POWER Partners: Sioux Falls Women Run builds strong community

Sioux Falls Women Run empowers local women runners no matter their previous experience. Jacqui Meadors and Sara Lefebvre started the group on Facebook in 2015 to celebrate and promote running excellence, community support and life balance.

The private Facebook group grew faster – and more popular – than she could have imagined. It has grown to over 2,400 members and has spawned smaller spinoff groups.

Why has SFWR taken off?

“Sioux Falls Women Run gives women a space to connect and share with other female runners,” Meadors said. “That really resonated with some people.”

Joining a group with like-minded runners helps members stay committed to running regularly. Being a part of SFWR isn’t enough to achieve new exercise goals, however. To reach new athletic heights, women should mix in additional types of training. Sanford POWER offers professional guidance and resources to help runners be the best they can be.

SFWR members of all ages, abilities and goals use the services at the Sanford Fieldhouse. They benefit from strength training specific to running, sports physical therapy, sweat testing and sports nutrition expertise.

Charley Smook, a certified strength and conditioning coach with POWER, trains SFWR year-round. Most members meet in an after-work, group setting. For the past four years, he has helped teach athletes the proper technique behind the strides. Not only is form a primary focus, but strength is critical for a quicker pace.

This club may be fun and lighthearted, but they take lifting and personal goals seriously.

“We’re going to get strong,” Smook said, “but the focus is on helping you feel strong.”

Every weight is personalized to individual strengths. Smook’s ultimate goal is to make this group better, faster and stronger. He’s worked hard to share his weight room knowledge and form personal relationships with SFWR members.

The group meets weekly in several neighborhoods around Sioux Falls for group runs, lifts, educational opportunities and charitable events. Sioux Falls Women Run tries to build relationships and achieve running success all year round.

For more information, visit SiouxFallsWomenRun.com.