By Rachelle Gordon
When Kandi Ganoe discovered the international group “Moms RUN This Town” (MRTT), she knew she had to be a part of it. The organization—which is a dedicated running group for women of all ability levels—gave the Maple Grove resident a chance to connect with fellow moms who enjoy running.
“When you’re out on a run with other women, the miles go by much easier and faster,” Ganoe explains. “You find yourselves getting lost in conversation, talking not only about running but also about your families, careers, struggles, and successes.”
The Champlin/Maple Grove Chapter
MRTT was originally founded in Georgia in 2011 by two moms who noticed a lack of connection between women runners. Pam Burrus, one of the group’s co-founders, wanted to give other women the chance to find exercise buddies with similar interests and lifestyles—regardless of skill level.
Prior to moving to her current home in Maple Grove, Ganoe got involved in MRTT in Duluth, and was a chapter leader for the Duluth group. “When I found out I was moving, I started looking to find out if there was a chapter here. There was, but it wasn’t active yet so I offered to help get it going—and we did! Two years later and we grew from five to hundreds of members.”
The active runner and mom loves what MRTT offers to its members, all free of charge. “Our mission is to provide free support, encouragement and motivation for female runners of all different levels,” Ganoe explains. “Members can utilize us for online support and encouragement if they so choose, or search out individual running buddies or race training partners who live nearby and have similar goals.” MRTT holds several group runs every week at varying paces. This gives anyone and everyone, regardless of experience in the running world, a chance to join in on the fun.
Ganoe adds that the Maple Grove MRTT chapter is so active that they have six leaders—all volunteers—who keep things organized and running smoothly (no pun intended). Many of the members are mothers who are grateful for the chance to connect with other women in a supportive and relaxed environment.
“Moms are busy folks; whether they stay at home or work outside of the home, their plates are filled,” Ganoe says. “While we wouldn’t trade the craziness for anything, it can get stressful or overwhelming at times. Carving out the time to go for a quick run, where your worries fade to the background for that 30 minutes or however long you go for, can leave you feeling refreshed and renewed. That, in turn, helps you to be a better and more patient mom!”
While not every community has a chapter of Moms RUN This Town, starting a chapter is easy. The national group’s webpage has a spot where interested women can look into starting a chapter or being a group leader. Ganoe adds that all social media groups related to MRTT chapters are private and events are viewable to members only.
Ganoe encourages interested women to search for chapters near them, even if they have never run a day in their lives. MRTT is a group for female runners to be themselves and support one another in a safe and open environment.
“It’s amazing to be a part of a group that is so completely supportive,” Ganoe states. “The accomplishment of a person who runs her first mile at a pace of 14:00 is just as celebrated as somebody running the Boston Marathon for the 10th time. There is no competition, just complete, sincere support for one another.”
Rachelle Gordon is a Minneapolis-based writer, editor, and life-enthusiast. After graduating from Hamline University in 2010, Rachelle has dedicated herself to helping people find their voice. She has written on such topics as education, personal finance, health and wellness, human interest, and the arts. When not writing, Rachelle enjoys playing with her dog Fonzie and collecting vintage bossa nova LPs.