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Profiles Home : Features> Profiles> Jim Garcia

Date of Birth: May 21, 1961

Place of Birth: Palm Springs, California

Current Address: Calabasas, Calif. 1-800-96-A-NEW-U

Job: Fitness Spokesperson and CEO of Changing Weights Company, Inc.

Marital Status: Married to my husband of 11 minus 2 years, Alan.

Children: Maurice 10 and Ben 7.

Height: 5' 2"

Weight: 115 to 120

Shoe size: 7 to 8

Best feature (physical): It's always been my gluteus maximus, although I'm starting to question this now at 40.

Worst feature: My black and blue toes with little or no toenails.

Religion: Christian mother, Jewish father, brought up in a Jewish home, and God has been my best friend for life.

Educational Background: Some college, Theatrical and dance, UCLA Culinary Arts program with continuing education in the culinary arts.

Favorite Author: I enjoy all that send a positive message in life.

Favorite Book: Tuesdays with Morrie, and the Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Favorite non-running magazine: Muscle and Fitness, O, Cooking Light, and W fashion magazine.

Favorite movie: Captain Hook (with Dustin Hoffman) because I will always remember watching that over and over and over when my boys were younger, and as it quotes in the movie "think happy thoughts." I like that. Also E.T., as we've watched this more than I'd like to say, but it was the company of my young children that has made these my favorites.

Favorite television show: The Oprah Winfrey Show

Favorite actor/actress: The late Michael Landon, as I was fortunate to work with him. Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, Julia Roberts and quite a few more.

Favorite music: I love music so much, all types, but especially love funky dance type music.

Favorite musical performer: From Barbara Streisand, Moby, Hiroshima, Tom Petty, to Snoop Dogg and all in between, such as, Madonna and J-lo, plus they're hot dancers, I just think all music is beautiful.

Book you are currently reading: Mine, which will soon be finished, as I've been writing my first book for the past 10 years. It started as your typical food and fitness. I gathered information from all my research and experience, and now is more of a book on self-acceptance, a positive lifestyle makeover and being your best. This I learned from working with so many who struggle with eating disorders and self worth, along with my personal experiences.

Favorite artist: My children's work. My son Ben has amazing talent with art.

Hobbies: anything with my children, photography, writing, volunteer work, cooking and entertaining for family and friends.

Collections: My stinky old running shoes. I just can't get rid of them. I also like to collect bath soaps and lotions.

Make of car you drive: Suburban, Porsche convertible, and Truck.

Make of car you would like to drive: Ferrari's are nice to look at, but not practical for my life. I am happy with what I have.

Greatest adventure: Motherhood, every race I enter, and everyday life. Also, once just minutes away from the summit of Mt. Whitney, the weather turned ugly, and it was a race to get back to the Portals in the rain, hail, and snow, as we were all hypothermic. I had Denise Jones with me and her experience got us down the mountain.

Favorite spectator sport: Horse racing, basketball, triathlon and track and field, especially when my 10-year-old son is competing. Although this scares me, to watch my seven-year-old with his passion and talent on his motorcycle, riding with the big guys.

Favorite game: I like my own mind games during an ultra, but the games Life and Scrabble are fun to play with the family.

Favorite vacation destination: Anything tropical; the Kona Village is nice.

Favorite time of day: Every second

Favorite item of clothing you own: I have a few, because I love clothes. I have some nice dresses, and outfits.

Most prized possession: My family, and my life, as I was given a second chance when I was younger with a bike accident, that punctured my liver.

Political affiliation: Democrat, by family pressure.

Personal hero: I have many, and those are the children of Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, who I run and raise money for. Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with an eight-year-old fighting cancer, and when he asked me about running these distances and the typical questions, "when do you eat, go to the bathroom, sleep"?, and then he asked me what is the hardest part: when you run 50 or 100 miles, I told him, for me, around mile 80 when my body hurts and I'm tired, it's tough, this eight-year-old, told me "Shannon will you promise me, you will never give up". He is my hero!

Favorite famous quote: If at first you don't succeed, try, try again.

Personal philosophy: Be very thankful of what you have, and help those less fortunate. Don't set up boundaries within yourself, explore and you will be amazed of your capabilities in life and realize how powerful you are.

Short-term goal: Being a great mom, stay injury free, getting through Badwater this July and raising $20,000 for Camp Ronald McDonald for Good Times, to benefit children with cancer.

Long-term goal: Being a great mom, staying injury free, run more 100s, and just running until my last breath. Running a race with my children when they are old enough and continuous success with fundraising for various charities.

