Run, Mommy, run

Liz Debrey, left, and friends discuss their run as they cooled off in Debrey's front yard. With her are Carol Osterhus and Inna Shabash-Bennett, right, and their kids. The children are, from left, Isabel Osterhus, Aaron Debrey, Victoria Osterhus, Simon Bennett (in his mother's arms), and Wolfie Osterhus. (SHNS photo by Jeff Wheeler / Minneapolis St. Paul Star Tribune)

Liz Debrey of Minnetonka, Minn., founded the Twin Cities Moms running group when she read about the website in a fitness magazine. She registered, and that’s how Carol Osterhus, 37, who lives just two blocks away, found her.

The third member was Patty Palmby, 34, of Chanhassen, Minn.,who met Debrey at an infant-care class, and the fourth was Inna Shabash-Bennett, 34, from Minneapolis.

They try to run together — kids, strollers, dog and all — on Wednesday nights and Saturdays, rain or shine. But jobs, traffic and families can often interfere, so sometimes it’s just Debrey and Osterhus. They’d love to have more members.

“We would walk if it meant getting together,” said Debrey, 36, an elementary school teacher. “It’s so nice, that adult contact.”

The website that connected them,, is for moms looking for running groups in their area. It’s set up so they can communicate with one another and make arrangements for running or walking together in groups. It boasts nearly 14,000 members nationwide.

Debrey and the others in Twin Cities Moms run for 3 or 4 miles along a trail that winds through a local park. They’d like to go farther, but often there’s just not enough time. Debrey pushes her 10-month-old son in a baby jogger. He likes to hold the dog’s leash while she runs. Osterhus pushes two of her three kids in a double-wide stroller.

When all four of them get together, “we run two by two,” Debrey said. “And when we get done, we always ask, ‘What were you two talking about?’ “

The next time they run together, they switch partners.

“The best part is that you can talk about the kids,” Debrey said. “One time we talked the whole time about nursing.”

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