When I had my first son last June, I coincidentally noticed a Facebook Group called ‘Moms RUN This Town‘ on my sidebar. Because I was curious and trying to meet as many new moms as possible as I wiped the sleep from my eyes and the spit up from my shoulders and clicked on the link. I’m so glad I did, because I now have a group to run with pretty much any day of the week at my typical 8:30 training pace at the butt crack of dawn when I can best squeeze it in. Instead of trying to run alone at 4:30 a.m. (when the baby is still sleeping, the husband is still sleeping and before all chaos breaks lose), I now have a posse that keeps me safe, complete with headlamps, motherly empathy if I have to skip out at the last minute due to lack of sleep, and fun conversation.
And today, I am going to tell you why Moms RUN This Town is a great group for all women runners, mothers and non-mothers alike!
‘Moms RUN This Town’ (MRTT) was the result of a simple conversation. between a few women runners who wanted to motivate one another after having babies. They’d walk a few miles together and notice other women posting about their runs, which resulted in some serious guilt as well as inspiration. A restless night later, Pam Burrus, the founder of the group, instantly started building this new club in her head, had the groundwork laid out, and by morning was registering the domain name. Later that evening, Moms RUN This Town was an official nationwide running club for moms and non-moms alike! With the magnetic powers of Facebook, the word spread like rapid fire, the first chapter was born and moms in other states starting creating their own chapters. Currently, there are hundreds of chapters nationwide. Women love having other women to share their passion for running with one another.
The Columbus Chapter
I thought the best way to convince you that MRTT is a great group is to tell you about my experience with my hometown chapter. Jamie Miles is the Columbus chapter leader (you can find her own blog here). When she joined the group about two years ago, it had no leader so she decided why not?! A gymnast when younger, the mom of two daughters, age 7 and 5, committed to running after seeing so many transformation stories. Her long-term goal was to run 5 miles; long story short, her fourth marathon was this past weekend. She’s hooked! The first six months were tough and everything simply hurt, but she liked the way she felt when she was done, and now she can’t imagine her life without it.
I can say, after meeting her at Panera to chat about MRTT, her infectious smile and eternal optimism are enough to get anyone hooked on running! Something else that has gone viral for the Columbus chapter? Posting group #runnerselfies on Facebook. They are motivational and make you want to join in the fun!
When I asked Jamie about any feelings of guilt for taking time to run and whether or not it took away from her time from her family, she reminded me that she went for her runs while everyone else was sleeping, like many of the 150-200 active mommas in Columbus chapter do! Taglines on Facebook often ring ‘5 at 5 in Westerville!’, meaning the group meets at 5 am for 5 miles.
Jamie monitors the Facebook group and is keen on safety. When women want to meet up for runs and post comments, no addresses are ever included on the public page; rather, private messages are sent as to where the starting location will be. One of the coolest aspects of the group that I’ve found is you can literally do a post about wanting to run at such and such time at such and such location at such and such pace and get about 10 comments 5 minutes later from women who are eager to run along side you! There are beginners to performance-focused veteran runners like me. All levels are welcome and everyone is sure to find someone great to run with!
But with such a large group of women runners, doesn’t it get catty? Dramatic? Competitive in a bad way? Nope, not really. Of course, on occassion, but usually it’s nipped in the bud. Rather than drama, the group is for empowerment. For friendship. For friendly competition on group runs to push one another to their potential. And of course, to help each other be her best!
If you’re a new mom who is itching to get back on the pavement and pound out some miles who needs a little motivation, or a busy woman looking for other women to run with, check to see if your area has a local chapter of MRTT. Chances are, they do! And remember, despite the name, even if you’re not a mom, you are more than WELCOME to check it out!
Have you heard of MRTT before? Do you think it’s right for you?