It’s back… Are you in?

MOTR_logo_HHC_pb_It’s the time of year when red and green foil wrappers make chocolate consumption mandatory, all in the name of being festive. Workouts become nearly impossible to squeeze in amongst school concerts, dance recitals, travel and family gatherings.

So let’s get REAL and save those weight loss goals for the new year! Instead, earn points for healthy lifestyle activities toward helping you MAINTAIN your weight over the holidays.

Our Healthy Holiday Challenge runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 28. The top scorer will win a mystery Moms on the Run Prize Pack worth $100. Are you in?! 

Join our supportive community of busy, multi-tasking, trying to hold-it-together women and make this your “accountability solution” over the next five weeks. ALL are welcome to join in the fun (Moms on the Run membership not required).

How Do I Participate?

  1. Click here to sign up. (You may join at any time) and pay the $1 entry fee. ALL proceeds go to our partner charity, Feed My Starving Children.
  2. Watch our National Facebook Page for the “contest/event post” on Nov. 23, and click that you’re “in.” Share on your Facebook page and invite friends to join you (optional).
  3. Request the tracking spreadsheet from your local Moms on the Run franchise owner and use it to add up your points (see “How Do I Earn Points?” below). If you’re not a member or can’t find your local owner, email
  4. Record your weight by Nov. 30 (for your information only).
  5. Every Monday starting Dec. 7, check-in on our Facebook contest/event post and comment with weekly points earned (Monday through Sunday) since your previous check-in. Check-in dates are Dec. 7, 14, 21 and 28. We’ll conduct prize drawings weekly among everyone who checks in.
  6. With your last check-in on Dec. 28, weigh yourself again between Dec. 26-28 and and post your GRAND TOTAL* of points earned (each weekly check-in, plus any points earned for weight maintenance).

We’ll announce the top scorer on Facebook right after the New Year!

How Do I Earn Points?
The following are worth 1 point each:

  • Get in 10 minutes of cardio exercise, such as a brisk walk, use of a gym machine, a run, etc (maximum 6 points/day)
  • Log 10 minutes of strength training (maximum 6 points/day)
  • Eat at least 5 servings of fruits and veggies per day
  • Go an entire day without sweets
  • Drink 8 or more glasses of water per day
  • Get 7 or more hours of sleep per night
  • BONUS: As of Dec. 28-30, add 10 points if you maintained your weight*

*If you are underweight or pregnant and it is medically recommended for you to gain weight, you may still earn the 10 bonus points if your weight goes up as it should

Way to go, Jenny! Our October Inspiring Mom


This month’s inspiring mom is Jenny Caudill, in her fourth year with the Maple Grove, MN franchise. In February, Jenny’s family suffered the sudden and devastating death of her 5-year-old niece, Persephonee, to a rare strep infection. After dedicating herself to running in her niece’s honor, Jenny trained for and ran in the Ragnar Great River Relay in August and completed her first “full” at the Twin Cities Marathon last weekend. “Through heartbreak comes determination, love and inspiration,” says Maple Grove head coach Jen Vendel, “and this is what Jenny truly embodies.” Our hearts are with Jenny, Persephonee and their family.

Meet Menyi! Our September Inspiring Mom


This month’s inspiring mom is Menyi, in her first year with the Forest Lake, MN franchise. Since joining in April, Menyi has embraced a regular fitness walking routine. Her dedication has resulted in lost pounds, less medications, more energy–and even inspired her sons to become active. “She’s truly a role model,” says Coach Rhonda Bleskey. “She never gives up, consistently comes to class and is so supportive of her teammates.” You inspire us, Menyi!

Twin Cities women are getting inspired to run — together

Moms on the Run is the Official Training Partner for  Women Run The Cities 2015.
Moms on the Run is the Official Training Partner for Women Run The Cities 2015.

More and more women are running. In fact, according to the National Sporting Goods Association, the number of women running has outpaced the number of men since 2012. Women in the 25-34 age group category lead participation totals with more than 5.6 million in 2013, while women in the 35-44 age group rank third with close to 4.1 million. The Twin Cities and Minnesota reflect the national trend, with more and more women tying up their laces and hitting the road.

Why are so many women running?  Everyone has her own reasons for deciding to start, but one thing is clear – many women are tapping into the benefits of running with other women. Running doesn’t have to be a solo endeavor — women have discovered the motivation, camaraderie and accountability that comes from running with other women. A commitment to a running group or program makes a big difference in success rates, especially for women new to the sport. It’s easier to make it to a training session when you know there are friends waiting for you.

Minnesota is home to Moms on the Run, a private fitness group that offers the benefits of running with women, along with a structured training program. Moms on the Run has grown to 42 locations in six states—including 34 in the Twin Cities—since Founder and CEO Karissa Johnson began franchising in 2012.

