The Free Press, Mankato, MN


October 24, 2010

For veteran marathon runner, Mankato left a good impression

Janesville mother of three wins half marathon

MANKATO — With eight marathons under her belt, it’s no surprise Elisa Johnson was able to keep her cool against hundreds of other runners during Saturday’s Mankato Marathon half-marathon race.

The 32-year-old Janesville resident took the top spot in the women’s half with a time of 1 hour, 27 minutes, 36 seconds.

Johnson, a mother of three, said she’s been a steady runner for about seven years. She never failed to pick up running again between her pregnancies.

The vigorous workout routine that Johnson constructed had her running 80 to 90 miles per week, along with an additional workout two or three times per week. The Mankato Marathon also helped her train for her second California International Marathon in Sacramento on Dec. 5.

“The California International is great to train for because of the awesome fall weather in Minnesota during this time,” Johnson said. “This weather is similar to California in December.”

As for the Mankato Marathon, Johnson said she was impressed with what she saw.

“The Marathon was very well organized for its first year,” she said. “I also wasn’t expecting so many spectators to be that loud and encouraging. There isn’t anything I can think to improve.”

Johnson has been involved with seven full marathons. Besides the California International, she has run in Green Bay, Wis., Fargo, N.D. and Ashland, Wis. Johnson has also participated in the Twin Cities Marathon twice and was a 2008 participant in the Boston Marathon.

“The Boston Marathon was very special, but the course chewed me up and spit me out that day,” she said.

Johnson said her favorite part of the Mankato Marathon was running on the Red Jacket Trail because she’s familiar with the spot and knew what to expect.

Kari Brown, 33, of Garfield took second in the women’s half marathon in 1:30:15. Ashley Hertling, 26 of New Ulm was third (1:32:21), followed by Suzie Olsen of Blue Earth (1:33:40), Kristen Solberg of Mankato (1:33:54) and Rachel More of St. Peter (1:35:05).


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