Let’s Move Quad Cities: Ladies ready to run this year’s half marathon

BETTENDORF, Iowa -- Thousands of runners will hit the streets on Sunday for the Quad Cities Marathon, and a growing number of them are women.

Tiffany Mitton and Mindy Bradley are two of those ladies. The busy moms have been training for the half marathon outside of work and over their lunch hour at ORA Orthopedics.

"It's empowering to me throughout the day after running. It's just like, alright, I did that, I'm ready to start my day," said Mitton.

"When I'm feeling grouchy, my husband will say, 'Do you need to go for a run?' and I say, 'Absolutely, I do!" It kind of helps to keep me focused," said Bradley.

It appears more women are finding those same benefits from running. According to Running USA, females made up 57 percent of last year's race fields.

"When you look at the studies and the health benefits, the heart benefits, you don't even have to be a fast runner. Just that sustained period of getting your heart rate up for 20 to 40 minutes a day, four times a week, shows phenomenal benefits for overall health, both weight loss and cardiac health," said Dr. Andrew Bries, a sports medicine orthopedic surgeon with ORA Orthopedics.

Dr. Bries says women may be more prone to certain injuries, including stress fractures and runner's knee. The best way to prevent these problems, he says, is cross-training.

"Running is a great form of exercise, but don't forget about the strength aspect of it and keeping the hips strong. Most of the running magazines, Runner's World, etc. have pretty good core strengthening programs," said Bries.

For Mitton and Bradley, the benefits of running are both physical and mental, and they hope more ladies will be inspired to hit the pavement.

"Go to a marathon, a half marathon, and watch people running. Because you will see people, and it just makes you think, 'If they can do it, I can do it,'" said Bradley.

The Quad Cities Marathon starts at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, September 24th.