Running groups provide accountability, camaraderieWEST FARGO – Michelle Donarski says if she didn’t run in a group, she probably wouldn’t run at all. The 46-year-old West Fargo woman is training to run a half marathon during the Fargo Marathon on Saturday, but she says for her, running is all about socializing.
By: Tracy Frank, INFORUM
WEST FARGO – Michelle Donarski says if she didn’t run in a group, she probably wouldn’t run at all.
The 46-year-old West Fargo woman is training to run a half marathon during the Fargo Marathon on Saturday, but she says for her, running is all about socializing.
Running groups provide accountability, support, motivation, and friendship for people who like to run, but don’t want to go it alone.
Donarski helped start the Ninja Fargo Half Marathon Training Group, an informal group of runners gearing up together for the Fargo Marathon, with her friend Tracy Clow.
“It was a way to social network with other runners so we would never run alone,” Donarski said. “With long runs it gets lonely if you don’t have somebody else to run with.”
Both women have participated in formal running training groups before, they said.
“The magic happens when you’re in a group,” said Clow, 45, of Fargo.
The group started in January and uses Facebook to coordinate their runs, which are usually on Saturdays. Clow says they are not elite athletes. Their group is more relaxed. They talk throughout their runs and will sometimes go for coffee or pancakes after a run.
In addition to the social aspect, Donarski, who has been running for 8 years, says running is a stress reliever.
“We talk, we laugh, and we pick on each other, we solve each other’s problems,” she said.
Clow, who has been running for 10 years, says she also does it to stay healthy.
“There’s no other activity that keeps me fit as much as running,” she said.
Rebecca Marshall says she first “felt the spark” for running during a fourth grade field day.
“It’s kind of cool to find something that young that you fall in love with and it just kind of sticks with you your whole life,” she said. “I like it because it doesn’t require a lot of equipment, just good running shoes. I like that you can do it on your own or with a group. It’s a good way to meet people in a different setting and it allows you to clear your mind.”
Now the 34-year-old owns and operates West Fargo Moms on the Run, a women’s running training business that just started in late April. It’s part of a franchise that started in Forest Lake, Minn.
West Fargo Moms on the Run is prepping for the GoFar Woman Run August 23 in Fargo. The group also has some runners who plan to participate in the Fargo Marathon, Marshall said.
Marshall says she is a certified running instructor who coached track and field for seven years in Minnesota before moving to West Fargo last summer. She also has a degree in health and human performance.
The group meets twice a week and runners can sign up for weekly or twice-weekly sessions. They spend about an hour going through cardio intervals and strength training exercises, in addition to warmups and cooldowns. They also talk about nutrition and lifestyle challenges, Marshall said.
“It offers a little different workout for people who are already seasoned runners,” she said, adding that it’s also a good way for new runners to train.
“We have all different fitness levels,” she said. “I just love running because it welcomes everybody from all walks of life.”
To sign up for Marshall’s class, visit www.momsontherun.com and go to the West Fargo location or call (701) 210-2038. West Fargo Moms on the Run is also on Facebook.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Tracy Frank at (701) 241-5526