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Maple Grove Voice

'Moms on the Run' Celebrate 10 Years of Fitness, Friendship

Apr 23, 2018 08:36AM ● By Wendy Erlien

Maple Grove Moms on the Run (photo provided by Jen Vendel)

Ten years ago, Moms on the Run was founded by Karissa Johnson in Forest Lake as a way to provide a "structured fitness program" for women of all ages. 

Since it's first location in 2008, the program grew to provide franchise options in 2012 with 46 locations and six states - including Maple Grove

 "I started as the Head Coach in Maple Grove in 2010. At that time, there were only seven locations in the east metro and Moms on the Run Founder, Karissa Johnson, was expanding to Maple Grove. Because she wasn't familiar with the area and my heard about my running and fitness background through mutual friends, she reached out to me to see if I was interested in leading the group,"  Jen Vendel said. "I excitedly agreed and couldn't wait to share my love of fitness to my community! I became the franchise owner in of Maple Grove in 2012 and opened the Plymouth chapter in 2014 and Brooklyn Park chapter in 2015."

Since the program began, hundreds of women have participated - at all fitness levels. 

"We are a group of like-minded women (not just moms) taking time out of our busy schedules to get outside in the fresh air and make new friends while getting fit," Vendel said. "We know that finding time for ourselves can be the biggest challenge, so the flexible programs options ranging from attending one to three times per week appeals to all commitment levels."   

To provide a variety of fitness opportunities, Moms on the Run provides an 18-week signature interval program, a nine-week fall fitness program beginning the first week in September, and other options. 

"As we grow, it is important that we not only keep our program fun and welcoming but also keep it fresh with new workout ideas that appeal to all fitness levels," Vendel said. "The biggest change I've seen so far is actually this year when we brought on Olympian, Carrie Tollefson, to design our intermediate running program for the women who have accelerated in their running through the years and need a new challenge. But we never stray from keeping our program open to every woman! That's why we have a walking, learn to run and intermediate options." 

Along with the program growing over the years, the women participating have grown as well. 

"I think the feedback I hear the most and is truly amazing to me is that our group is life changing. We turn non-runners into runners and fitness fearfuls into fitness fans. Women who started in 2010 without running one block have since run 5ks, 10ks, half marathons and even full marathons," Vendel said. "Our participants also join our group not knowing anyone and have made true friends that will last a lifetime. I'm so honored to be a part of a program that changes lives and forges friendships."


For more information about Maple Grove Moms on the Run:

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