Four years ago, Alicia Loran was looking to run a race in Rockwall, and noticed she could get a discount if she was part of Moms Run This Town, so she joined. That decision turned into her founding a group nearby, and today, the Allen/McKinney/Frisco/Plano chapter of Moms Run This Town (MRTT) has twelve moms running a 700+ member group with several member-hosted events per week!
When she was 29, after the birth of her second child, Alicia went on Weight Watchers. Just like a friend of mine (who is also a runner), she realized that she could eat more if she exercised. The next thing she knew she was running. Today she’s a regular runner and has found extra motivation and fun in the friends she’s made through MRTT.
Moms Run This Town is a free running club with chapters all over the U.S. and Canada plus Germany, Italy, U.A.E., Sweden, Costa Rica and the U.K. It was founded the end of 2010 by Pam Burrus, who wanted a way to connect with other local moms who loved to run as she was lonely running by herself all the time.
Today the club is actually open to all women, and a logo for She Runs This Town is on the national website. Alicia said the local group accepts all women, even those who are moms to four-legged children.
Members plan all sorts of events, all over the area. There are events happening before work, during school hours, after work and on weekends. And some events are not even about running, they are just about getting together and being active (prancercize, anyone?).
The local chapter of MRTT blew up after Alicia started it. She is the chapter leader along with five other members, and six members form the Welcoming Committee. In addition to member-organized events, they organize some larger events each year, like a themed trail run with sponsors and a photo booth. They also participate in national efforts where members track their mileage and can earn medals. Anything to motivate members to get out there and run is good.
One recent thing they’ve done to encourage more group members to organize events is to pass around Miles, a stuffed goat. If you have Miles you have to host an event, and at that event you can pass him off to another member. They’ve even been keeping track of how many miles Miles has run.
Members include those who are new to running and some who are just getting back to running after childbirth, as well as women who are training for 100-mile races. When I met with Alicia she was packing up to run a Texas Ragnar relay race (200 miles from Bastrop to Luckenbach, TX) with 11 other MRTT members. