Because friendship is part of our motto, we love to hear stories of how our members connect on the trails. This month's Most Inspiring Members from Shoreview (MN) Moms on the Run connected on the trails with similar pace times, but it was the journey of international adoption that cemented their friendship. When one person's life challenge can be used to help another person through that same experience, everyone benefits, and Krista and Cari are an example of that. Read on to learn more about each of their stories.
What do you do if you're training for a marathon and on the day you are signed up to do a 17-mile trail race, a freak April blizzard cancels your plans? Well, if you're this month's Most Inspiring Member, you run anyway, of course!
On May 5, Eau Claire Moms on the Run member Sarah Kleven will run the Eau Claire Marathon. As part of her training, she signed up for the 2019 Zumbro Endurance Run, a trail race that takes place in southeastern Minnesota's bluff country featuring high bluffs, deep river valleys and rugged terrain. Unfortunately, race organizers ended up cancelling the race because of a spring blizzard that wreaked havoc in the area. Sarah was devastated.
"I checked my email at 3 in the morning and may have shed some tears," Sarah recalls. "I've wanted to run Zumbro for a couple years. It's been on my radar ever since I watched some of my MOTR friends do it."
After joining Minneapolis Moms on the Run last summer, Jennifer Leeson (Jenny, or "Frisky" to her derby friends) has transformed the way she thinks about food, her body and exercise. In the process, she has dropped 100 pounds and is training for marathon number 14 — the first since her early 20s.
"Jen is one of the friendliest, most positive people I've ever met," Minneapolis franchise owner Karissa, who nominated Jenny, shared. "I was so inspired by her outlook and determination the very first time I met her. I cannot even imagine Jen without a big smile on her face and just being around her would bring encouragement to anyone." As a busy emergency room nurse, wife and new mom, Jenny's story will leave you inspired. Read on for a fun Q & A.
Jen Dyrhaug is like a lot of women who join Moms on the Run — she never thought she'd run a marathon. What makes her story so unique is that simply breathing is a daily workout. Jen has cystic fibrosis, a genetic, fatal disease that causes persistent lung infections and progressively limits her ability to breathe. Every day, she must take medication and complete treatments to prevent thick mucus build-up in her lungs. Running a marathon should be impossible for Jen, yet she's ready to run two in 2019.
Kristen Genet, one of Jen's MOTR coaches who nominated her, shares, "Jen is such an inspiration. Despite managing breathing issues and cystic fibrosis, she sets huge goals and works her tail off every single day to achieve them. I can not wait to cheer her across the finish line of her first marathon this year!" Read on to learn more of Jen's inspiring story.
For Wendy Schmidley of Chippewa Falls Moms on the Run, 2018 was a big year of running. What started as a 40-day running challenge on Thanksgiving 2017 turned into running not only those 40 days, but every day in 2018.
Shawnna Bresina and Jen Jilek, co-owners of Chippewa Falls Moms on the Run, nominated Wendy for inspiring member. "Wendy joined the FB running streak group in November of 2017," Shawnna shares, "and not only completed the challenge to run until the end of 2017, but continued on for 403 days with a total of 1,384 miles — all while crushing her first full marathon! She is so encouraging to all of our ladies and we are so lucky to have her as part of our Chippewa MOTR!"
Read on for a fun conversation with Wendy.