Running clubs almost always come about because of a couple of runners with a passion for the sport.
The Annapolis Running Mamas is not one of those clubs. Actually, they aren’t officially a club at all. Instead they consider themselves a group—a group of moms running together and supporting each other.
Kim Vayda, a self-professed gym rat, had plenty of excuses why she couldn’t run. Her knees hurt. Her ankles hurt. She didn’t have enough time to fit it in.
But when it came down to it, running was just boring.
Then one night in June 2010, after a little too much wine, Vayda and a couple of her mommy friends decided it was time to start running. Having never run a race, they signed up for the Annapolis Ten Miler.
Training together, they found they actually enjoyed being out there. Individually, they began telling other friends from their children’s schools or sports teams.
Eventually the group began to grow. The email list expanded from a handful of St. Mary’s moms to more than 50 moms from all over Annapolis. Eventually, Vayda decided it was time to create a Facebook page.
Today there are more than 70 Running Mamas in Greater Annapolis.
Each week during the school year, the Mamas gather after drop-off to run together.
“It is therapeutic really,” Vayda said. “It is so nice to run with people who really get you. We pretty much all have children under 14, so we can relate and understand each other so well.”
Since its inception just over a year ago, the group has completed several races together, most notably the Annapolis Ten Miler, the Cherry Blossum Ten Miler in DC, the Father’s Day 10k in Severna Park and Zooma Annapolis.
In their bright blue shirts with "Running Mamas" written prominently across the front, the Mamas are able to find and support each other at these events.
At Zooma, because most of the team completed the 10k as opposed to the half marathon, the majority of the Running Mamas were able to gather just before the finish line and cheer in the handful of first-time half-marathoning Mamas.
“One of our runners who was completing her first half marathon told me that she came around that corner, heard this loud cheer and realized it was the Running Mamas, all cheering for her and she almost cried,” Vayda said. “That’s what this is all about, moms supporting moms.”
The Running Mamas didn’t start with a passion for running. But they did start with a passion— a passion to stay fit, stay social and support each other.