Moms on the Run is all about “Fitness, Fun and Friendship” and is open to all women, not just moms. The signature offering is a learn-to-run 5K training led by certified coaches that includes strength training, stretching and education. Moms on the Run curriculum provides a variety of affordable fitness options for all ages and levels. “Our program packages an efficient, effective workout routine for women who are balancing busy lives,” said Johnson. “The built-in support system is an added bonus. We help women embrace their ability to lead healthier lives and be role models for their families.”

Signing up for a running event or race can be a great motivator for runners at any level or stage. While there are many races in the area, only a few are women-only events.  Events focused on women tend to provide participants a very encouraging and inspiring environment. In the Twin Cities, the annual Women Run the Cities (WRTC) event was ranked by ESPN as one of the top five races for women in the country. Designed to encourage women of all ages and abilities to engage in a healthy and active lifestyle, it’s also a great chance to network with other women.

WRTC is an event open to all experience levels and features a 10-mile run, 10K run, 5K run/walk as well as a 1-mile fun run for young girls. This year’s event is scheduled for September 27 and registration is open at

“This is an event that invites women of all ages and abilities, from experienced runners and walkers to women just beginning their fitness endeavors, to physically challenge themselves in a non-intimidating environment,” said Women Run the Cities race director, Meghan Huber. “We love to see women motivate and empower one another to achieve their goals.”

From those running for the very first time to those training for a marathon, more and more women in the Twin Cities are taking advantage of the benefits of running together. Whether it’s a couple of friends getting together or a formal program with coaching, there’s more to running together than being active and getting fit. It’s about making connections, being motivated, and getting and giving inspiration and support.

For more information and to register for Women Run the Cities, visit

For more information about Moms on the Run, visit

July Inspiring Mom


Congratulations to Nicole with Fridley, MN Moms on the Run, our July 2015 Inspiring Mom! Currently in her third year with the Fridley location, Nicole is inspiring because “she shows up to every class with a smile on her face, even while dealing with the ups and downs of pregnancy,” according to one of her teammates. Kudos to Nicole for rarely missing a class, even when running or walking for two. Way to encourage your teammates!

June Inspiring Mom

Julie- June insp.

This month’s inspiring mom is Julie, in her third year with the Roseville, MN, franchise. As her 40th birthday neared, Julie (pictured on the far right) resolved to run her first 5K. But she was intimidated and didn’t see herself as a runner. Since her first class in April 2013, she’s run about 20 races, including two 10Ks. “I never dreamed I could run more than 10 minutes, let alone 6 miles,” she said. Today, as the new marketing and communications manager for Moms on the Run corporate, Julie leads the national brand strategy, among other duties. “To me, the MOTR brand represents what I’ve found the strength to accomplish, with inspiration from other women, just like me.”

Representin’ at Ragnar

june-ragnarCongratulations to members of Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, WI, Moms on the Run who ran the Ragnar Relay Chicago, June 12-13! This team of 12 superheroes covered the roughly 200-mile journey starting on Lake Monona in Madison, WI, and ending in beautiful downtown Chicago. They ran into Moms on the Run from several other cities during their journey! Best of luck to all our teams training for the Ragnar Great River Relay, Aug. 14-15, from Winona, MN, to Minneapolis!


Our May 2015 member spotlight belongs to Esmer, a member of the Hudson, WI franchise. Esmer started in the Learn to Run program in 2014, has steadily progressed and is now a coach this season. She proudly ran her first 5K “without stopping” this month at the Mother’s Day 5K in Andover, MN. At left, Hudson Coach Sue Farmer congratulates Esmer at the finish of the 2014 Mother’s Day 5K.

Meet Christine, our April Inspiring Mom

biggest losers 2014 banquet
Christine began her journey with Moms on the Run in 2013 and is a member of our St. Paul Como location. She has lost 54 pounds through diet and exercise and tied for MOTR’s biggest loser last August at the banquet!  Since the end of last summer, Christine trained for and completed her first triathlon and placed 2nd in her division!  She is a true believer in the program and has taken every class her coach Katie has offered since hearing the radio ad two years ago.  She loves her new running friends, the pride of running outside no matter the season, and her new muscles! Way to go Chrisine, we are so proud of you!  Photography by Emily Marie

2014 Annual Address: Celebration Banquet in St. Paul, MN

Head Mom Karissa Johnson addresses the crowd at the Twin Cities Annual Celebration Banquet in St. Paul, MN
Head Mom Karissa Johnson addresses the crowd at the Twin Cities Annual Celebration Banquet in St. Paul, MN

On Work/Life Imbalance: Learning to not do it all

by Karissa Johnson, Founder of Moms on the Run

Tonight is one of my favorite nights of the year. It’s always so exciting for me to be here with you all to celebrate our season.   I did not get to all your classes this year or even attempt to, but it was very fun to get to all of our new locations. In Fridley I got to join Ingrid for her first time ever running 8 minutes straight in her life. And then in Bloomington it was Rebecca, her first time ever running 10 minutes!  Those were exciting moments for me. I regret that I can no longer get to all the classes, and that I can no longer keep track of everyone’s names. But I do treasure every interaction I have with you, and You all inspire me more than you’ll ever know.

