We had the pleasure of meeting Jessica Purcell-Zebrak at NYRR Sprint Tri on August 1, 2010.
It was year to the day after Jess sustained a severe head injury when she crashed into the back of a car while on a training ride with her husband Steven. After the crash Jess was in a medically induced coma for four weeks, followed by a stretch in a rehab facility before returning home. She had to relearn everyday activities before she could begin to concern herself with things like swimming, riding and running. Yet one year later, there she was on the racecourse.
That Jess was back racing says a lot about her physical and mental toughness. That she sought out Nicole to compliment her on her victory, rather than bragging about her own accomplishments speaks volumes about her humility.
The four of us struck up a friendship soon after the race, and I began coaching Jess this season. In 2011 she returned to Ironman, with a strong 11:46 at Ironman Arizona. Here’s some more about JZ.
- Name: Jessica Purcell-Zebrak
- Born: Wyomissing, PA
- Family: Two brothers, one older, one younger.
- Biggest Fan: Her husband, who doubles as her PR Guy and “#1 main man for EVERYTHING.”
- Occupation: Attorney
- 2011 Highlights: PR at Boston 3:17:25. 4th Place in the Boston and Big Sur Challenge. 3rd Place at NYRR Sprint Tri.
You can read about her crash and recovery in the Reading Eagle.