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Get to know the Sioux Falls Women Run Board Members

  1. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and studied abroad in St. Petersburg a summer in college. Fun fact!

  2. I have a cat (Cat) and a dog (Juniper/June), and a husband (Adam) and live in a big house that we are enjoying renovating!


Glenda Bittner


April Bolton
Social Media Director


Emily Hutchinson
Social Events Director

I grew up in Yankton, SD and am the oldest middle child of 6 kids. I have lived in Sioux Falls since 1998.


I am married to Jason and we have 3 grown boys. Colin is married to Cassie and they live in Brookings. Logan is a Special Education Teacher as well as a Cross Country and Track coach at Washington High School here in Sioux Falls. Alex is studying Biology and running Cross Country and Track at St. Olaf College (Um Yah Yah!)  As the thought of being an empty nester started looming, I decided it was time to get a dog. We rescued Scooter in April 2022 and he certainly keeps life interesting! 


     I spend my days at  PREMIER Bankcard managing our Project Management Office. In addition, I also work part time as a Tax Professional at Fair Tax during the tax season. 


     I started running in 2005, and ran my first half marathon in 2011 (with my trusty iPod nano). Since that time, I have run distances anywhere from a 5k to a 50k. I do not know where to begin when I think of all that running and Sioux Falls Women Run has brought into my life. I love running races with my boys (even though they easily beat me now!), I have met so many wonderful people, and have had some fun adventures!

I grew up in southern Minnesota on a farm. I didn’t really participate in any sports in school or college. I have lived in Sioux Falls since 2010 this time around. The first time was when I went to college at Augustana, then moved away to Colorado for a couple of years before returning and making Sioux Falls my home.

I am a mental health counselor by profession and have been for 13 years. I am married and we have one daughter together. I decided on a whim when I turned 25 to start running because WHY NOT. The words I’m never going to run a marathon were uttered early in my running career. And since then, I’ve run 5 full marathons and numerous half marathons. I could not and would not have done any of that without the Sioux Falls Women Run community.

I am so grateful for all the things that this community provides. We come from all different stages of life and it’s nice to know that whenever you need support in some way there is a person in the group to lean on. It’s a great feeling to go out in the community for non-running things and bumping into people you know every where you go. I’ve found my community in Sioux Falls Women Run and it’s a powerful and supportive group of women. 

I was born and raised in Sioux Falls and went to Augustana College, then SDSU. I first studied Athletic Training and Exercise Science before going back to school to study nursing. I worked for a few years before going back to school for my Masters in Nursing, graduating in 2011.   

I married my high school sweetheart and we have two children together who keep us busy with all their activities. We love to travel as a family, but are happy to remain in Sioux Falls where several of our family members also live. We adopted a goldendoodle the fall before COVID and he is spoiled rotten and quickly became my BRD (best running dog).  

Running was not a part of my life as a child or teenager. I ran sporadically in my 20s before getting really hooked in the mid 2010s. I was recruited to the SFWR family by Rachel Ortman, who was my spin instructor back in 2016, and attended my first group run shortly thereafter. Since that time, I have made the majority of my friends through running and have run several half marathons and my one-and-done full marathon, the TC Marathon.  

Sioux Falls Women Run has been such a special part of my life. I did the Power program for a number of sessions and also joined the Training Team. It makes me so happy to feel a part of a team and I love the encouragement we all share during Tuesday night sessions. It seemed only logical that I would apply when the SFWR board position came open when Lizzie moved away. We have a great team and continue to enjoy supporting our great and growing community.  

I have an uncanny ability to remember specific details and locations of discussions that I have had with others while running.  Some include: Explaining to Sara how to replace a wax ring on her toilet (we were on the trail behind Granite City), Hearing Kim’s stuffed animal god wink story (bike trail between Pasley and Rotary Norlin) Sara’s whipping cream incident with her mom (have her tell you this one- it’s great!!) (Covell Lake) and best of all, when the idea of SFWR was first discussed! (Just outside Cherry Rock Park)! I only wish this ability would bleed more into my non-running life ;)


1-I have only been seriously running for just over a year and a half.

2-My Dad and brother are both funeral directors. No, I did not live IN a funeral home growing up.

3-I LOVE adventures. Anything to give me a rush of adrenaline-count me in! Hence the decision to go skydiving in September!


Iryna Schneider

Michelle Thomas

I was born and raised in the southeastern Ukraine, where I taught English and French and was an interpreter prior to coming to the United States 20 years ago. Here I lived in Lincoln, NE before I moved to Sioux Falls in 2015.

While I have been active all my life I have never considered running as my choice of activity to enjoy. Actually, I discovered running quite accidentally while chasing my toddler daughter little over 10 years ago. Running quickly became my noise canceling safe place. Yes, it hurts sometimes and it’s cold where we live but it gives mental clarity and lightens my heart.  I ran my first half marathon in Lincoln in 2013 and absolutely fell in love with the race. It was incredible, indescribable feeling and immense sense of accomplishment. For the first time in my life I saw so many runners in one place, and I was totally blown away by the volunteers and support of the community. My heart was so full and so grateful! And while I completed a few half marathons and 2 full marathons since then, Lincoln Marathon holds a special place in my heart and I still plan on running all 26.2 miles there.

Sioux Falls Women Run changed me as a runner, introduced me to hundreds of beautiful, amazing, supportive and inspiring women, brought so many friends into my life. I cannot imagine where I would be without SFWR. We serve our community, we lift each other up, we cry and laugh together sharing long miles on our beautiful trail. I always look forward to our “girl time”, our “no judgment zone” - Friday coffee runs. I cherish time spent with other women who make me a better person. 

I grew up in Milbank, SD, as one of the two youngest of 8 kids (I have a twin brother).

After I graduated from high school, I moved to Connecticut to live with my sister as I attended

college. I graduated from Southern Connecticut State University, and eventually went on to

attend law school in New York City. After graduating law school, I lived in the city for a few more

years before returning to South Dakota in 2003. I have worked as public defender for the past

20 years.

I began running casually while in college, but was very off and on throughout college and

law school, and I stopped when I got pregnant at the end of 1999. Although I was active in other

ways, I did not resume running until 2008 when a few of my male colleagues decided to run the

Lakefront Marathon in Milwaukee. I signed up for the marathon while 32 weeks pregnant with

twins, and then resumed running at about 6 weeks postpartum. While I trained consistently,

when I crossed the finish line I felt miserable and couldn’t figure out how everyone else seemed

so happy!! That finish led me down a journey to try to find pure joy at the finish line of a

marathon, and it took me another 10 ½ years to find it at the finish line of the Big Sur

International marathon. 

I’ve been married to my husband for over 8 years, and I have one son, Jacob, who is a

junior at Dakota State University. I was also a surrogate mom to two sets of twins, who are now

14 and 13, and living their best lives with their dads.

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