Guest Blog: 5 Reasons to Make the Jingle Bell Run a Family Tradition

October 26, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

2016-jingle-bell-run-bannerThe next Fit Kids Club event is the 19th annual Jingle Bell Run, which supports our area’s Toys for Tots program. In addition to the traditional 5K, the 1K Family Fun Run is perfect for all ages! Both will be held on November 19th (the Saturday before Thanksgiving) and will start at St. Cloud Orthopedics. Here are the five reasons why you and your family could adopt this yearly activity as a modern holiday tradition:

1) Support Your Community

All the money raised and toys donated will stay in the Central Minnesota area to help local families in need. The holiday season is a time for everyone to be thankful for what they have, and there’s no better way to kick-off the gift-giving season than by giving to our neighbors!

2) Bring the Family Together

Whole families love coming together for the annual Jingle Bell Run, and we love seeing how many groups return year after year to support this local cause.

3) Enjoy Outdoor Exercise, Minnesota-Style

Here’s an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors before entering into winter hibernation mode. The run is happening the Saturday before Thanksgiving, so while there’s always the chance for snow, we should be able to keep safe and warm as we actively experience the change of seasons.

4) Kick-Off The Holiday Season Right

Is there a better way to get into the holiday spirit than by giving gifts and running for a good cause? Plus, the 5K and 1K help keep healthy habits in mind as we begin to see more and more of the season’s sweet treats.

5) Set an Example

One of the best benefits of the Jingle Bell Run is the ability to teach kids the importance of giving. Our 1K Family Fun Run is designed to make it easy for the whole family to participate and do their part in helping the community. Let your kids pick out the toys, while the grown-ups take care of registration.

Registration Information:

Register online for the Jingle Bell 5K or 1K run or view the flyer and share with your friends & family! Those who register before November 6th are guaranteed an event T-shirt. Registration runs through race day on November 19th. For more details, visit the St. Cloud Orthopedics Jingle Bell page or give them a call at 320.202.5525.

Chad-RitterThis is a guest blog by Chad Ritter, MPT.

Chad Ritter, MPT, is a physical therapist at St. Cloud Orthopedics. He enjoys spending time with his wife and kids, who support the annual Jingle Bell Run and other youth athletic programs throughout the year.

Guest Blog: 6th Annual Sacred Heart School 1K/5K!

September 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

AmyThis is a guest blog written by Amy Van Beck.

Amy is an exercise enthusiast, BLEND advocate and healthy fundraising partner. Amy is originally from Albany, MN and now resides in New Munich, MN with her husband Mike and their 5 children. Amy enjoys anything regarding health and fitness and is on a mission to keep herself and her family healthy and active. Running and Yoga/Pilates are the activities she does most often, however, she loves training for and participating in triathlons.


We are very excited to embark on our 6Th year of the Sacred Heart School 1K and 5K. This fun, family walk/run is a great event for the whole family that benefits a small, catholic school in Freeport, MN. The school has been growing and we are excited to offer this fundraiser to help provide healthy choices and playground equipment to promote health and wellness in the school.

All Kids Welcome!

The event will take place on Saturday, Sept. 24th and will kick-off with the 1K at 10:30am. Fr. Dan Walz will again be starting the 1K – leading all the kids with his motorcycle. This was a big hit last year!! The 5K will follow approximately at 11:00am. We have close to 200 participants already and usually get about another 50 or so the week of the race and on race day.

The fall colors are starting to show their beauty and the mix of trail and road makes this race a great fall addition to your run schedule. The event also takes place the same day as the Freeport Fall Fest. There will be a variety of vendors, kid’s activities and plenty of food and fun for the whole family.


Registration Information:

If you miss the online registration, there will be registration on-site on race day. Reminder – this event is part of the BLEND Fit Kids Club Series (FKCS). Any child (age 12 and under) who participates in 4 or more FKCS events, or 3 FKCS events plus one of your choice, will earn a customized pillowcase.

