“WeRunMPLSer of the Month” is a series we write to introduce the faces that make WeRunMPLS so special. We say this a lot – our core is community; it was the motivation behind starting WeRunMPLS, is the foundation for every time we meet and is what guides all our decisions. Hope you enjoy!

Meet Jason. Jason joined our group not long after our 2-year party and has quickly become a regular, core member of the group. He makes us laugh hard every week but is also great at connecting people, remembering people who’ve only come once or twice and making new runners feel welcome. Scroll down to hear what he’s all about.

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

Hello! My name is Jason and I found WeRunMPLS on The Instas. I had recently moved back to Minnesota and was looking for a way to connect with new people. I’ve got a number of relocations under my belt now, and I have found that it’s much easier to make new friends when you have some interest(s) in common. You already have something to talk about! So I was searching for a run group based in the Twin Cities area and WeRunMPLS was the group I settled on to check out first. And I’ve been coming ever since!

Where is your favorite place to run?

I’m not sure if this is referring to a type of place or a specific place? My favorite specific place to run is the Gateway Trail in the Northern Metro. I was raised in the North Metro and I’ve been utilizing that trail since I was 7 years old. I feel a special sort of magic there. I sometimes catch myself thinking no one could outrun me on this trail.. I know every bump, crack, mile split, and hill for miles and miles. I imagine I will still be running this trail when I am 70 years old- or at least I hope to be! My favorite type of place to run is the track. I love the track because that means it’s time to run fast! And I love to run fast.

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

I think the *so far* is a good clause. I think as our group grows tighter, we are starting to develop more meaningful relationships. We still have a lot of people who come sporadically (and we are happy to have them!), but for some of us who show up every week, we’re involved in each other’s lives. We want to know if they landed that job they were shooting for (Josh!). Or how exactly they got bit at work yesterday (Tim!). Or how they are holding up mentally while they are working through a setback (Kaitlyn!). A couple of weeks back four of the regular members went for beers after our run and spent some time getting to know each other better. That was definitely my favorite night. We not only had a great time, but we got to know each other better, and that is a huge part of why I keep coming back!

Tell us your top 5 interests.

Hiking- work can sometimes be stressful, so I like to go hiking and get away from the city on the weekends when possible.
Walking- ironically, I also love to walk through the city and see the sights, smell the smells, and hear the sounds. Cities have a pulse of their own and I love to feel it.
Reading- I sometimes struggle with finding a good balance between downtime and social activities. Reading seems to be a perfect outlet when I need some downtime from being out and about.
Listening to music- I am definitely one of those people that listens to music 24/7! Unless there is some reason why I can’t, there is always some sort of music playing in the background every second of my life.
Cooking- I love to cook! I have recently started to see a big connection between my diet and my running performance and I am loving it. I am excited to see how much I can improve my running through cooking without being too fanatical.

What’s your favorite thing about WeRunMPLS?

My favorite thing about WeRunMPLS is the people! I am a huge fan, follower, (stalker?) of professional runner Lauren Fleshman. In her Believe Training Journal she provides a list of things needed to optimize performance and become a balanced runner: physical training, mental training, nutrition, recovery techniques, life balance, competition, and community. WeRunMPLS is a great way to integrate community into my running! I am naturally a lone wolf runner and WeRunMPLS is the first group I’ve ever run with. Now that I have learned how much being part of group can improve my running, I don’t think I would ever allow myself to slip back into my old ways. A great example of a whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Favorite running quote?

“The only good pace is a suicide pace, and today looks like a good day to die.” -Steve Prefontaine, running icon who held every American distance record from 2,000 meters to 10,000 meters at the time of his death in 1975.
*Note: while Googling this quote to make sure I had the wording 100% correct, I discovered that it is disputed whether Pre ever actually said this. I do not care.

One random fact everyone should know about you.

One random fact everyone should know about me is that I am very OCD about the symmetry of certain things. Every Tupperware in my house (and their lids) face the same way and if I lose the matching sock, I will throw the original sock away to preserve order in my sock drawer!

Anything we didn’t cover?

I would just like to thank Kaitlyn and Jen for creating this amazing group! It seems like you two are always coming up with new ideas for how to keep our group fun and interesting. I would also like to thank the rest of the members that make our group so great!