I actually drew a little blank this year when thinking about what to say to you all tonight, So I asked some of you what to speak about. Which was a mistake! The only feedback I got, coming from more than one person, was to discuss work/life balance, and what it’s like to be a mom and a business owner.

The truth is, it’s been a hard year. I’ve moved twice and I’ve been in two car accidents. I’ve spent countless hours in treatment for injuries, negotiating with insurance companies, and dealing with incorrectly sewn tank tops. So, feeling completely out of balance, my initial response was to brainstorm something else completely different to talk to you about.

Work/life balance certainly isn’t a strength of mine, I don’t have any answers here, and those who know me best know how much I’ve struggled in this area.

But then I realized that maybe that’s okay. And not just maybe, but probably, it is refreshing to hear someone admit that they don’t have it all together. And what if we all came together, as women, to be honest about how hard it truly is to keep up with the standards we set for ourselves?

I might not have answers, but I hope to offer encouragement tonight by sharing what I’ve learned throughout this difficult last year, and one simple realization has helped me come a long way in reducing my stress and anxiety. So if anyone else here has battled through the daily project of trying to be all things to all people, I pray tonight I can speak uplifting words to you.

You see the thing I had to learn this year, was that you can’t make everyone happy. It sounds cliché, but it is a statement that has had profound impact on me this past year.   I had to get to a point of extreme burnout, and reality had to be forced on me.

Perhaps I’ve realized this to some degree before, that you can’t please everyone, but I wouldn’t accept it. I was certainly not going to go to my grave without trying. I don’t know if that’s something that’s difficult for you, for everyone here, but I suspect it is for many. Maybe your daily overwhelm is caused by a to-do list that couldn’t possibly be achieved by anyone in 24 hours, but the fear of disappointing others motivates you to try. Perhaps you have a hard time making exercise a priority in your schedule because of what someone else needs. And just maybe, your working mom guilt OR at-home mom guilt is due to someone else’s expectation of what you should do with your time.

My son said to me at the race yesterday, “why don’t you stop your business and run with us?” (Heartbreak! Tears!)

But I also think he is proud of me, because he asked me earlier this year if I was in the Guinness Book of World Records.

I had to get to a breaking point to accept that I wouldn’t be able to please everyone.  I had to be shown through outside circumstances that it’s not even possible to get it all done. Time limits required me to let go of things many other people felt I should have done, to focus on the most urgent tasks. And I also had a lightbulb moment, of realizing not everyone wants the same thing anyway! Some of our customers want our summer program to be just like our fall program. Some of our customers want our fall program to be just like our summer program! So you see it is, really, the most elusive goal, to try to make everyone happy.

And when I began to realize that there is no such thing as “caught up,” I then began to start spending more time with the kids, stop working late at night into the wee morning hours, and even start running more again.

When my blood pressure went up about 20 points in 2013, it was quite the reality check. I’m happy to say it is back down now.

I am reminded, that I teach you guys, that it is okay to take care of yourself. It’s not only good, it gives us so much more that we can offer to others. Women running on empty isn’t good for anyone.

Part of what has helped me to accept my constant guilt over the inability to keep up this past year is seeing the good in others. I see the grace that you guys extend to each other when you face challenges in your lives. I’ve met amazing women in this program from all walks of life. Women that wouldn’t naturally click maybe in a business setting or typical social group, have come together in every city to form a unique bond. The support I’ve seen you offer each other through difficult times is amazing to me.

I started out this business with a simple mission to inspire other people; I had no idea how much I would be inspired by you. You don’t feel like running sometimes, but you GO. And afterwards, you’re so glad you did. And I know for sure, you don’t feel like dealing with cancer. Or the challenges of children with special needs, or an addiction, or losing a loved one, or a weight loss goal that maybe seems impossible. But you do it. With determination, and perseverance, and loyalty to the women around you, who are all fighting battles of their own.

You see I knew you would learn to run. But I didn’t know that you would become best friends, and I didn’t know you would change each other’s lives. And I didn’t know you would show me how much FUN it is to RUN.