Today’s guest post is by Deborah, who blogs at Confessions of a Mother Runner. She is a mom of 2 teens, wife and lover of all things running & fitness. Check out her guest post and then head on over to her blog!
In honor of Mother’s Day, I thought it would be apropos to do a post on Moms Run This Town (MRTT). For those of you who don’t know, MRTT is a nationwide, free moms running group. It was started by Pam Burrus in December of 2010 in Georgia. Pam’s words from the nationwide site: http://momsrunthistown.com/
“Moms RUN This Town!!! Like we literally run the town… and we RUN the town… get it?”
“Yup. That was the name. But then I realized… “this town” is EVERYWHERE… so why not go big?? The little idea of a local running club for moms quickly turned into a Nation-wide running club for moms EVERYWHERE!!!”
“I instantly started building this new club in my head, had the groundwork laid out, and by morning I was registering the domain name. Later that evening – Moms RUN This Town was an official nation-wide running club for moms!! With the powers of facebook the word was spread and our local chapter (the first chapter) was born and moms in other states were exposed to our club!”
“We’ve since grown to over 500 chapters nation wide with who knows how many members (but it’s a LOT). Moms love making the new friendships and finding other moms who share the same passion.”
“Our hopes is that we can provide a fun club for moms (and really ANY woman – not just moms) to get together, run/walk/jog and socialize. We hope to provide an online community built of moms who will help answer running questions, encourage each other, train with each other and share their personal running experiences.”
“ANY skill level is welcome – I always joke “we don’t claim to be the ‘fastest’ just the ‘funnest’ “. Whether you are a walker hoping to start training for your first 5k or an experienced runner training for a marathon – we would love to have you as part of our community.”
“Thanks for being a part of the vision – we hope to see you on the pavement!”
About 2 years ago as I was starting to build up my running distances, I began searching for running partners. I checked the local running stores for groups but none seemed to work for my stay at home mom schedule. I would hit the trail while the kids were at school and I would see tons of other moms running but didn’t know how to connect with them. I heard about MRTT in a neighboring city, Vienna, and joined. The runs were too far for me to join in but I started connecting with them on Facebook. All of the chapters use a closed Facebook group to communicate with members for safety and privacy reasons. I soon realized what a special group of ladies these were. On a whim, I went to one their First Birthday party happy hour. The bubbly and ever so friendly Chapter Leader, Sarah Talley, immediately recognized me and began to chat me up. Within 5 minutes, she convinced me to start my own MRTT Chapter in McLean, VA.
I literally hit the ground “running” and began searching for members at the grocery store, at school, hanging up flyers at Starbucks. I was determined to find these other runners I kept seeing. Flash forward almost 18 months later- I have over 275 moms in my chapter, a co-chapter leader(Alexandra ) and 2 other moms who act as admins to help our ever growing group.
We have new moms, young moms, older moms, marathon runners and newbies. The beauty of our group is that is doesn’t discriminate. There is always someone else to run with at your pace whether it’s a 6min/mile or a 13 min/mile. This is not just a running group for me. What I’ve found is an amazing group of ladies who have become my friends, my extended family and my confidants. We turn to each other for advice on so much more than running. Watching my new friends run farther or faster than they ever thought possible or achieve distances they never thought they could is so personally fulfilling. Not a week goes by without one of our members telling us how grateful she is that she found our group. What they don’t always know is that I am the one who is grateful. When my daughter was born 17 years ago, we decided it was best for our family for me to stay to home. I am truly lucky that I had this opportunity and I wouldn’t have traded it for the world. Having the opportunity to watch your children grow and learn everyday is priceless. However, as many stay at home moms know, you give up a part of your identity when you leave the workforce. “Running” the group has given me a part of my identity back separate from my children and husband and is a part of my life that is just for me. I never realized that this was missing until I found it.
We pride ourselves on connecting with businesses and organizations within our communities. We also do love to volunteer together. Just recently, we manned a 50 person water stop at The Nike Women’s Half in Dc.
We organized a multi chapter group run to connect with other moms in the Northern Virginia area. It was a huge success as you can see with moms running with strollers and their kids.
We are not all about running either! The social aspect is indescribable. This group has allowed me to connect with women that I never would have come in contact with. As moms, we tend to socialize with other moms who have kids at the same school or class. We struggle to get past the identity of being “so and so’s mom” and often lack the time and opportunity to connect with other moms. Being a part of this community has given me this opportunity and so much more. If you’re not a part of MRTT yet, “RUN” don’t walk to your nearest chapter. You won’t be sorry you did.
Wishing all of you a Happy Mother’s Day! And Happy Running!