Meet another member of the American Heart Association’s Minnesota Run with Heart team: Sara Shaw!

Sara Shaw Collage


Sara Shaw



Hometown/Current City

Davenport, Iowa – Quad Cities

Number of Marathons

Zero. This will be my first!

Favorite Race Completed

I run a 7 mile race every year in my hometown–The Bix 7.  This year will be #21!

Favorite Location To Train

I love running around Nokomis and the parkway.

Favorite Running Pump-Up Song

It varies but right now I’m loving the Joy Formidable and if you know me . . . anything Dave Matthews Band live.

My Running Secret

I always trick myself by saying that I’ll walk at the next block, or at the next song or next minute. It challenges me.

Biggest Motivation for Long Runs

A nice cold beer! No, honestly, the fact of knowing that it will be the longest distance I have ever run in my life. :-)

How has heart disease touched you?

I’ve worked at the American Heart and Stroke Association for more than 5 years. Heart disease and stroke have affected many of my family members. This year, I’m running the Twin Cities Marathon this year in honor of my grandmother, Verna Denger, a heart and stroke survivor . . . and spitfire. This September Grams will turn the Ninety and I’m excited to celebrate with her! Grams has been instrumental in raising me into the independent and determined woman I have become. I believe I get my sass from her too.

In the last 20 years “Grams” has had more than 10 heart procedures, survived a heart attack, had open heart surgery and this past spring suffered a minor stroke. Because of the breakthrough research that has been funded through the Heart and Stroke Association, Grams has been able to be part of her grandchildren’s graduations, weddings, and birth of great grand babies!

Why is running important to you?

I was never a runner but always wanted to be one. I don’t have a “typical” runners body and I don’t have the lungs of a track star but I won’t let that get in the way of challenging my body and my mind. I love running because it’s a way for me to release stress and internalize the day/week. As a self proclaimed “music junkie” I use my time out on my long runs to explore new music.

Side note:  A lot of times when I run, I find myself seeing a red cardinal following me. I believe it’s my grandfather who passed away in 1993. I take that opportunity to chat with him during my runs.  :-)

Motivated? Inspired? Please support Sara’s goal with a donation to the AHA!