The weather in Duluth, MN, can be unpredictable. Situated on the edge of Lake Superior (the world's largest freshwater lake), the city can be blasted with lake-effect snowstorms and frigid winter and spring temps. So when Covid hit this spring and states mandated shelter-at-home orders, Duluth Moms on the Run head coach Laura Wieck and her family challenged themselves to get outside every day — no matter the weather. After finishing a family 5K, they've continued that challenge all summer, even taking on MOTR's Four on the 4th of July. Read on to learn more of Laura's story and what makes her #MOTRstrong.
"I got started with Moms on the Run in 2014. I had recently moved to West Fargo, ND, and had a two year old and six month old. I was postpartum, stuck in a rut and didn’t know anyone! While at the park with my kids I saw a group of women on the trail and some had the same shirt on, so I just said, 'Hey, is this a running group?' (I’d run a few road races but not after kids and certainly wasn’t a regular runner). A mom said 'Yes! Running and walking! Look for Moms on the Run on Facebook!' So I did and signed up for the upcoming fall session, which was very challenging for me but absolutely what I needed at the time. I had no aspirations for any races. I didn’t even know specialized running shoes were sold in special stores. But it’s true what they say: You are what you repeatedly do and who you surround yourself with matters. I started joining a group even outside of class for jogs. I eventually found my rhythm.
In 2018, my family had an amazing job opportunity in Duluth, MN (my husband is the head men’s basketball coach for the University of Minnesota Duluth — Go Bulldogs!!!) but leaving my West Fargo MOTR group still gives me a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes to this day. I got to support my sweet running friends in the Twin Cities Marathon 2018 and Grandma's Marathon in Duluth in 2019. I was expecting to host even more of them for 2020 Grandma's [in June]. When Covid hit, it was just a few months after having our 3rd baby, with all of us being home full time, working, distance learning, and cut off from family and friends the way everyone was. We decided we would get outside EVERY day (even with the baby)! In northern Minnesota, the weather can be unpredictable! But getting outside in Duluth is worth it — it is the most beautiful place in the Midwest, in my opinion, and everyone who lives here has such a great attitude about being adventurous and outdoors in all weather. Eventually, after walking around the neighborhood or on the Lake Superior lakewalk, the idea was born to do a family 5K. My eight year old had run Fargo 5K twice before (his energy is unreal!) but it would be a first for our six year old and my first pushing a stroller. As with training for any race, any distance, it had its ups and downs and fair share of whining and wanting to quit! But, we stuck with it and on the last weekend in May, our whole family of five did a 5K!
While the Minnesota stay-at-home order expired and, beautifully, MOTR was allowed to meet in person social-distance style, we kept up our family exercising and especially the Saturday “long” runs. (Lots of times the kids biked or scootered; we were determined to make it a pleasurable experience). After 3.1 miles we decided to do the Moms on the Run Four on the 4th of July! No matter what, or whatever rut I’ve been in, MOTR was always “there” for me, even if just in the back of my mind, in my heart or keeping me connected on social media. And needless to say, it has had a positive impact on my family to get moving and enjoy being outdoors even under less-than-desirable circumstances."
The weather picture is all five of us completing 4 miles on the lakewalk by the famous Aerial Lift Bridge. It was so hot we promptly and deservedly got into Lake Superior!
In light of all the recent events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic, we at Moms on the Run want to share uplifting stories about what our members are doing to stay active, to continue to crush goals, and to remain in community as a team. If you or your team are doing something fun or unique or cool, please email us here. We'd love to share it with our members.