Ann Shama of Chanhassen/Chaska (MN) Moms on the Run was not a runner until the pandemic hit and her husband encouraged her to get outside. That fall, she joined Moms on the Run and has completed many 5Ks, 10Ks, 10 Milers and two half marathons — plus recruited her son into running, as well. Read more of Ann’s story and learn why she’s our inspiring member of the month.
Q: When did you first join Moms on the Run? Please share a bit about how you got involved. Were you a runner before Moms on the Run?
A: I had dabbled with running and the idea of becoming a runner after having my first child in 2010 but then tabled it as life happened. However, once the pandemic occurred, I remember my husband telling me to just go out and do something. I decided to lace up my shoes (which were not appropriate running shoes) and got started running in Spring 2020. My goal was to run a 5K and improve my mental health! I joined Chanhassen/Chaska Moms on the Run in Fall 2020.
Q: We were told you started by training for a 5K, but now have completed many 5Ks (along with your son) and a couple half marathons. Please tell us a bit about your journey.
A: I completed my first few races virtually in 2020 starting with a Virtual Turkey Trot 5K and then a Reindeer Race 10K. After that I completed my first live race in July of 2021 and was hooked after running live. Since then, I have completed many 5Ks, 10Ks, a couple 10 Milers and, as of this spring, two half marathons! A total of 1,268 miles since 2020.
I’ve also been able to get my 13-year-old son into running. He ran his first run with my MOTR group during the 2021 Virtual Celebrate Moms Race. Fast forward and we’ve completed many (at least six) 5Ks together — even one while on spring break in South Carolina!
I typically try to wear some type of MOTR gear when I do a race if I can. I love when people shout out to me “yeah, Moms on the Run!” or ask me about it afterwards. I am always happy to share how MOTR has changed my life.
Q: At Moms on the Run, we talk about being #MOTRstrong. What does that term mean to you?
A: #MOTRStrong means that we ARE better together, because we truly are. I know that I would have stopped running if I did not have the accountability and support of my Chanhassen/Chaska MOTR group. These women have taught me so much about showing up, being accountable, working hard and never giving up.
Q: What have you learned about yourself since becoming a part of Moms on the Run?
A: I’ve learned that I can truly do hard things. I remember hating running the mile in high school and who would have imagined now I can run half marathons! I’ve also learned to enjoy nature and all the seasons, plus running early mornings — even in the brutal Minnesota winters there is beauty in nature and all around us.
Ann (third green shirt) with her Moms on the Run team.
I’ve also learned that doing something for myself is good for my whole family. My mental health improves when I run or go to my weekly MOTR group. My kids have seen me go out run and they want to be active too, which is a benefit I never imagined would happen.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is considering Moms on the Run?
A: Be brave and just do it! I went in not knowing anyone in the group or anything about running, but I have been so enriched by this experience. The women you meet change your life. They will give you new perspectives and be the most encouraging to you regardless of your level or ability.
Q: Please tell us a little more about you personally (your family, job-in or out of the home, hobbies, etc.)
A: I live in Minnetonka, MN with my husband Joel and two kids; Chase (age 13) and Alyssa (age 5). I work in Human Resources at General Mills. When I am not running or working, we are usually at a baseball game for my son or playing with my daughter.
Ann, front center, with her Chanhassen/Chaska Moms on the Run team.