Originally posted at Active.com
Judy Molnar still has the Popsicle stick she received for finishing her first 5K in 1996. "I remember I started giggling because at the time I was trying to lose weight and here they're giving me an ice pop," she recalls. Before the race she was overweight, out of shape and could barely climb a flight of stairs without losing her breath. Joining a gym and running a 5K were among her 1996 New Year's resolutions.
Now director of Iron Girl, Molnar, 41, has completed many more 5Ks since then, as well as 10Ks, marathons, triathlons and even an Ironman.
Angel Bell, 36, of Rahway, New Jersey, was intimidated by running. "I always wanted to run but never knew how to start," she says. Her opportunity came when a friend asked her to sign up for Running 101, a 12-week all-women program held by the Jersey Shore Running Club. She started slowly, walking a few minutes, running one minute, and then walking again. Each week she walked less and ran more until she gradually found herself running 30 minutes.