| || |
Our 18-week peak running season came to an amazing close the last weekend of August, when we celebrated strong women and big accomplishments at our Celebration Banquet and Moms on the Run 5K/10K.
On Friday, Aug. 25, 460 ‘Moms on the Run’ slipped off their normal running attire and donned cocktail dresses and heels for a night out at our 10th annual Celebration Banquet, held at Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Park, Minn. It was an inspiring evening filled with laughter, tears, good food, prizes and inspiring stories.
Four women were chosen to share their inspirational stories. Jenna, a Chanhassen mom of three, told us how joining Moms on the Run has helped her care for herself. She struggles with depression and anxiety, and running with her group has become both a mental and physical outlet for her.
Jackie from Roseville offered an empowering story about being a strong woman. Last year, her son was diagnosed with cancer. Through it all, her Moms on the Run group was there. “Every woman in this group is much stronger than they think they are. We are all dealing with issues. And when we are called on to be strong, we do it. When we are called on to be there for each other, we do it. No one in MOTR ever said to me ‘I don't know how you do it,’ because we're all doing it. They stood by me, gave me what I needed in that moment, and ran with me.”
Stephanie shared how much impact her group, Bloomington Moms on the Run, has had in her life. She gave kudos to their coach, Jenn, who always (lovingly) kicks their butt and has a talent for knowing how much she can challenge and push them. Of her group, she says, “We share a lot of laughs both in and out of class and all of us have formed a bond with one another that will last a lifetime.”
Heather of White Bear Lake/Shoreview inspired us with her story. As a single mom of a son who has complex medical issues, she has found Moms on the Run to be not only her outlet, but her tribe.
Our keynote speaker, Olympic runner Carrie Tollefson, offered us the opportunity to reflect on why we run and inspired us with her running stories and how to look at running as our common bond. (But you’ll have to ask someone who attended for her “secret” to getting her husband to run!)
Several coaches regaled us with a humorous skit about what their lives would be like if they weren’t running coaches.
Karissa Johnson, Head Mom, presented the “Biggest Loser” award to Becky Collins, who lost 20 pounds during the 18-week season after following the MOTRwell nutrition program this summer. The most anticipated award of the night, “2017 Most Inspirational Member,” was presented to Tammy Kuehne of Brooklyn Park Moms on the Run. Tammy has coached the Brooklyn Park group for 2 years. This past December, she was in a serious car accident that shattered her left kneecap and right ankle. Forced to learn to do the simplest tasks without the use of her legs in order to heal, she asked her surgeon, “So when can I run again?” While her journey has been long and frustrating and she's not yet able to run, her group says she continues to persevere, hashtagging #MOTRstrong through every hurdle she successfully accomplishes in physical therapy.
On Sunday, Aug. 27, Tammy and 700 women, children and volunteers gathered for the 3rd annual MOTR 5K/10K and Kids Run.
Our record year for the 10k brought almost 200 women completing it, with an average time of 1:06:27. Rachel Baar, 40, a coach with Forest Lake Moms on the Run, came in first with a time of 43:28. Our nearly 300 women and youth in the 5k finished in an average time of 36:00. Suzanne Schons, 44, of Woodbury, Minn., crossed the finish line first with a time of 21:23.
In an awesome show of strength and support, our most inspirational member Tammy fast-walked the 5K in 50:13! Check out all the specific results here. In addition, we had more than 150 kids run the much-anticipated half mile and kiddie dash.
So many runners. So many stories. What a great weekend celebrating strong women!
We'd like to thank our 2017 sponsors for helping us put on great events this year. In case you missed out, you can still take home our 2017 race package by registering for our Virtual Run.
See more great photography:
Race Photos Banquet Photo Booth