We welcome anyone as a sponsor of the event. Please contact the Race Director (me) at if you wish to support the race.

Thanks so much!
Amy Van Beck

[Guest Blog] Peace Trail 5K, Kid’s 1K & Toddler Trot

September 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

robinRobin K. Smith-Roiland works at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services and is Race Director for the Peace Trail 5K, Kid’s 1K & Toddler Trot.  Robin is the proud mother of 3 daughters & 1 granddaughter.  She lost a significant amount of weight in 2011 and has adopted running as a way to help keep it off.  Robin enjoys participating in 5Ks, 10Ks, ½ marathons, triathlons and marathons!  Robin’s experience with obesity and the journey to fitness has made her a passionate advocate for events that promote and make exercise fun and exciting.

Robin can be reached by email at


I am very excited to be a part of the Peace Trail 5K, Kid’s 1K & Toddler Trot this year! It is so rewarding to encourage folks to be active and also work to fight hunger – especially among children. Net proceeds will benefit Rocori Area Food Shelf and Kid’s Fighting Hunger.

The Peace Trail event provides an opportunity for all fitness levels and has something for every member of the family. The 5K portion of the race will be chip timed and the 1st, 2nd & 3rd finisher in each age group will receive a medal.  We are encouraging each participant to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Rocori area Food Shelf.

The event takes place Saturday, September 17th 2016. Registration opens at 7:30 a.m. and the Toddler Trot starts at 8:30 a.m. The Kid’s 1K is at 8:45 a.m.and the 5K starts at 9:00 a.m.

To register for this race and benefit a worthy cause please click here.  Reminder – this event is part of the BLEND Fit Kids Club Series (FKCS).  Any child (age 12 and under) who participates in 4 or more FKCS events, or 3 FKCS events plus one of your choice, will earn a customized pillowcase.

Sponsorship levels

We are also looking for sponsors at all levels to help with the costs associated with the race and to maximize our contribution to the beneficiaries. Gold Sponsors contribute $250 and their logos are displayed on the back of the race t-shirts. Silver sponsors contribute $125 and their logos are displayed on the back of the race t-shirts (smaller than Gold sponsors). Bronze sponsors contribute $75 and their names are displayed on the back of the race t-shirts. Please contact the Race Director at if you wish to support the race and our causes by becoming a race sponsor.

I hope to see you at the Peace Trail event this year!
Robin K. Smith-Roiland




[Guest Blog] 5 Reasons the ATS Rock Your Sole Trail Run is Awesome

August 12, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

Anna Findsen PicThis is a guest blog written by Anna Findsen,

Anna is the Health and Wellness Director at the St. Cloud Area Family YMCA. Her passion for the Y started after spending a summer at the YMCA of the Rockies in Estes Park, CO where the mission of “Putting Christian principals into practice through programs that build a healthy spirit, mind and body for ALL” really resonated with her. She is looking forward to providing the community with a variety of fitness opportunities and the construction of the brand new St. Cloud YMCA Community and Aquatics Center!

ATS Rock Your Sole Trail Run 2

From Olympic athletes to senior citizens, everyone seems to be running 5Ks. There are no shortages of unique race formats either- color runs, charity races, inflatables, midnight runs. What the heck is a doughnut run??

So what is all the hype? I have five solid reasons why the ATS Rock Your Sole Trail Run may just be the perfect race!

1. You Can Have a Life

If you are running a marathon you better make time for a few 3 hour training runs. With a 5K you can successfully train for the event and still be able to spend time with your family during the evenings and weekends. Whether it is your first race or you are a seasoned veteran you are guaranteed shorter training runs.

2. You Save Cash!

Since when does a 10K cost $50.00? Apparently that is the new normal. Be prepared to spend between $50-$100 for a 10K, Half Marathon, or Marathon. Thankfully, with 5Ks you can still get that “runner’s high” and race swag for a more affordable price.

3. No Fancy Gear

If you aren’t interested in running with water belts, energy gels, and chafing cream- the 5K is your best friend. Throw on shorts, t-shirt and good pair of shoes and you are good to go.

