Meet Our 2018 Minneapolis Running Ambassador Team
When we put out a call for enthusiastic Minnesota runners last month, we had no idea how many fantastic people would apply. We read through dozens of applications and were blown away by the experiences and motivations of each and every one of you; we are so grateful to have such an amazing community! As a small site, we were only able to select a small handful of ambassadors, but we did our best to represent a wide variety of running experiences and backgrounds. Please join us in welcoming our new 2018 Minneapolis Running Ambassador Team!
About the Ambassador Team
Minneapolis Running Ambassadors are everyday runners with the mission of motivating Minnesotans to become stronger runners while living happier lives. They’ll share their running experiences, advice, and favorite races, gear, and more throughout 2018. Plus, say hello if you spot one of our ambassadors wearing a Minneapolis Running singlet at a local race!
Meet the 2018 Ambassador Team
Small but mighty, the 2018 Minneapolis Running Ambassador Team is made up of five passionate and enthusiastic runners. Collectively, they have a combined 46-years of running experience (from beginner to advanced) and aim to hit goals such as complete their first marathon, qualify for Boston, or run healthily at any size or age. Meet our 2018 ambassadors:
Lisa V., 24
“I started running when I was a freshman in high school. I went to a model United Nations conference, got an invitation to my first race (a United Nations Day 5K), and unexpectedly placed! Since then, running has been a constant in my life that has helped me feel more like me no matter where I am, whether it’s with the Crazy Running club in Thailand, the November Project in Minneapolis (when I can drag myself out of bed at 5 am), or just by myself with some good music or podcasts.”
City: Minneapolis, MN
Occupation: Food Trend Forager
Years of Running Experience: 10
Currently Training For: Still working on my race calendar and considering the City Trails Loppet 10M in May.
Best Piece of Running Advice: (On the topic of hand form when running): Pretend like you’re holding a potato chip.
“I grew up in Bangkok, Thailand, went to college at Washington University in St. Louis, and moved to Minneapolis two and a half years ago for a job at Target HQ. I had a tough transition when I first moved to Minneapolis but have since become a huge advocate for the city and co-chair MSP HELLO, an initiative to welcome newcomers to the Twin Cities. I’m excited to combine my two interests and highlight the city through the lens of something I love – running!”
Jeff G., 47
“I started running right after I started working at a wellness center back in the spring of 2006 (at age 35). About a month into working, they informed me that the entire staff runs in the annual community 4-mile race. I had always wanted to run and complete a 5K race but had never pursued it. This was my excuse to give it a shot, but they had only given me a month and a half to train before race day. Since finishing that race, I was hooked and I haven’t stopped since!”
City: Rosemount, MN
Occupation: Business Owner/Massage Therapist
Years of Running Experience: 12
Currently Training For: Always in “training mode” for 10Ks up to ½ marathons, but am currently contemplating Grandma’s Marathon and possibly a 2nd go-round at Twin Cities Marathon this fall.
Best Piece of Running Advice: Ignore your brain but listen to your body.
“Throughout the years, I have had many friends and family members tell me that I inspired them to try their first 5K or that they want to attempt their first race but don’t know if they can. I want to encourage more people to try something new or outside of their comfort zone, and maybe someday they can continue to spread the motivation to others as well.”
Alisa D., 33
“I started running when I was 27 because I wanted to lose weight and thought it might be good for my well-being. I actually thought I would never like running, but once I started making progress on pace and distance, I was hooked!”
City: Minnetonka, MN
Occupation: Academic Advisor
Years of Running Experience: 6 (on and off)
Currently Training For: The TC Summit Challenge MNy. I’m also doing a Spartan race this summer which means I’ll be doing a lot of cross training!
Best Piece of Running Advice: You can always put your running shoes back on. When I lost motivation and stopped running for a while, a friend told me this. To me, it means that no matter what I can always return to running and start to rebuild my pace and distance.
“I want to connect with the folks who are at the middle or back of the pack, need the motivation to get running again, or are looking to use running as an opportunity to increase well-being, especially mental health.”
Lauren A., 26
“I started running in the spring of 2017 because my dad had recently picked up the sport and I was so inspired by him. At 58 years old, he started training for his first marathon and lost 60+ pounds. He’s a retired career firefighter and I thought, “Man, if dad can do it, I probably can, right?” So I downloaded the Couch to 5K app and somewhere along the way, I caught the running bug.”
City: Minneapolis, MN
Occupation: Clinical social worker
Years of Running Experience: 1
Currently Training For: The Twin Cities Marathon
Best Piece of Running Advice: Your foam roller is your best friend.
“I love the running community in the Twin Cities and am so excited to share my own story of training for my first marathon – the good, the bad, and the ugly!”
Aaron G., 35
“I started running in college to stay in shape after my competitive swimming career ended in high school. After overcoming some initial IT band injuries early on, I started running more consistently as a part of triathlon training. My love of the sport just grew from there.”
City: Maple Grove
Occupation: Chief Digital Officer for a marketing agency
Years of Running Experience: 17
Currently Training For: Eau Claire Half Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon
Best Piece of Running Advice: Trust in the process. There will be up days. There will be down days. They all even out.
“I have such a love and a passion for running and enjoy sharing it with people who want to listen. I love the Minneapolis area, having been born and primarily raised here, and feel so fortunate to live in a place that values active lifestyles so much.”