Local Mother of Two Running to Fight Cancer
Toss all her road racing medals in a pile and Jessica Mautner probably has enough ribbon to supply a gift shop during the Christmas rush season. But of all the events Mautner has trained for and raced, the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon on July 21 touches a special place in her heart.
It’s the first time Mautner, 44, has raised money for a charity. Mautner’s mother-in-law, Elizabeth Mautner, was diagnosed with stage IV breast cancer this year. Mautner will be racing to raise money for the American Cancer Society, the race’s featured charity partner.
“I feel like I need to do something for her,” said Mautner. “Because it’s such a helpless feeling when you see somebody undergoing this disease and the treatment for it.”
Mautner’s running resume counts two marathons and nearly 20 half marathons. But like any long-distance runner, sometimes she needs that push to get out the door. Nor is she the type to feel comfortable asking friends for financial support.
“It does empower me to ask for support,” said Mautner, a first grade teacher. “I’m not a big ‘Look at me, give me money’ person. The only other time I’ve asked for donations is for my classroom. But I’m doing this for her. I’ve told her, ‘I’m so proud of you. You’re so strong.’ The least I can do is raise money to find a cure or make treatment easier.”
Mautner is married and the mother of two sons, Sam, 11, and Jacob, 7. Sam plays travel baseball. Jacob is a swimmer.
She began pounding the pavement regularly soon after Jacob’s birth. She vividly remembers when she was about 10 years old, taking a walk with her mother and saying, “If I’m ever a mom, I’m going to be active. I’m not going to be one of those moms who sits on the sideline.”
Mautner lives in Napa, surrounded by wine country.
Born and raised in Napa, she could serve as a tour guide for the race. The half marathon starts beside the Domaine Carneros, a vineyard specializing in sparkling wines. From there, the course takes winding roads with vineyards to the left and right. It finishes at Sonoma Square.
“It’s beautiful,” said Mautner. “Very scenic. The finish in Sonoma Square is a lot of fun. Sonoma is a darling little town, a great end point.”
Like so many runners, for Mautner, getting out the door is as mentally therapeutic as physically beneficial. Asked what she likes about running, she said, “Just the feeling of peace and being alive. I’m out in nature. I live in a beautiful place, which as an adult who has traveled, I’m very aware of. My friends call it The Church of the Long Run.
“You feel like you’re communing with nature. You hear the birds, the smells and sights. Just that feeling of knowing we’re a part of something bigger. As people say, it takes care of your heart and soul.”
The American Cancer Society is the national featured charity partner this year as part of its DetermiNation program. Athletes running at the Napa to Sonoma Wine Country Half Marathon will help fund the American Cancer Society’s mission to fight cancer from every angle. Proceeds will support programs to fund breakthrough research, and provide free rides to treatment, lodging near hospitals, a live 24/7 helpline, and much more.
All DetermiNation runners will receive a free entry into the half marathon or 5k and will enjoy an unforgettable experience that makes a big impact on the lives of individuals affected by cancer. For more information about how to join the growing American Cancer Society DetermiNation team, visit http://www.cancer.org/motivsports.
“ACS does not endorse any product or service”.
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