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They're learning to run the race

Back in 2008 Karissa Johnson had an aha moment. The personal trainer and mom of three knew women who wanted to learn to run races and she had the know how.

So Johnson started Moms on the Run, a running program geared toward beginners.

The 18-week program, which has spread to10 cities including Rosemount gradually takes participants from mostly walking to eventually running the 3.1 miles. By gradually working up to the distance, Johnson said anyone of any fitness level can participate.

"It really is workable for all fitness levels," said Johnson.

In addition to the 5K program Moms on the Run also offers programs for running longer races and a boot camp class.

The program has proven popular with women and has seen rapid growth over the last several years. In 2008, 26 people participated in Forest Lake. This year, Johnson expects more than 400 to participate throughout the Twin Cities.

"There really seems to be a need out there," said Johnson. "It's been really amazing to me."

Laura Polikowsky, a personal trainer and mom of two, saw that need around Rosemount and Apple Valley. Polikowsky, a Rosemount resident, contacted Moms on the Run last year in hopes of starting a group in the area. They approved and she became the group's coach.

Last year 12 moms ran with Polikowsky. So far this year 32 moms have signed up to start running April 27 and she expects more.

Polikowsky said having a large group will be nice because runners of all abilities will be represented.

"The more the merrier, because people will match up with people at their same level," said Polikowsky.

Polikowsky said the whole group starts at the same time and place. The group warms up together and the as they get into the running people work at their own pace.

"The program is laid out really well. All the women had great success and it's really, really fun," said Polikowsky.

As a personal trainer Polikowsky has a particular interest in pre and post natal fitness. She's working towards getting her master's in kinesiology at the University of Minnesota.

Johnson said running is a good lifetime sport that can be enjoyed by anyone.

Moms on the Run also gives back. Johnson said 10 percent of the proceeds from Moms on the Run go to Feed My Starving Children.

The Rosemount/Apple Valley group will start meeting at 6:30 p.m. April 27. The group meets twice a week on Wednesdays and Sundays for 18 weeks. Participants can opt to attend only one class a week. There's also options to take a boot camp class or to extra training for a 10K.

The group trains on the Barbara Savanick Trail, which is just North of Diamond Path.

For more information visit

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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