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 www.womenrunthecities.com.
“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 www.womenrunthecities.com.
For more information about Moms on the Run, visit www.momsontherun.com.