Achievement of which you are most proud: Overcoming an eating disorder. My success with volunteer work. With my television work, being fortunate enough to donate 100 percent of my profit from my Slim-Fast print work to the children battling cancer. Receiving a philanthropy award in front of hundreds of people. My first marathon at 34 years old. Working on an ESPN2 fitness show as a fitness model at the ripe age of 38. My giving, happy and well mannered children.

Favorite subject in school: Math and English.

Least-liked subject: History

Least liked household chore: Washing all my clothes after a race—yuk!

Pets: Two dogs, a bird, and a lizard

Pet peeve: Ignorant, mean people.

Favorite non-running leisure activity: Horseback riding, and riding bikes with my kids. Riding on my husband’s Harley; spending time with my family.

Greatest fear: Those few only a mother would understand.

Happiest memory: Childhood and my first pony at 10. When my father bought me two racehorses, and watching one of them, named Dominant Dancer win in the stakes races. My wedding, and my first five-km, marathon, first 100-mile finish, and the best was when I saw and kissed my newborn children for the first time.

Secret ambition\fantasy: Finish my book, and write more, hold lectures on overcoming obstacles and being your best, and someday have a retreat for children living with life threatening illnesses. Run a double Death Valley with a Badwater start.

Personal strengths: I have a strong mind, good heart and soul, and I have a passion in life. I've been told my dedication and giving everything that I do 100 percent, is my greatest strength. Personal weaknesses: I seem to make too many commitments.

Running PR's:
Marathon: 3:45
50 km: 5:51
50 miles: 10:14
100 km: 15:22
100 mile: 28:49

Years running ultras: Less than four years

Number of ultras finished: 33 or 34—I don't really keep track.

Best ultra performances: I give my best to all of them, but my first 100-mile as I saw what I had, and this would validate the power of the mind, and what it meant to "dig deep."

Most memorable ultra performance and why: The Rocky Raccoon 100 Mile, because I was hurting out there, and I had Jennifer Janis as my pacer, and I remember Gabriel Flores telling me at mile 90 "Come on Shannon, you will be done soon, we are all hurting, you won't hurt tomorrow, you will feel good, if you drop, you will remember this for life." His words were so right and I finished.

Typical training week a month or two before a major race: It depends with my home life. My family comes first, but now that they are older, I train harder. I am currently training for Badwater, and I average about 80 to 100-mile weeks, with a long run on the weekend. I hate to say it, but I ran my first 100-mile race on 20 to 40 mile weeks. That is all my life would allow, and I think I ran it on adrenaline and the desire to finish.

Injuries: IT Band, Achilles.

Favorite running shoes: I am currently in Nike.

Favorite food/drink during an ultra: Fresh fruit, Slim-Fast, orange pineapple and chocolate, avocado, turkey and whole wheat tortilla roll, and what Scott Jurek's wife gave me at an aid station at Leona 50 this past month, it was vegetarian, delicious, and I want that recipe!

Favorite handler: Kari Marchant, and my husband Alan. Usually I'm on my own.

Favorite pacer: Denise Jones, Jennifer Janis, John Rosmus, Renne Gardner, as they have given me 100 percent of themselves that day and/or night.

Favorite place to run: The mountains

Favorite type of running surface: Single-track trails, they can be muddy, rocky, or smooth I just love the dirt.

Ultrarunning idol: There are many and for many reasons. Ann Trason for her strength and talent, Blake Wood for his balance of being an incredible runner, and father, and so many, those who are there for the love of the sport. Also my coach Kevin Setnes, whom I respect and admire. I also respect people such as Betty Frankum, who has fought harder struggles than the long races she runs—her strength should be admired. I idolize all that are out there, as it's easy to do nothing in life.

Why do you run ultras: For many reasons, first I love the outdoors and being on the trails, the challenge, and seeing what my body has to offer, and what I am made of, so to speak. Second the people that I have met. I know for a fact if I was hurting, my neighbors, and the PFA moms, wouldn't wipe spit from my chin or pop my blisters, like my ultra friends would. Third and not last, with my career, I would like to express to people that anything is possible, if you can just believe in yourself, and understand in life there are many obstacles, but you can get through them if you really want to.

Any advice you would give to other ultrarunners: This is hard, as I'm not as experienced as those I run with, but I will say, never take for granted the gift that we share. If you are not involved with charity work, this is how we can incorporate charity with what we do. There are many people who still think to run a 50 or 100-miler or even your more commonly known 26.2 mile marathon is amazing, and you will be surprised how people support you in raising money and bringing awareness to help those less fortunate, through your courageous efforts. I will always remember when I'm struggling during an ultra, this is my choice, those who I run for, their everyday fears, struggles, pain and challenges—they don't have choices with this. For me, the day after a race, I am fine but the children I run for, are still fighting their pain and struggles, and that is why I give them my love and support.