRE-RACE The Western States Endurance Run was not my first rodeo Still, there was something very different about the weeks, the days leading up to the race Different in a good way In most races that I can remember, I have been expected to win...



Learning to Fly: Decrease Ground Contact Time | Metric Series #3

by Milestone Sports athlete, Jackie Merritt “You went FLYING by me out of nowhere!” You know that person that just seems to fly by you at the end of a race They are probably flying in a more literal sense than you think! Running faster and more efficiently requires spending more time in the...



Georgia Death Race Report | Run Like Nobody is Watching

Ed note: This report originally appeared on nathansportscom by Milestone Sports athlete, Jackie Merritt April 1, 2017 | 72-ish miles Finish 14:24:30 | 2nd female | 11th OA | Golden Ticket Winner "It’s not about how hard you hit It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward"...



Guest Post: Hurry Up and Wait. Conversations of a Crew Husband

by Jeff Merritt, husband of Milestone Sports athlete, Jackie Merritt   The Setting:  Georgia Death Race Weekend, March 31st - April 2nd The Players: Jackie Merritt - The Talent Ultra Runner Extraordinaire MilestonePod Athlete Jeff Merritt - Crew Husband Craft Beer Connoisseur Runs...



Going into the Georgia Death Race: Brace Yourself

by Milestone Sports athlete, Jackie Merritt In the last couple of weeks approaching a big race, there always comes that moment when, in a flurry of panic, I question myself and my trainingAm I truly ready All I think about are those workouts that didn’t go so well, or all the other stuff I...



Hit the ground running – lightly! Metric Series #2.

By Milestone Sports athlete, Jackie Merritt From an injury risk perspective, rate of impact (ROI) is one of the most valuable metrics the Pod gives you as a runner It’s also the metric that keeps me honest as I continuously work to improve my running mechanics in training Maintaining a low ROI...



Spice it up! Implement variety to run faster and stay healthy

As runners, we have all experienced the high amounts of stress that distance running puts on our bodies In a single stride, your body sees impact forces of 50 to 80+ body weights per second - just check out your Pod’s rate of impact metric! Multiply that impact force by 10,000 steps for a typical...



Mountain Mist 50K Race Report | Taking on the Bama Hills

January 28, 2017 Finish 4:44 | 1st female | 6th OA   50Ks have never been my forte With 4-5 hours of hard fast intensity, it’s like the “5K” of ultramarathons To me, it feels like I am practically redlining my system from the starting line, a concept that has always seemed...



Low on Leg Swing? Kick Your Butt into Gear! | Metric Series #1

Leg swing is one of my favorite Pod metrics Perhaps this is because I am a physical therapist by training and/or because this was a key gait metric of interest in my lab throughout the course of my PhD work The Pod’s leg swing metric tells you how much your knee flexes during the swing phase of...



First Race Back! | 12.20.16

A couple of weeks ago the temperatures dropped, cuing me to start gearing up my mileage and quality workouts again for the spring racing season In the long-term scheme of things, I think it’s really beneficial to take a few weeks of downtime between hard races I ran over 1,300 miles in training...



Lift to Last: Strength Training to Prevent Running Related Injuries | 12.6.16

During my “down time” recovering from the Pinhoti 100 mile race and before I start my next training bout leading up to the Georgia Death race this spring, I decided to spend a few weeks focusing on the stuff that I couldn’t do so much of while running 100 miles per week - strength training...



Pinhoti 100 Race Report | 11.14.16

November 5-6, 2016 Finish 19:04 | 1st Female | 3rd OA | 20 min women's CR | 2:36 PR   Pinhoti has been my focus race of the year and I was excited to step out of my element and take another stab at the 100-mile distance I have run two 100’s before (Grindstone and Oil Creek) and...