If you want to know what it means to “run happy”, just look over at Quin Jenson.
No one epitomizes the classic Brooks tagline quite like Quin.
It’s not because he works 100 times harder or runs astronomically faster than anyone else out there...
Quin sure puts in the time it takes to grow more and more as a runner with each passing day, but his real charm lies in his unrelenting optimism through it all.
Above all else, Quin’s simply grateful for the chance to run.
And when he’s not actively running, he’s happy to be:
Document the running journey
In the same vein as Omar Posadas (This Runner Will Brighten Up Your Running Routine), Quin maintains a strong social media presence as a way to document his running journey and show all sides of the experience.
Unlike Omar, Quin focuses less on outright humor and more on the daily reality of running.
👉 Your best bet? Get both of these guys on your feed for the perfect mixture of gut-busting laughs and subtle smiles to carry you through even the toughest runs.
Quin’s positivity shines through on every post.
But none of that optimism comes across as fake or forced. He means every word he says.
“I’m just being myself,” Quin says with a shrug. “Even when I’m going through a rough time, there’s always a positive in it.”
He knows that from experience. Quin didn’t have the easiest path to running.
He started out in tandem with a friend, hoping to use running as a way to:
His training partner eventually fell off the wagon, but Quin kept at it.
👉 Why? He’d caught the bug, and running no longer felt like a chore he had to perform in order to reach these ultimate health goals.
Instead, he kept running because nothing else offered him the same kind of release. He finally felt like himself after years of getting lost in the daily grind.
Free your mind
“You can go out there and suddenly nothing else matters,” illustrates Quin. “You can just let go and be free with your thoughts, think about what you need to think about, and actually listen to yourself."
"Sometimes during the week you have so much going on, especially with a small child just starting school like mine. It’s way too easy to get caught up and forget about taking care of everything on the inside. During my running time I can check in with myself and reset.”
It took Quin a while to figure out how to get that peacefulness from running, though.
He went into his first race woefully unprepared, dressed in sweatpants and a hoody in the heart of Texas heat.
“The first couple miles were fine,” he remembers, “but around mile eight both my headphones and my watch died."
"I felt kind of alone out there, but I couldn’t turn around then. It taught me a lot about what I thought I was doing right but was actually wrong.”
Quin learned that he’d been relying too much on outside factors like technology to guide his runs, and too little on his own sense of perceived effort and accomplishment.
At the same time, he realized that he didn’t know what it felt like to be a part of the running community.
Quin leaned on his gadgets so much in part because he didn’t have other people to turn to for guidance and motivation.
There’s a good reason for that.
“I’m a black man in a predominately white sport,” Quin points out. “I don’t see a lot of other black people out there running. I wasn’t really sure what running was supposed to be like for someone like me.”
From there, Quin made a concerted effort to build up a stronger support system.
Some of his explorations along the way gave him pause. He showed up to one group run where he was the only black runner and immediately felt the separation.
“They said they were going 14 miles,” Quin recalls, “and asked if I would go the whole way."
"I just said, yeah, let’s do it. I could handle it. Just because we don’t look alike or come from the same background doesn’t mean we can’t do the same things.”
He ultimately joined three different running clubs that simultaneously challenged him and made him feel at home:
They each take a different focus and include a different population of runners so that each one adds to Quin’s running experience in its own unique way.
Plano Running Club
“PRC is mostly older runners with a lot of experience,” Quin explains. “Most have run Boston and Berlin, big races like that. They bring a lot of knowledge and I can pick their brains."
Zone Fitness Training
"ZFT is more newer runners, so it’s my turn to be the mentor since I have more experience."
Mind Over Mileage
"Then MOM is the most social outlet, we can hang out on the weekend and run a couple miles together to cap it off.”
ZFT and MOM especially offer him the camaraderie that he needed.
“MOM and ZFT are predominately black, and we run through neighborhoods that don’t have a lot of us. It’s cool to show that we can come together and be the majority for a minute.”
And now, Quin gets to set an example himself. His posts, videos, and conversations help other unlikely runners enter the sphere with confidence.
Brooks saw value in what Quin brought to the table, too.
As part of the Run Happy Team...
He’s able to reach even more runners in need of a little help approaching running or finding the silver lining in everyday struggles.
He recently returned from Camp Run Happy, a running retreat in Park City, Utah, where he got to meet many of his Run Happy companions in person for the first time.
“It’s such an amazing group of people from all different backgrounds and locations," says Quin.
"They share all these different pictures from everywhere. We get gear and equipment, and we get to see things that haven’t even come out yet, which brings us closer because we can’t talk about it with everyone else.”
Running + recovery
When he’s not gushing over new gear and shooting stunning photos of his favorites in action, you’ll find Quin soaking up the Texas sun and getting in the miles however he can.
These days, he’s coming back from a meniscus tear that sidelined him from running for a bit and threw off his plan to train for his first 50k.
Hell hath no fury like an injured runner, but Quin proves that it is actually possible to get through it without driving away all your loved ones in fits of frustration.
His best advice for anyone in the same boat?
“Just do what you can. Don’t overdo it, listen to your body. If you’re doing something and it’s hurting, don’t keep pushing it," says Quin.
"Try new activities. You may like cycling or swimming if you’ve never done them. It gives you the chance to try other things that you can add into your training even when you’re back running.”
Whatever kind of motivation you need at whatever stage in your running life, Quin’s got it.