Jessica is a vegetarian ultra-endurance athlete and former mixed martial arts instructor turned full-time trail ambassador & plant-based nutrition advocate, motivational speaker, wife, and mother of an amazing daughter.
In 2015, Jessica became a blogger with the launch of her website Sugarstride.com. The blog is focused on providing resources and tips for runners of all abilities as well as support for training and nutrition. To bookend the blog, in 2015 Jessica launched The Sugarstride Podcast.
In October 2015, Jessica finished her first ultra-marathon. The Fuzzy Fandango 50k takes place in the beautiful Mohican State Forest in Ohio on a network of technical single track, bridal, and mountain biking trails. Jessica completed her first 50 kilometer race in 7:02:30, finishing 5th overall female. Jessica completed her first 100 mile race at the Burning River 100 in 2016.
What makes Jessica truly remarkable is that less than two years prior to his first ultra-marathon, she didn’t own a pair of running shoes, let alone run a 5k.
Jessica grew up in the “Frozen Tundra” of Green Bay Wisconsin. From a very early age she forged a connection with the trails, lakes, and forests of northern Wisconsin. Jessica gained an appreciation for the environment and embraced the principle of leaving a place “better than you found it” during countless camping trips with her family. Jessica was a fairly active teen having participated in volleyball, basketball, and track & field at Green Bay West High School in the late 1990’s, but her athletic career was cut short when she started partying, smoking, and drinking alcohol. Jessica soon found herself a 19 year old mother, far from attending a university, and the furthest thing from being healthy.
Jessica knew it was time to reinvent herself so that her daughter, Johannah, could have the mother she deserved. Jessica set aside the partying lifestyle and focused on getting her life on track.
After meeting her future husband, Jett Croisant, Jessica overhauled her diet and became a vegetarian. Something totally unheard of for a girl who learned how to skin a deer in a high school wildlife class! Jessica and Jett were married and soon moved their family to Ohio. Jessica spent the 2000’s focusing on raising her daughter, developing her career in retail, and dabbled around with fashion and design.
During the 2010’s Jessica worked on becoming a better version of herself with each passing year. Excelling in her retail career, quitting smoking, trading in cheese curds for spinach, and going back to school and attending Kent State University and The University of Akron, where she made the Dean’s list.
Jessica joined a gym to focus on her fitness. She loved the challenge and soon was hungry for something more. Jessica began attending classes at Hickey’s Karate Center and quickly thrived in her experience at the dojo. Under the instruction of Sensei Albert Pecoraro of Gryphon Martial Arts, Jessica excelled at strength training, striking and fighting technique, and high intensity interval training. Before long Jessica was honored to become an instructor of the Martial Fight and Fitness classes at the dojo. She truly valued being able to help others achieve their strength and fitness goals.
In the spring of 2014 Jessica ran her first 5k in the Cleveland Color Run. With her competitive nature, she was immediately hooked on racing and began attempting longer distances and tougher courses with every competition she could sign up for. Jessica expanded her sport to include kayaking and cycling. Road races, trail runs, adventure triathlon, and even extreme obstacle courses were becoming bi-weekly events at the Croisant household. Jessica left the dojo in 2015 to focus on developing her running skills.
Today Jessica gets most of her miles in on the trails of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. Her and her husband have gone completely plant based. In 2015 she launched the Sugarstride blog and following soon after The Sugarstride Podcast. In 2016 Jessica founded the Burning River Film Festival, a non-profit organization that holds events featuring independent films about trail and ultra running with proceeds benefiting the trails and parks serving Northeast Ohio. Jessica also heads the Eat Clean, Run Dirty run club, hosting free group runs in Cleveland and Akron.
Jessica is currently a brand ambassador for Altra Running, Huma Chia Energy Gel, and Swiftwick. Saltstick proudly sponsors the Sugarstride Podcast.