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Jack Vassalotti: Always On The Run

If you’ve ever attended a Seashore Striders race – or any charity 5K – in Sussex County, you’ve likely seen Jack Vassalotti.

Your first reaction might be surprise, but soon you will be smiling right along with this happy-go-lucky man who enjoys running in crazy outfits, many consisting of a colorful tutu. In 2015, Jack wore a tutu in all 73 races he completed!

It was about 12 years ago when Jack decided he needed to start doing some more exercise so he took up walking daily. Then in 2008, he decided to kick it up a notch and started running.

“At first, I wanted to start running so I could do a 5K, but then I just kept going,” Jack recalls. “I haven’t missed a day since November 22, 2005 – that was more than 33,000 miles ago!”

Jack’s favorite quote is one by Ralph Waldo Emerson - "The first wealth is health.”

It’s a mantra that he lives by and one that he often reflects on. To date, Jack estimates he has run about 350 races – most of them since turning 60!

Jack, now 66, understands that health is a journey, and one simply does not get there by running. He pays attention to his diet, does strength training at Sussex Family YMCA and also practices yoga at Rehoboth Beach Yoga. “Exercise is what you make it. Make it a priority, don't just hope to fit it in,” Jack says. He also points out that exercise does not have to be a lonely activity. He and the self-named Certified Running Nuts enjoy joking around while they run.

“Being a part of the Certified Running Nuts has really helped me continue to enjoy running. There are days when it might be tough to get out there, but knowing I have this group of people who are also getting out there makes it easier!”

"The outdoors and exercise are huge stress relievers,” he said. “Exercising, running, meeting new friends – it all has given me a more positive attitude.”

Jack was featured as the "Parting Shot" in the Winter 2018 Beacon, on newstands now.

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