The idea of Moms Run This Town is for local mommas to collectively help motivate, encourage, inspire, and support each other to get out there and run. Menifee’s chapter was started by nine-year running veteran and mother of three Michelle Walsh and six-year running momma Laurel Blackburn.
|Founding club members Laurel Blackburn & Michelle Walsh|
Over the course of three short months, through persistent encouragement, together they have grown the Menifee club to over 120 members. While not all 120 partake in each outing, a portion thereof meets several times a week to run and exercise together, and a couple times each month to socialize and interact with new members.
The group consists of all running levels, from beginner to experienced runners. Walsh says many friendships and running partners have formed through the group.
“You find others who are at your own pace and have the same goals and then you work on those goals together,” she said.
This network of moms of all ages with children of all ages has created a support system of inspiration to keep one another moving both physically and mentally.
The most popular run is the Wednesday night one- to three-mile run around Heritage Lake in Menifee. As the sun begins to set and the air is finally cool enough to exercise outdoors, 10 to 15 members gather at the Heritage Lakes Clubhouse for a lively run/jog/walk around the lake.
|Happy kiddos and happy moms enjoy an evening run around Heritage Lake.|
Tuesdays are proclaimed stroller runs, where you will find toddlers strapped into baby-joggers and determined moms working on something akin to endurance training.
Saturdays generally elicit a smaller group for the eight- to 10-mile runs and are often used for support by those training for marathons, half-marathons, and triathlons. There are also occasional trail runs for the rugged mom.
While founding member Walsh proclaims herself an “adamant motivator,” there is no obligation to attend and every member is encouraged to go at her own pace throughout the entirety of each meet-up. She can run for as far as she wishes; the underlying idea is that they are doing it together and pushing each other when necessary.
“It’s kind of my passion to encourage, motivate, and help people see they can do it," Walsh said. "Moms come in and don’t think they can even run a mile, so to help them through that first mile is rewarding.”
One young mom Walsh motivated through her very first mile several months ago is now training for her first-half marathon and Michelle couldn’t be prouder. To go from “I can’t go any further” at half a mile to “Let’s keep going” at mile 8 is quite the accomplishment, and one that would not have been completed without the support of another mom.
Join the movement at their group Facebook page, or contact Laurel at firstname.lastname@example.org.