About Jessica Cera
Born and raised in the mountains of Whitefish, MT Jess grew up with a love for outdoor recreation. She enjoyed cross-country skiing,snow shoeing, hiking, and running as hobbies, but never entered any competitions until 2007 when she entered her first mountain bike race.
Shortly after entering the mountain bike arena, Jess read about XTERRA Off-Road Triathlon in a magazine and completed her first race in 2008. Over the next two years, Jess excelled racing XTERRA and won the overall female amateur title at the 2010 XTERRA National Championship. In 2011 raced her first season on the XTERRA America Tour professionally, and finished ranked 6th in the pro women’s division.
In 2012, Jess won the Cat 1 mountain bike race at Sea Otter and upgraded to the pro category. Shortly after she discovered that what she thought was an injury plaguing her right leg, was actually Illiac Artery Compression Syndrome. No longer able to complete trail runs, or bike at high intensity, due to loss of blood flow to her right leg, Jess decided to give XTERRA and XC mountain bike races a break and focus on the USAC Pro MTB Ultra Endurance Tour. She finished the season ranked 2nd overall for the pro women.
At the end of the 2012 season, Jess had a major surgery in which a vein patch was used to replace the compressed section of her iliac artery. After a winter of rest, Jess came back stronger than ever for the 2013 season and decided to keep the focus on the bike, placing within the top 3 at all southern California road races, and finishing 1st and 2nd, respectively, at the first two endurance mountain bike races of the year.
Jess graduated, in 2007, with a M.S. in Exercise Physiology from San Diego State University. In, 2009 Jess started her own company called Fit Food by Jess, where she is a private chef and caterer. Fit Food by Jess has gained great traction in the triathlon and cycling communities, as well as her Fit Bars (energy bars for endurance athletes). Jess writes weekly recipes and monthly columns for Triathlete Magazine where her fresh, seasonal style of cooking has been well received. Jess wants to share her love of cooking, along with techniques, so athletes can better understand how to combine this element into their daily lives and fuel their training.
Mentoring athletes is extremely important to Jess because she attributes her success to the mentors she’s had along the way. Specifically, Jess enjoys working with women and building “bike confidence,” making the sport more fun and safe and applying a popular saying in the mountain bike world, “smooth is fast and fast is smooth.”
To learn more about Jess, check out www.fitfoodbyjess.com