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At Moms on the Run, our volunteer and head coaches are critical to the success of our program. At every location around the country, we have amazing women who have a passion and zest for running, who are committed to helping our members class after class, and who encourage and uplift each member — no matter what level they're at. There are so many women who continually impress us, year after year. This year, Beth Jensen, owner and coach with White Bear Lake /Shoreview Moms on the Run, is our 2019 Twin Cities' Most Inspirational Coach.
Beth received several nominations, so here's what fellow coach Jen Fink had to say in her nomination:
"I began running in 2011 with Moms on the Run. Beth was a coach, and later became an owner of two franchises. She asked me to become a volunteer coach in 2013 or 2014.
Much like everything she does, that was a quiet and simple move that has continued to foster my ability to run, as well as grow joy at encouraging others. This is just one example of many that show how Beth is a quiet, confident coach that will make sure to check in with all participants and figure out what will motivate them to achieve their fullest potential.
Beth began the White Bear Lake tradition of chalking the trails at our end of season runs and pioneered the tradition that we do NOT leave a teammate on the trail. We run our races, sometimes together and sometimes on our own. But we always turn around at the finish to return to the last leg and run in the participants — giving them that last bit of a boost to finish strong. She led by example and that simple gesture have been some of my best memories from Moms on the Run — seeing people accomplish what they thought they couldn't.
Beth is humble. (You would never hear her tell you how fast she has actually run a 5K - HOLY FAST!) And you would never hear her brag about the crazy number of marathons she has completed. But you do hear her share some of her struggles — the same ones that all participants have. You find yourself wanting to learn and experience with her. It makes no difference that she can outpace you on a mile by six minutes, because she is still human, just like the rest of us. She has not only her dreams, but also bad days, injuries, and even failures that she shares openly with us.
This year Beth is choosing to do BIG, crazy and audacious things. She is signed up for a Barkley Fall Classic trail race this September, which if you know anything about it, is one of the most difficult and mind bending trail experiences a runner can have. Shortly thereafter, she will be running a 100 mile race in Savage this October. She has given so much of her time and energy to us as participants, there are dozens of people who are interested in helping pace, crew and participate alongside her to support her because she has inspired us all so much.
Beth runs along side every participant, whether it is a 14 minute mile or 8 minute mile. And we love and appreciate that she is next to us, not ahead pulling or behind pushing. She is right next to us challenging us to be better. We are all honored to have been coached by her!"
Joann Statsman, another nominator, raved: "Beth is a natural leader, an amazing athlete, and an inspiration to us all. She has grown her two franchises into something truly magical! She has surrounded herself with amazing lead coaches that carry forward the same positivity and support to every member. This type of leadership is critical to the success of the whole! Beth always shows up with a smile, even after doing some of the most challenging (I may say crazy) races or training runs one could imagine. She has to be feeling some pain at times, but you would never know it. She encourages each and every runner in a way that makes them feel proud of their accomplishments; whether it's a beginner running their first minute or a seasoned runner finishing a challenging long distance race. She has a wealth of knowledge from many years of experience. There have been many success stories, but also disappointments and injuries that need to be worked through both mentally and physically. Beth is always there to support others that may be struggling though injury or in need motivation. She has done all this while managing to raise four children, often juggling their many activities alone when her husband is traveling for work. I am so grateful to be a part of her group and have nothing but respect and admiration for her dedication to us all!"
After receiving the award, Beth shares: "I was so surprised and humbled by all the kind things my coaches and ladies submitted when they nominated me. I was also trying hard not to cry."
Congratulations, Beth, on this well-deserved honor!