“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 Nate! Nate has been running with the group for almost 6 months now and he shows up each week ready to make us laugh, always hangs around post-run to get to know people and is good for a throwback reference anytime you need one. He’s quickly become a regular face of the group and we couldn’t be happier he chose to run with us! This month he answered our questions; scroll to read about him and then show up to meet him on a Thursday night!

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

Nathan Swanson (Nate). A Facebook friend of mine liked the WeRunMPLS page, which brought the page into my newsfeed. I was searching for a running or fitness community at around the time I discovered the Facebook page and, upon reading about WeRunMPLS, I decided to show up for a Thursday run and get a sense of the group. I’m thankful I took a chance on checking out WeRunMPLS because of the fun mix of people, the sense of community that builds each week, and the great local coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, and food Kaitlyn and Jen feature each week.

Where is your favorite place to run? 

Lake Nokomis. It’s not as crowded as other hot spots in the Twin Cities and you still get picturesque views of the lake, the city skyline, and the planes flying overhead as they land at MSP. It’s a fairly level running path, too, in case you’re working on lowering or stabilizing your pace or if you’re just looking to get a solid long run in on a nice weekend.

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

The July 2016 Wild Card Week run at Tuggs. We had perfect weather that night for a scenic run along the Mississippi River and we had one of the largest groups of runners in the summer together that night. The best part, however, was that much of the crew hung out after the run at Tuggs until past sundown.  We shared a lot of laughs and forged some friendships that night.

Tell us your top 5 interests.

  1. Reading
  2. Music (listening to and performing)
  3. Running, working out, and hiking
  4. Baseball (Go Twins!)
  5. Politics/current events

Favorite running quote? 

“The real purpose of running isn’t to win a race.  It’s to test the limits of the human heart.” – Bill Bowerman, track and field coach and co-founder of Nike. 

One random fact everyone should know about you.

I grew up on a farm in Southwest Minnesota. My hometown is Walnut Grove, the setting of the classic TV series Little House on the Prairie.

Anything we didn’t cover?

As a relative newcomer to the group, I want to thank Kaitlyn and Jen for creating WeRunMPLS and for all their hard work organizing each event. I’d also like to thank all the runners in the group, too, for welcoming new people to the group and for the encouragement, positivity, and fun each of you bring every week. I joined WeRun in June, but the camaraderie built makes it seem like we’ve all known each other for much longer. Finally, if you’re reading this and you’re not running with us already, please join us on Thursday nights!  You’ll get a good run in, but you’ll also become part of a fun community.