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Moms and daughters celebrate Mother's Day at 4-mile run
What: 8K race, 1M family run/walk
When: June 17
Where: Beginning and ending at Springs Spree, Memorial Park in Colorado Springs
Cost: $25 and up, with family run discounts
The inaugural 4 for Moms run on Sunday showed just how fun a women’s-only race can be.
About two dozen women and girls – and a few toddlers bundled in their joggers - ran a largely flat 4-mile course through north Monument Valley Park in a benefit race for TESSA, a Colorado Springs nonprofit that educates the public about and assists victims of domestic violence.
It was a supportive group of runners and volunteers, and racers each got sunny yellow carnations upon crossing the finish line. There were free massages available, too, on a chilly Mother’s Day morning.
“I can really see this growing,” said race organizer Micky Simpson, of the Colorado Running Co. “We wanted to put together an all-women’s race to support women, and I think when word gets out this is going to grow and grow.”
Working with TESSA was a natural choice, Simpson said. “They do such great work in our community and are really supportive of all women.”
Amy Batson, of Colorado Springs, won the race in 26 minutes, 13 seconds. She blazed across the grass toward the finish line, grinned as she accepted her flowers, and then looked back toward the course as second-place finisher Jaclyn Roberson streaked toward her.
“She pushed me hard at the beginning,” Batson said of Roberson. “I tried to slow down a bit in the middle, but I couldn’t slow much.”
Batson runs for fitness and is a regular at the Jack Quinn’s and University Village running club events. She doesn’t much like racing, but said the thrill of Sunday’s competition may help her overcome the nervousness she feels at a start line.
“I registered at the last minute – yesterday,” she said. “I’d picked up the registration form awhile ago, and it was just sitting there on the counter. I thought, ‘Why not, it’s for a really good cause.’”
Roberson regularly runs at Pikes Peak Road Runners events and said she’s trying to pick up the pace for her mid-distance runs. She’d set a goal of finishing in 27 minutes and was right there at 27:07.
She coaches cross country and track at Manitou Springs High School and is training for an Olympic-distance triathlon this summer in Loveland.
“I was always a middle-of-the-pack runner, and then I got pregnant and dropped to the back,” Roberson said. “Now I’m a mom and I’m fast.”
While Roberson doesn’t prescribe motherhood for others’ running success, she was supportive of the women’s run. “It’s great to see everyone out here. I hope it gets bigger.”
Renee Smit ran with 16-year-old daughter Mackenzie. “She held back and ran with me,”
“But you smoked her on the (Rescue Run) 10K on New Year’s Day,” reminded her husband, Rob, also a runner. Good-natured ribbing about who runs the best at given distances ensued among the Smits, including Cameryn, 10, all active in running and karate.
“We’re trying to help them lead active lives,” Renee Smit said of Mackenzie and Cameryn. “You have to be active yourselves, as parents, to set a good example.”
Cameryn, who is breaking out of kids runs into longer races, cheered her mom and sister on and ran with Renee in the final meters to the finish.
“You were my motivation there,” Renee Smit said to her. “I think I’ve earned a breakfast with some French toast.”
Cameryn whole-heartedly agreed. Apparently, Mom does know best.