November 1, 2016 No Comments » News Sarah McInerney

2017 MDRA Board Member Elections


online here

or by paper ballot found in RunMinnesota Magazine and mail: MDRA, P.O. Box 6419, Minneapolis MN 55406.

All current members are eligible to vote.  Votes, online or by paper ballot, must be received by the MDRA by midnight January 20, 2017


President Position

Dave Marek

Running Background: I started running as an adult a number of years ago as a way to stay fit and healthy. As time went on I came to realize I was a pretty decent runner and more importantly, really enjoyed it and wanted to do more. I became a certified coach and have lead numerous beginner 5K classes at a local community center, two fall marathon training classes for MDRA and done individual coaching. I became a member of the MDRA board in 2013 and look forward to continuing to serve in the future. I have run 14 full marathons, around 30 half marathons and numerous races of other distances. I have also worked as a member of a pace team and have been a pace group leader in almost 20 races.

Qualifications: I have been an MDRA board member for four years now, serving as vice president in 2015 and as president this past year. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time serving on the board. 2016 was a year of transition for the MDRA and by all measures it was a very successful year. I look forward to continue helping move this great organization into the future. My “real” job entails product management and project management and those skills are very useful in serving as a board member.

Goals & Plans:  I take pride in what MDRA provides for the running community in Minnesota. I want MDRA to continue to offer the best value to our members in terms of races, training classes, programs and perks like the RunMinnesota magazine and annual race calendar. I will drive MDRA to be forward thinking and keep reaching out to runners in new ways. I want to continue to explore different avenues to reach runners of all abilities and interests and be a valuable resource for them.


Vice President Position

Randy Fulton

Running Background: Back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s I ran in many marathons, 5Ks and 10Ks. I worked for the YMCA and there were a bunch of us that ran together and I enjoyed going to those weekly events. When my son Brian was born (30 years ago) those spontaneous afternoon and weekend runs just didn’t happen anymore. Now I put on those weekend events. Most Saturdays now have me organizing those 5Ks, 10Ks and multisport events.

Qualifications: After 25 years as a race director, I think I can bring to the Board an insight as to what runners are looking for. Today so many runners are looking more for the memories, experience and social but not so much for the competition. The competition aspect is still there and still important but those looking for it aren’t going to fill our races.

Goals & Plans: I would like to continue working with the Race and Promotions committees.

Favorite movie: It’s interesting that my favorite movies are all from over 25 years ago, Chariots of Fire (1981), Marathon Man (1976) and Running Brave (1983).  I guess that shows my age!


Board Member Elections 

Please vote for up to three candidates running for the open board positions. 

Dennis Barker

Running Background: I have been a runner for 46 years. I competed in junior high and high school in St. James, Minn., college at Golden Valley Lutheran College and Iowa State University, post college for the Prairie Striders and on my own. I still race occasionally, but mostly just run for enjoyment and health. I run four to six days a week now. I have been a coach for 23 years at the high school level at Nova Classical Academy, college at Augsburg College and professional at Team USA Minnesota. I was editor of Minnesota Running & Track Magazine (the predecessor of Run Minnesota) for five years and have written a number of training articles for various publications. I was also publisher and editor of FitSport and had a running radio show (On The Run) on WCCO in the early 1980s. I have also been a race director, race volunteer and have certified a race course.

Qualifications: I have a broad range of experience in running (coaching, race directing, writing and editing) and would like to be useful to the MDRA in a way that contributes to its mission and to its members in a way that contributes to their involvement and enjoyment of the sport.

Goals & Plans: I could probably be of most use, to begin with, in the areas of Program and Publications. But if these areas are already well represented I would be happy to contribute elsewhere. I don’t have any plans or changes currently in mind, so would like to meet and listen to other board members to see if anything pops to mind. There also may be plans already in place that I can get behind and help.

Quote: Citius, Citius, Citius


Rochelle Christensen 

Running Background: I have been a lifelong runner, from high school track to running 10Ks during and after college. For my 40th birthday, I ran my first marathon (TCM) and after that race I knew that I could train and run better, and I joined MDRA.  So for my next 26 marathons, two Ironmans and one 50 mile ultra race, I have trained with the MDRA marathon training programs. Over the past 15 years, I have been a team lead multiple times and coached the MDRA marathon classes four times.

Qualifications: I have been part of the running community and MDRA for 15 plus years. I understand and have witnessed the significant impact MDRA has on the lives of those new and experienced runners that participate in MDRA programs. I am now a personal trainer and running coach but for 26 years I was the director of an operations unit of a nonprofit organization. I understand the importance of mission, delivering on the mission, service and relationships.

Goals & Plans: I would like to increase our participation in MDRA and the running programs by offering programs that meet the needs of beginner runners, experienced runners and runners of all abilities. We need to attract beginner runners of all abilities and retain our experienced runners.

Sheila Becker

Running Background: I wish I could say I was an avid runner but the truth is that I didn’t discover my passion and ability for running until my mid 20s in life. After an over active thyroid condition was diagnosed and treated in 1999, it was like I had a fitness rebirth! For the first time ever, I enjoyed running and began increasing my mileage. After my first daughter was born, I became a stay at home mom and the baby jogger became my new best friend.  Before I knew it, I had several half marathons under my belt (and another daughter) and decided to join the MDRA’s 2009 Fall Marathon Training Program, completing my first Twin Cities Marathon. And that was it. I was hooked. The 2016 Las Vegas Marathon will be my 12th marathon.

Qualifications: I have enjoyed participating in several MDRA training programs, gaining confidence and many, many fabulous running friendships. In 2012, I became a certified Road Runners Club of America distance running coach. I have co-coached the MDRA Marathon Training Class a few times, their Winter Running Program, and the Women’s Running Camp the past three years.  I also continue to coach a “Ladies Ease Into 5k” class through St. Louis Park Parks and Recreation, and try to volunteer at races when I am able.  In addition, I enjoy serving as a “Pacer” for a variety of races ranging from 10 miles to the marathon.

Goals & Plans: Everyone should have the opportunity to experience the many benefits I have gained through being an MDRA member. Working with new runners, I have found it very satisfying (and fun!) to watch their progress and see their sense of accomplishment as they realize their potential. An organization like the MDRA can take them to a whole new level, as well as introduce them to a new group of wonderful people who share their new enthusiasm for running. I would like to use my coaching skills and passion for the running community to help promote MDRA programs, race participation and membership, particularly to new runners or those new to running longer distances.

Favorite quote: “Remember, tomorrow’s race is not the test. The test is training…and the marathon is your celebration of hard work and accomplishment.” -unknown




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