Moms on the Run: Fitness, Friendship, & Fun in One

There’s a saying that “if you have a problem, give it to a mom”. Moms can do/fix/make anything. In 2008, when Moms on the Run CEO, Karissa Johnson, was struggling to find time to fit in fitness with three children under five – she “fixed it”, for herself and eventually for moms across the country by creating a running-based fitness program. Karissa grew up with a passion for running and received a B.S. degree in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from the University of Minnesota, along with certifications for personal training, group fitness, and nutrition. She had all the know-how needed to tackle her fitness dilemma – starting with offering a fitness class in a local park for moms and babies. When the women in the group expressed interest in training for their first 5k race, Moms on the Run was born.

Now, Moms on the Run is not just a fitness program, but a fitness franchise system offering a unique part-time business model with the mission of serving customers through a structured fitness program that meets the needs of women of all ages and fitness levels by helping them get in shape, make friends and have a blast. Their focus is on coached running for all levels – from beginner to marathoner – while offering a strong social community. “Our signature learn-to-run program provides our proprietary run/walk interval program designed to help even the most novice exerciser experience success in a 5k race,” explained Karissa. “Our intermediate and advanced training programs are designed by Olympian Carrie Tollefson and our seasonal variety in class formats, alongside our nutrition programs and lifestyle challenges, keep things fun and exciting throughout the year.”

Moms on the Run stepped into the Northland in the Spring of 2019. “We know so many women in the Duluth area need the social connection and fitness support that we offer, and look forward to getting the word out about this opportunity. We are looking for participants and coaches to expand our program here, as well as potential franchise owners for additional locations in Northeast Minnesota and Northwest Wisconsin.” Karissa shared.

Social media and the ability of the Moms on the Run members, coaches, and franchise owners to share their inspiring stores have quickly fueled the company’s growth. The part-time business model is attractive to their core audience of women and moms and is unique in the fitness space. Moms on the Run is a nationally franchised company with 50 U.S. locations in nine states. “Franchising is an amazing opportunity because you’re in business for yourself, but not by yourself!” said Karissa. As a Moms on the Run Franchisee, you receive a whole level of structure and systems ready-to-go. The company was named to the past year’s Entrepreneur’s List of Top 100 Franchises under $50K and is also rated high by Franchise Grade for their low-risk investment and the opportunity to build a part-time business while impacting the lives of others.

The key to their corporate and franchise success is their program. “Busy women really appreciate that our comprehensive fitness classes help them get their strength, cardio, and flexibility training all in one hour,” explained Karissa. “But, even greater is the new sense of team they find. Moms on the Run groups are truly a family. We hear over and over again that people join Moms on the Run to get fit, and they stay because they are achieving their fitness goals and develop a strong camaraderie with their teammates.”

Moms on the Run is a great option for “fitting it all in” in a busy week: your workout, a break from the kids, stress relief, and social time with girlfriends. “I could never even estimate the high number of lifelong friendships that have been made through Moms on the Run,” shared Karissa. “I love the story of the women in our very first class that soon after introduced their families to each other, and then years later still spend holidays together! It’s not easy to make friends as an adult. I’m proud to say so many women have met their best friend in this program.”

And their participants agree: Cathy, a 59-year-old member from White Bear Lake says she will run the rest of her life, thanks to the program, “Moms on the Run made me a runner, an activity that will continue the rest of my life. I became a member of a group of loving and supportive women, who have all become a huge part of my life. I am forever grateful that I took this huge step into the unknown!”

JaKasta, a mom from Eau Claire, Wisconsin shares, “I joined as a way to get out of the house and lose some baby weight after having four kids in five years. Wow, did I get so much more! Friendship, joy, laughter, strength, and confidence! I’ve found a passion I never dreamed of having. Moms on the Run has changed my life and I cannot describe how thankful I am! Our head coaches are amazing and we are truly blessed by them!”

And Melissa from Cottage Grove found the support she needed to improve her health in a big way, “Moms on the Run has changed my entire way of thinking. I am now accountable for my health. I make sure I take time out of my day to work out, even if it’s 30 minutes, and I’ve found awesome support from the wonderful friends I’ve made. I cannot thank Moms on the Run enough for the friendships and new routine it’s helped me establish. I am now 65 pounds less! Yahoo!”

Moms on the Run is passionate about changing women’s lives in a way that leaves an impact on the world around them. They believe that healthy moms make healthy families. Women have begun a fitness routine for the first time, discovered a sport they enjoy, found new energy, conquered depression, gained strength, lost weight and have made lifelong friends while doing it. You can find more amazing individual experiences and transformation stories on their blog.

The Moms on the Run program is a great fit for women who desire outdoor fitness rather than a gym environment. The program is open to all ages and fitness levels, in fact, those that have never run before are their specialty. The program also appeals to women who are looking to fun their first 5K or to improve speed and endurance as a runner with their high level of coaching and support. In Duluth, they offer their signature learn-to-run 5K training program as well as their intermediate and advanced runner programs designed by Olympian Carrie Tollefson. Seasonally they will offer strength and cardio boot camps and will definitely offer winter running if there is interest.

Learn more about Mom on the Run in Duluth or other locations, visit MomsontheRun.com