“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 Kate, also dubbed “Dr. Oddi” by Jason.  Kate started running with us a few months back and has quickly become a regular member of the group. She’s there for the running + always sticks around for the community. We love her energy, her laughter, the facts she shares about herself during our “fun fact” game (show up to a WeRunMPLS event to find out what that is all about) and the group would not be the same without her. This month she answered our questions; scroll to read about her and then show up to meet her on a Thursday night!

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

Hey everybody, my name is Kate Oddi. I heard about WeRunMPLS through Facebook. I moved to MPLS a couple years ago and had the intention of joining a running group right away, but got sidetracked. WeRunMPLS posts started popping up on my Facebook newsfeed earlier this year and the group seemed really cool. I appreciated how welcoming they seemed. “All paces welcome.” “No one runs alone.” It took a little while to work up the courage to show up for a run, but when I eventually did, everyone was super nice. Regular members of the group noticed I was new and introduced themselves right away. A member of the group who can run much faster stuck with me and another runner to make sure we weren’t left alone and didn’t get lost. These aspects of the group made it super easy to show up the next week and the week after that.

Where is your favorite place to run?

I got into running about 4 years ago when I was living in a rural part of Illinois. When I was there, one of the only places I could run and know that I wouldn’t get hit by a car on the side of a county highway was a 0.60 mile loop around my house, which made 11 mile half marathon training runs super boring. When I came to MPLS, I was amazed at all of the running paths/trails nearby. Running by the river in MPLS quickly became my favorite, especially running across the Stone Arch bridge. The views are amazing and there are always other people out running, biking, and walking their dogs, which is super motivating.

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

My favorite nights at WeRunMPLS so far have been the Pat’s Tap nights! I have gotten to know the members of the group who run a similar pace pretty well because we have lots of time to talk while running. But, hanging out after runs (like we’ve done at Pat’s) has allowed me to get to know everyone else too! It has been nice to share a (sometimes free) beer and “fun facts” with members of the group. How else would I learn about your pet cockroach, your odd talents, your very first beer, or your worst encounter with poison oak?

Tell us your top 5 interests.

  1. Running. There’s nothing better than running outside in nice weather, exploring a new trail, listening to a new playlist on Spotify, and feeling accomplished the rest of the day.

  2. Music. I listen to music as much as possible and love going to concerts!

  3. Exploring. I haven’t had the opportunity to travel much, but I have big plans for the future. I love exploring new places, especially outdoors.

  4. Dogs. If you don’t love dogs, you’re doing it wrong.

  5. Cooking. I’m not the best cook, but I’m getting better. I took a cooking class this past winter and loved doing my “homework.” I’m kind of a picky eater, but I’ve been able to find some awesome recipes.

What’s your favorite thing about WeRunMPLS?

My favorite thing about WeRunMPLS is the community! Everyone is so nice and genuinely interested in getting to know you better. It’s nice to have a group of people that share a love of running and are happy to support you through your upcoming marathon, your injury, or your “I’m just running for fun right now” phase.

Favorite running quote?

I’m pretty sure this wasn’t meant to be a running quote, but oh well. Ben Rector, one of my favorite musicians, has a song called “Dance with Me Baby” that has this lyric: “I’ve a thousand miles behind me and a thousand more that I have yet to go.” It reminds me how far I’ve come with running and how much I still want to accomplish.

One random fact everyone should know about you.

I have the best 85-pound, cross-eyed, black lab mix you will ever meet. His name is Snoop and he can’t wait to make his WeRunMPLS debut this fall when the weather is a bit cooler.