When Moms on the Run hosted its first destination run in Clearwater, FL, this past January, Jacksonville Moms on the Run member Chan You not only crossed the finish line of her first marathon, but celebrated her 39th birthday.
It was literally an uphill battle — both physically and mentally, Chan recalls, including facing several bridges and getting lost in a neighborhood. She persisted, telling herself not to give up, knowing that her Jacksonville MOTR teammates were waiting for her at the finish line.
It is that accountability — and her teammates running with her the final three miles — that ultimately propelled her across the finish line. Read more of Chan's story and find out why we chose her as May's inspiring member.
Woodbury's Mindi Dupont was a true Moms on the Run ambassador: A member for 10 years, she loved to run and she loved her team.
Mindi's journey the last seven years was not an easy one. In October 2015, Mindi was diagnosed with breast cancer. Exactly one year later, she finished her first marathon – crossing the finish line of the Twin Cities Marathon — cancer free. That same month, we featured her as our Inspiring Member. (Read that article here.)
In Fall 2020, Mindi's breast cancer returned, and on Feb. 25, she crossed life's finish line. Her life is marked by her profound optimism, love of life, God and her family, willingness to bring someone their favorite baked treat, and for being an avid runner and ultimate teammate — making her "MOTR girls" (as she would refer to them) an extension of her family.
Where Catherine Breiwick grew up, running was not just a hobby, it was survival. Before she came to the United States, Catherine (a member of Coon Rapids-Bunker Moms on the Run) and her family literally ran from their village to escape violence. Now she uses running as her therapy — and has qualified for her second Boston marathon this April.
Read more of Catherine's amazing story and learn why she's our inspiring member of the month.
When the pandemic started and the world shut down in March 2020, St. Paul Moms on the Run member Libby Starling decided to start running one mile every day. It got her out of the house and gave her something to do until life returned to normal. More than 600 days later, she's still running.
"Libby's motivation for this run streak is amazing," shares St. Paul Franchise Owner Alicia Waeffler. "Libby consistently shows up for our MOTR team and herself. She is an inspiration and we’re all so proud of her amazing accomplishment!"
Read more of Libby's story and learn why she is December's inspiring member.
Last December, Woodbury Moms on the Mom member Andrea Hitzemann-Johnson suffered a grand mal seizure after a workout with her Moms on the Run team. She woke up in the hospital, only to later learn she had a brain tumor. All of this during a year of a pandemic, no less. It's stories like these that make us grateful for medical professionals and resources, strong bodies and family and friends.
Andrea credits her friends on her Woodbury team for their support in keeping her physically and mentally strong — both on and off the trails.
"As things started to get crazy with Covid and many of us couldn’t always be together as often," recalls Andrea, "it was always great to see my Woodbury MOTR team virtually or on a distanced run. Then I had a personal health situation and this group's support has been absolutely amazing in all things, and brings those smiles and strength back to your day."
Read on for our conversation with Andrea and learn why she's our inspiring member of the month.