Interviews by: Nate Parlin and Sarah McInerney
Run Minnesota Training
Supportive – Authentic – Inclusive – Empowering -Agile
Run Minnesota Training provides options for group or individual training so no matter where you are in Minnesota you have support!
“I’m now working through my goal of running a half in every state. I truly believe running saved my life and I met a whole new community that I otherwise wouldn’t have!”
– Ashley Hughes
Target Race: 2021 Chicago Marathon!
I started running in November 2017 with the goal of losing weight. As much as I didn’t expect it, I quickly fell in love with the sport. In 2018, my New Year’s Resolution was to run at least one race per month. In June 2018 I completed my first half marathon (Garry Bjorklund). I felt great after the race and quickly signed up for my first marathon, which I ran with my cousin in February 2019 in Tel Aviv, Israel. I’m now working through my goal of running a half in every state. I truly believe running saved my life and I met a whole new community that I otherwise wouldn’t have!
I joined the Run Minnesota Training Program because I wanted to meet more like-minded people. After getting more serious about running, I realized I didn’t have a lot of friends with that same interest. I love running in groups, helping other runners, and learning from others; this group checks all the boxes plus some. As a result of being part of the program, I found a new social circle. I couldn’t have asked for better running buddies!
Target Race: Mankato Marathon
I started running in 2013 and have run many 5k’s, 10K’s, and a couple of half marathons. I wanted to run a full marathon but was a little scared about the distance and also, time to put in for training. This year I made up my mind to run the full marathon and found a good training program through Run Minnesota. I did a few races organized by Run Minnesota (MDRA) in the past but did not know that they also have training programs for half and full marathons. That was perfect as I wanted to run a marathon, but wanted to ensure I was going through proper training.
Our Team lead was awesome, very knowledgeable, and shared a lot of experience as he has run 25+ full marathons. He always motivated the team to push and helped me find new limits. He helped keep us on track to follow the training plan but was flexible enough to change the miles based on the group’s preference.
The training class helped me strengthen my core by doing hill and speed training on Tuesdays and long runs on Saturdays. I enjoyed having support throughout the training events. Additionally, every Wednesday, there are Q/A sessions with coaches to answer all your training-related questions. I found those very helpful as I prepared for my first Marathon.
Target Race: City of Lakes
When lockdown hit in March of 2020, I started running and slowly fell in love with it. I used running as a stress reliever and loved to see progress being made with consistency. I joined Run Minnesota in the Spring of 2021 but signed for my first group training for the Fall Training 2021 and the City of Lakes Half Marathon. Every chance I get, I tell people about my experience with Run Minnesota. The people and the passion of the group is something that cannot be found anywhere else. I will never forget my pace group cheering me on as I completed my longest run, the encouragement and support of our coaches each week and the ease of running routes with water stops and group guidance.
Target Races: City of Lakes, Fargo Marathon
The absolute best part of being in this group is the group itself. Sitting at the starting line at City of Lakes with about 20 people I didn’t know before joining the Run Minnesota Training Programs was the absolute best part of this race and all made possible by how all of us get along and are sharing a common goal. Most of the people that were missing from my training group were at a water stop cheering and helping us get through. Other members not at the water stop were scattered throughout the race. It is truly humbling to get to share these memories with some really great people.
Another thing that I noticed at City of Lakes was, just by wearing the Run Minnesota shirt other members that I have never met would chat with me. It was an unexpected and welcomed treat from this event. And for some reason it made me run waaay too fast! Looking forward to seeing most of these people again at future events!!!