Spotlight on…Teresa Howell Saxton!

Birthdate: November 1, 1963 – I’m rocking a new age bracket this year (and getting a few senior discounts too!)

Birth Place: Beaumont, TX

Family: Husband, Steve (age 62) Son, Brent (age 27) Daughter, Sadie (age 25)

Personal strengths: Caring, Reliable, Sincere, Even-keeled

Personal weaknesses (I’ll stick to the ones related to running): Keeping too many old running shoes in the closet, blaming all running aches and pains on my current running shoes, and waffling on what brand and shoe size to order next!

Reason for joining Northstar: I’m a group exerciser. I can work out alone, but it’s way more fun to share the miles. Steve and I moved to Minneapolis in October and I was looking for a running group. I got lucky to find the Northstar website and training calendar online. Olivia was responsive to my email inquiries and when I came to the group runs absolutely everyone was so welcoming, helpful, and nice. I love that about Northstar!

Favorite running shoes: Overall, I’d say I’m most loyal to Saucony. I’ve gone through a lot of brands and keep circling back to Saucony. My first ever pair of running specific shoes were Saucony worn without socks because running guru Jim Fixx didn’t wear socks in The Complete Book of Running, which was THE definitive runner’s bible of the late 70s and early 80s. Running didn’t work out that well for Jim Fixx however, and I’ve learned that socks provide good blister prevention!

Favorite place to run:  

  • In the woods, on a trail, with my family and friends, followed by a quick dip in a lake!
  • The HLR out and back – Ely, MN 
  • North Arm Trails – Ely, MN
  • North Park Trails – Pittsburgh, PA
  • Split Rock River Loop on the Superior Hiking Trail

Running Goals:

  • Friends, fun and fitness!
  • Short-term: I want to get out the door on most days to experience the joy of running, release endorphins and manage stress!
  • Long-term: To stay healthy and keep running as long as I can while doing a few races and cheering for and training with others along the way!

Proudest Running Achievement: There are so many. A few notables include running my first marathon in 2001. I was so emotional at the 20-mile mark because I knew at that point Iwould finish! I never thought I could, or would even want to run a marathon. My friends talked me into it. I had been trainingwith them for fun and finally they convinced me to just sign up. It was an amazing experience. Same with Boston in 2004 with the Schardt sisters, and Grandmas in 2021 with my family. I never would have done these races without the nudging and camaraderie of my family and running friends. The Northstarteam is nudging me in new ways as a runner! (Namely, The Ice Dive, King of the Hill workouts, running more miles than degrees farenheit, and Smoosh Racing which I am hesitant to try!)

Typical training week: There is no typical week for me since I’m a reluctant racer and slow to commit. For a long distance event, I really like the LSD runs – long, slow distance! It’s my zen groove. I’ve never done too many miles a week – my max in any training cycle for any distance up to 55K (to date) has been around 40 - 45 miles a week. I love trails. Speed work isn’t my forte but I enjoy hill workouts. Northstar is helping to change my mindset on the speed game.

Running idols: I admire anyone who gets out there! It’s not always easy to get motivated. The Northstar team inspires me with their commitment, training plans, running streaks, pacing, racing and team spirit (Take for example Ellen, who always seems to have a stash of the latest Northstar gear in her trunk!) I’m super impressed by the number of Northstar runners who are on multi-year streaks. That blows my mind!

I have to give a shout out to my “everyday” heroes and training partners over the years: My family, Mary and Marita Schardt, the members of my “running confessional” (they know who they are), North Park Trail runners, Fleet Feet Pittsburgh, the ladies of the Ligonier YMCA who started me on the marathon journey, Oberlin XC and the Obies who came out for the Dull and Boring 4 at 4:00, Christina Schmidlapp, John Dugdale and Jerry LeVasseur.

Professionals who inspire me are Joan Benoit, Alison Felix, Meb Keflezighi, Camille Herron, Courtney Dauwalter, EliudKipchoge and so many others!

Injuries: Luckily I’ve had only a few minor injuries over the years – IT band, tendonitis, mild plantar fasciitis. Fingers crossed I’ll continue to run injury-free for years to come!

PRs: I haven’t tracked my races and times over the years (especially since most of my races were pre-Garmin and Strava). Luckily there’s a website called that tracks results. I was able to look back there. I’ve always run around an 8- to 9-minute mile pace with a few faster races here and there! It’s getting a little harder to keep that pace with age!

  • Marathon PR: 3:39:28 (Montgomery County Marathon in the Park 2004)
  • Half-Marathon PR: 1:46:36 (Minnesota Half Marathon in St. Paul Aug 2014)
  • 30K PR: 2:39:43 (Just a Short Run 2004)
  • 10 Mile PR: 1:15:28 (EQT Pittsburgh 10 Miler 2014 – my fastest race ever I think)
  • 10K PR: (had to be in the EQT 10 miler 2014)
  • 5 Mile PR: 37.52 (PNC YMCA Turkey Trot 2017)
  • 5K PR: 23:09 (Whiskey Rebellion 5K 2017)
  • 1 Mile PR: 7:18 (Fleet Feet Liberty Mile 2022)
  • Beer Mile Relay PR: 11:40 (5th Annual Beer Mile St. Paul Apr 2024) (I had to include this one for fun - it was not on Athlinks!)

Non-running Hobbies: I enjoy all kinds of live music, especially in small intimate concert venues. There’s nothing more fun than hearing and seeing performers do their thing in real time with an appreciative crowd to create a vibe! (Kind of like running and spectating at races!)

Anything else interesting you'd like to share? My family built a yurt together in 2020!