SRRA Women’s Run

Our family’s Mother’s Day celebrations always involve something outdoors. My husband and father-in-law are always busy in the field by Mother’s Day, so my parents, mother-in-law and I usually pack up my kids and head to the Forestry Farm zoo or to the carousel and train at Kinsmen Park. We follow that up with a picnic and a nap. 🙂

This year, however, we switched it up a bit. The Saskatoon Road Runners Association was sponsoring a Women’s Run on the Saturday of the Mother’s Day weekend. The rules were simple: only female runners, only male volunteers. The one exception to this was that a male could run only if he was running with or assisting his mother. When I saw that there was a 3 km distance I knew I wanted to run this with my five year old daughter! We invited her Grandmas to come too and convinced my Dad to hang out with my sons while we ran. Everyone was on board (though my Dad was a little nervous to be the sole adult in charge of the boys)!

The women of our family (just missing my sister-in-law) ready to run and walk!

The women of our family (just missing my sister-in-law) ready to run and walk!

The SRRA sponsored the installation of a seating area and drinking fountain (with three heights for adults, kids and dogs!) along the Meewasin Trail on the east side of the river in Saskatoon. The scenic west side is more developed and has multiple water fountains, but the east side gets a little forgotten. Runners use the east side a lot though to make a loop around the city’s bridges on long runs, so it only made sense for the SRRA to place their water fountain there. Affectionately known as simply “The Node” by members, it is a scenic outlook with a beautiful view of downtown Saskatoon.

Photo by Dave Stark

Photo by Dave Stark

View from the node

View from the node

"Anything is possible, choose your path"

“Anything is possible, choose your path”

This run was the first to use the node as the start/finish point. At 10:30 we all gathered around for route instructions before beginning our run. A few women were disappointed that the male volunteers weren’t wearing Speedos, but the men had good excuses – something about shrinkage and cool mornings. 😉

See the little pink girl in the back, behind the start post on the left? That's us! (Photo by Dave Stark)

See the little pink girl by the start post on the left? That’s us! (Photo by Dave Stark)

We set off along the riverbank and my daughter set a ferocious pace! I expected her to falter soon, but she didn’t. It was so inspiring to run beside her. Her arms were relaxed and low, she has a natural forefoot strike and a short stride with quick turnover. All those things “they” say we should naturally do, if not for our shoes encouraging a heel strike and too-long stride. It was fascinating to me to see how naturally those things really do come to a child. This defintely has me second-guessing the type of shoes I buy my kids!

About 400m into our run she surged to pass a group of adults ahead of us. She glanced over at me and I assured her I was right behind her, and off she went. As we passed, one of the women looked over at her and said “oh…. that’s…. good…” I cracked up. Everyone thought it was great that a kid was out running, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re excited when that same kid passes them!

When we got to our turn around at 1.5 km two other women who had been right behind us carried on for the 6.5 km route. As we turned around they said to me “she has beautiful form!” I beamed! What a fantastic compliment for a young runner.

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The Grandmas were setting a good walking pace and were about 400m behind us. We passed them on the way back, but Alyssa didn’t even slow down. She waved and kept hauling ass back to the finish line. She did stop for a few short walk breaks, and to check out the view, but never for long.

We crossed the finish line to the cheers of the men who were BBQ-ing up lunch for all the women with huge smiles on our faces. I am so proud of my little girl and so excited to see the runner she will become. She says, “I’m proud of myself too! And I was the first kid!”

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We walked back to find the Grandmas and walked with them to the finish, then enjoyed a hot dog and a juice box. The organizers had several massage gift certificates and hanging flower baskets to give away, and several rounds of heads or tails determined the winners (put your hands on your head or tail, flip a coin. If you were right you move on to the next round until there’s only one person left). We didn’t win any prizes, but we all had a blast!

Post-run hot dog! (Photo by Peter Goode)

Post-run hot dog! (Photo by Peter Goode)

This was a fantastic, fun, casual event. It was great to see so many women of all ages and fitness levels come out to run and walk in honor of Mother’s Day. There’s nothing a Mother Runner loves more than to get to run a scenic route and have a man make her lunch afterwards! I hope this will become an annual event – if it does we’ll definitely be back next year!

We thanked the organizers and headed out to the zoo, then back to my parents’ for nap time. My husband, father-in-law and some friends joined us all for supper out as an early birthday celebration for me and some more friends came over for appies and drinks that night. All in all it was a great Mother’s Day and early birthday weekend!

(Huge thanks again to the men who put together the Women’s Run. It was so much fun and really did make it a perfect Mother’s Day.)

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Ed Tomlinson on May 21, 2013 at 4:18 am

    Thank you,so much for such a nice praise for The Run For Women. I was one of the organizers and we welcome feedback and would like people, to let us know how we can improve this event. I am anxious to put on this run next year, but will have to get the approval of the SRRA. I am very happy with the results of putting this on and got a lot of positive feedback. Thanks again Ed Tomlinson (SRRA board member)

    Bye the way, you are a wonderful writer and would like to invite you to do some writing for The SRRA news letter. Please contact me or Dave Stark and the members would love to see some articles from you.

    Reply

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