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From the Court to the Trail: Jasmine Sanchez’s Journey from Basketball to Endurance Sports and Entrepreneurship

From the Court to the Trail Jasmine Sanchez Vessel Athletics Run Tri Bike
Jasmine Sanchez
Year started: 2017
Next race: Summer 2024 - Tour Du Mont Blanc
Favorite gear:
  • Vessel Athletics Hydroshirt
  • Saucony – Currently in the Endorphin Speed 2

Starting a journey in running can result in more than just getting faster or going longer. Training and racing can often lead to self-improvement as well as finding community. Jasmine Sanchez’s story covers all of this and more. Since she began running in 2017, her passion has not only led her to complete marathons but also inspired her to launch Vessel Athletics. Here’s how Jasmine’s journey from the court to the trail to running and entrepreneurship has shaped her life. These lessons, that Jasmine has learned, can provide insights and motivation for others looking to travel a similar path.

The Accidental Start

Jasmine Sanchez started running somewhat unintentionally in 2017. “Honestly, it wasn’t intentional. Running is one of the most accessible sports,” Jasmine recalls. Having played basketball throughout her childhood and into high school, Jasmine found herself seeking a new community and routine when she started college at San Jose State. The transition was tough, particularly because the university had a commuter-heavy environment which made it hard for her to connect with peers.

In an effort to stay busy beyond schoolwork, Jasmine signed up for a local race, the 408K, organized by Run Local. “I actually enjoyed running this. It was kind of fun,” Jasmine reflects. The energy of the other participants, the bands along the course, and the overall atmosphere drew her in. What began as a way to fill her time quickly turned into a passion as she felt the itch to try longer distances, eventually running marathons.

The Importance of Athletics

Athletics had always been a significant part of Jasmine’s life. “For me, running or just movement is like putting on deodorant or showering—it has to be done,” she says. This daily practice of movement, ingrained from her basketball days, seamlessly transitioned into her running routine. Over time, she realized that running offered more than just physical benefits; it provided mental clarity and a sense of accomplishment.


Overcoming Challenges

Jasmine’s running journey, like many, wasn’t just physical but also tested her mentally. The mental challenges she faced during her first semester in college also mirrored the hurdles she encountered in running. “That first semester, I felt incredibly isolated. Running became my way of finding community and purpose on campus,” she shares. This sense of belonging and the mental fortitude developed through running helped her overcome the initial loneliness.

As Jasmine progressed in her running, she sought out new challenges, inspired by the people around her. Her local run group, Tulegit Fitness, led by Coach B, played a pivotal role. Surrounded by members who had run numerous marathons, Jasmine felt inspired to push her own limits. “Being exposed to people who have done incredible physical challenges opens your mind to the possibilities of what your life can be,” she explains.

The Birth of Vessel Athletics

The idea for Vessel Athletics came from Jasmine’s own experiences as a runner. “Once I validated that there was a need for a better hydration solution, I started prototyping,” Jasmine recounts. Starting a business required a different kind of endurance and resilience. From finding a manufacturer to building a website, Jasmine tackled each challenge with the same determination she brought to her running.

The Intersection of Running and Entrepreneurship

Jasmine found many parallels between running and running a business. Both require planning, structure, and a willingness to sacrifice short-term pleasures for long-term goals. “Running taught me to take everything day by day, mile by mile. This mentality has transferred over to my business and life,” she says. Whether it’s preparing for a marathon or launching a new product, the discipline and commitment remain the same.


Building a Supportive Community

For Jasmine, the support from her running community has been invaluable. They have helped her test products, participate in customer interviews, and spread the word about Vessel Athletics. “The community aspect of running goes hand in hand with building my business,” she emphasizes. This sense of community and mutual support has been a cornerstone of her success.

Despite her achievements, Jasmine admits to struggling with fears of coming across as transactional when promoting her business within her run club. “I fear coming across as not genuine, like I’m just trying to use people. But no one has ever said that to me—it’s my own mind controlling that narrative,” she acknowledges. This self-awareness and willingness to address her fears have been crucial in her growth as both a runner and an entrepreneur.

Looking Ahead

As Jasmine prepares for the Kickstarter launch of Vessel Athletics, she compares the anticipation to the nervous excitement before a race. “You fear you’re going to oversleep past your alarm, but in reality, you don’t get any sleep,” she laughs. Her dream is to see her campaign fully funded on the first day, rallying the community she has built over the years to support her new venture.

Jasmine Sanchez’s journey from basketball to running and entrepreneurship offers a powerful example of how sports can shape one’s life. Her story highlights the importance of finding a supportive community, embracing challenges, and maintaining a structured approach to achieve long-term goals. Whether you are going fro the court to the trail or something else, Jasmine’s experiences provide valuable lessons. Jasmine shows us what commitment, community, and the pursuit of possibilities can lead to.