Fifty – that’s the number of races Jacy Vergara has run in her lifetime, and she’s still going strong.
Most of the races Vergara has run have been 5Ks. She’s also done nine half marathons, one 25K, one 6-hour relay and one 24-hour relay. She will be running her first full marathon at the end of October in Washington, D.C.
“I started running after college and signed up for my first race in 2006,” Vergara said. “I love that anyone can run and love how it makes me feel afterwards. I enjoy racing because I like challenging myself to see how much faster or longer I can go.”
Her favorite race is right here in Georgia. Last year was Vergara’s sixth time running the Savannah River Bridge Run.
“I did the 5K three times, the 10K once and the Double Pump twice,” Vergara said. “In 2012, my fellow running group, MRTT (Moms Run This Town Savannah Chapter), raised funds for the Nancy N. and J.C. Lewis Cancer Center in Savannah. I promised to shave my head if we reached our goal. We did, and my head was publicly shaved on stage after the race.”
Ben Wilder, director of the Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run, said this race is one of the “premier running/walking events in the region.”
“It allows participants to push their limits by crossing over a bridge that sits 196 feet above the Savannah River,” he continued. “We offer participants the chance to do a 5K, 10K or Double Pump, which combines both events. Our official charity is the Cancer and Research Pavilion at St. Joseph’s / Candler. A portion of each registration supports this charity. We also put on a really great post-race party with live music, food and beverages.”
Last year, Vergara beat her Double Pump time by eight minutes. The Double Pump is a 15K, running over the bridge three times.
“It was awesome. I look forward to this race every year,” Vergara said. “I ran last year’s race in a Wonder Woman costume, along with MRTT. We won the group costume contest.”
Winning the costume contest wasn’t all Vergara won. She also won this year’s Enmark Savannah River Bridge Run Design Contest.
“I heard about the contest via social media. I had also entered the contest last year, but did not win,” Vergara said. “I wanted to do it not only to win the prize, but because the Savannah Bridge Run is my favorite race of the year and thought it would be extra-special if my design was picked.”
Vergara’s artwork will be showcased on the posters, participant shirts, event programs and registration brochures. She also received $1,000 for winning the contest.
“The design contest allows us to connect with the local community, especially since there are so many great artists in Savannah,” Wilder said. “This is our second year doing the contest with the Savannah Morning News, before that we ran it through SCAD for more than 10 years.”
Vergara said she wanted to illustrate the bridge actually running.
“I had procrastinated on working on the design until the last minute before submission deadline,” Vergara said. “I thought it was going to be easy to put my initial vision into an actual design; however, it didn’t work out that way. I had to scrap that first idea and quickly came up with the design I submitted literally minutes before the deadline.”
Wilder said, “Her design overall was very well done. We loved the running bridge and the use of color throughout.”
Vergara, who has lived in Richmond Hill for just over a year, said she was thrilled when she found out she won.
“I’ve entered many race shirt design contests and have not won until this year,” Vergara said.
She attended SCAD, graduating in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in graphic design. She currently works from her home as the senior graphic designer for a furniture company in Atlanta. Vergara previously lived in Savannah for 15 years and originally is from Fort Washington, Maryland.