4. Overuse

Shorter training runs= less risk of overuse injuries. Of course it is still important to listen to your body and take care of yourself for ANY race but with the 5K you are less likely to over train. Even with the 5K, make sure you are cross training one day a week and keeping up with your strength training- it will make you a better and safer runner.

5. You Can Stay Local

No need to travel far to participate in quality and family friendly 5Ks. We have plenty in the St. Cloud area including the ATS Rock Your Sole Trail Run.

So basically, the 5K is the perfect race and you should really do one. If you can put one foot in front of the other, then you can run or walk 3.1 miles! If you need help training for the trail run or ANY 5K then check out the YMCA’s Outdoor Couch to 5K training program that started July 12th and meets every Tuesday and Thursday, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m. in the YMCA Lobby.

Details of the Race

This event will take place on Saturday, August 20th at Quarry Park with the following timeline:

There will also be healthy snacks provided by Coborns, medals for all youth finishers, beverages provided by Bernick’s, and prize drawings after the 5K. See the St. Cloud Area Family YMCA website to register and for more details.

BLEND will also be at the ATS Rock Your Sole Trail Run, and for the first time BLEND will have a selfie-stick booth!! Selfie sticks will be provided to take pictures with your family and friends. If you take any photos at the race or at the selfie-stick booth please tag us @BLENDcentralmn or share your photos on our Facebook page!

In Health,

Anna Findsen

Franny Flyer [Guest Blog]

August 8, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

This is a guest blog writteFranny Flyer picn by Nick Novak,

Hi everyone. I am Nick Novak, race director for the 6th Annual St Francis Franny Flyer 5K 10K Run/Walk and 1K Kids Fun Run.  It has been my pleasure to be the founding father of this race 6 years ago as a health and fitness activity and also a lot of fun. I have had the opportunity to watch it grow as we have over 200 runners. There has been a lot of organizing and communication and this race is a winner!

On Topic

The 5K 10K has USATF certified measured courses.The race courses have been carefully created and tweaked along the way to provide the best possible running experience.The courses features flat topography with no hills and tree covered streets fully staffed with volunteers.Franny Flyer pic 4

Reveal As Much as Possible

The race is chip timed and the timing has the best accuracy.  Your time will be emailed to cell phone within 3 minutes of crossing the finish line and all runners will get their photo at the finish line. The awards ceremony will be held at the end of the ceremony. Awards will be given to the top male and female finishers in each age group. All 1K Kids Fun runners will receive a ribbon and all pre-registered runners/walkers will receive a t-shirt (t-shirts after pre-registration available as supply lasts). Also, each runner will receive 5 free tickets to the parish festival held in conjunction with the race. All participants will receive an ice cream treat, bananas and cold bottled water.

Where and When?

The Franny Flyer 5K/1K will take place at St. Francis Xavier Church in Sartell, Saturday, August 20th. The 1K Kids Fun Run starts at 8:30am and the 5K 10K Run/Walk starts at 9:00am. To register early for the Franny Flyer 5K/1K click here. Runners/walkers can also preregister at the parish office from 8:00am-4:00pm daily. Click this link for more information about the Franny Flyer 5K/1K Franny Flyer race details. Also, for more information about other events during the Franny Fest 2016 click here.


5K 10K: $25 on or before August 8: $35 after August 8

1K: $15 on or before August 8: $20 dollars after August 8

The Franny Flyer is also apart of the BLEND Fit Kids Club Series. When you complete 4 or more series events, or complete 3 and do one of your choice, including Healthyville you will receive a free personalized airbrush pillowcase!

Please join us Saturday morning August 20th to celebrate the 6th Annual Franny Flyer 5K 10K Run/Walk and 1K Kids Fun Run. We hope to see you there!

Thank you for reading,

Nick Novak
Race Director for the Franny Flyer

Franny Flyper pic 2Franny Flyer pic 3


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