Men are what their mother’s made them. - Emerson
With Mother's Day fast approaching, here's a plan: skip the fancy dinner and box of chocolates and put the money towards the entry fee for a Mother’s Day race for mom and her kids. Not only is it a way for runners to honor their mothers on her special day, it’s a way of saying “thank you” for the strong heart, big lungs, long legs, competitive spirit, determination, and whatever else was passed down through her genes that made you the runner you are.
As a mother, four-time Olympian and 2009 Boston Marathon Master's Champion Colleen De Reuck realizes how rewarding it is to run with your children, and recommends it for all runners. Colleen is one of the contributors to my upcoming book, and told me that one of the remaining goals of her distinguished running career is “running a marathon with my daughter.”
The key is not to run your own race this time, but to run with your mom; mother and daughter, mother and son. For this one race, forget the PR, forget the competition, forget going for that age group trophy, and just enjoy an outing by your mom’s side. And if she doesn’t run, no problem; walk the course with her. If she is able to walk for an hour comfortably, she has already covered the 5K (3.1 miles) distance.
Chances are there’s a Mother’s Day race that also supports a good cause near you. Participants in the Mother’s Day Mile in Glenwood Springs, Colorado run to benefit the domestic violence programs of the Advocate Safehouse Project. Each mother receives a finish-line rose and a slice of homemade apple pie for their efforts. The Portland Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5K claims to be the largest race at that distance in Maine. Proceeds benefit Breast Cancer Research, and runners get the thrill of finishing at home plate inside the Sea Dogs’ minor league ballpark. There are many perks for mothers in the KC Express Mother's Day 5K in Overland Park, Kansas, including cash prizes, women’s cut T-shirts, and chocolate brownies. Even the Porta Potties are decorated for the occasion! And, of course, many cities thorughout the country are offering a Susan G. Komen Mother's Day Race for the Cure (Philadelphia, Richmond, and Pittsburgh are just three examples).
What if mother doesn’t live nearby? Run the race in her honor and send her the Mother's Day race T-shirt. Odds are she’ll cherish that gesture much more than a fruit basket or a delivery of wilted flowers.