We say this a lot – our core is community; it was the motivation behind starting WeRunMPLS, is the foundation for our meet ups and is what guides all our decisions. Since community is so important to us, it’s time to start introducing the faces that make WeRunMPLS so special. This is a our first feature in a new series we’re calling “WeRunMPLSer of the Month”!

First up is Heidi. Heidi is a dedicated WeRunMPLSer and always shows up with her positive attitude. She’s been committed to our group since the first day she came (and even showed up for all our freezing wintry routes!) and we consider her a core member. One of our favorite things about Heidi is her enthusiasm and her great ideas for future WeRunMPLS adventures. Meet Heidi!

Tell us your name + how you found out about WeRunMPLS.

I’m Heidi Columb, and I found out about WeRunMPLS through a friend of mine (Ladia Albertson Junkans). She kept telling me and telling me to come, and finally I came – but the weather on my first day meant we had to cancel the run so we hung out for dinner and drinks at Aster Café. I’ve been coming to WeRunMPLS ever since (over a year now!).

Where is your favorite place to run?

Absolute favorite place?! Northern Wisconsin. I would say my hometown (Phillips, WI), but my husband’s family has a cabin north of Hayward, Wisconsin. When I’m in Wisconsin, whether I run on the road or run on trails, it feels the same – surrounded by quiet, trees and animal noises. Totally different than running in MPLS – no cars, no traffic, just peace. If I had to pick somewhere in MPLS, I would have to say any park on a trail – right now I’m thinking of Hyland Park. Probably because it reminds of being home in Wisconsin…?

What’s been your favorite night of WeRunMPLS (so far!)?

That’s a tough one! I’d have to say either a) Minnehaha Falls (July 31, 2014) or b) any of the runs in the winter or c) Theodore Wirth Trail Run (August 6, 2015). I didn’t really pick a favorite…I’ve been having a lot of fun just meeting up and running. But, there’s something AWESOME about meeting up with a small group in the dead of winter and braving the cold in your gear. Beer tastes better after a cold, winter run. Almost as good as a beer right after a hot, summer run! But I also love trail runs, so probably why Theodore Wirth and Minnehaha Falls made the list.

Tell us your top 5 interests.

  • Baking and cooking. I don’t give myself nearly enough time to do this as often as I’d like. I know most people like one over the other, but I love both.
  • Swimming. I grew up on the water, started swim team when I was 5 and swam competitively for over 12 years.
  • Triathlon. I had swimming down, I had running down, how hard was it to add a bike? I started doing triathlons about three years ago.
  • Reading. I read almost every chance I get. Like literally, I read my book during the 5 minutes it takes me to eat breakfast.
  • My family. CORNY, I know. But since joining WeRunMPLS, I’ve bought a house, got married, adopted two dogs and got pregnant (due January 2016). I LOVE my little family, and all the adventures owning two dogs, owning a home and getting ready for what baby brings.

What is your favorite thing about WeRunMPLS?

There are a couple of things I love about WeRunMPLS – 1) the variety of paces of the group. Depending on how I feel (especially now, between asthma acting up in the summer and the pregnancy slowing me down), I have the option of pushing myself (sub-9:00 miles is “pushing it” for me) but also have the option of taking it easier when I’m just not feeling it; 2) the variety of runs we do. We mix it up between city streets, lake paths and wooded trails. We try different restaurants after, so it keeps things fun, and 3) that I can bring one of my dogs, George, with me. Being a Griffon/German Wirehire mix, he needs a lot of exercise and he is a very social dog! Coming to running club has helped him with his social manners and his running manners, and he loves seeing everyone every time he gets to come!

(We love George and consider him our unofficial mascot.)

Favorite running quote?

“I’m not running AWAY from something, I’m running TOWARD something. Specifically, toward a pan of brownies.” http://www.runnersworld.com/fun/motivational-posters/motivational-poster-65

One random everyone should know about you.

I have a blog that I started a few years ago, to track progress towards swimming 2,000,000 yards (about 1,100 miles) before I turn 30. It’s a work in progress, but feel free to check it out: https://2by30.wordpress.com/

Check out our next run to meet Heidi and other core members of WeRunMPLS. And stay tuned for next month’s introduction!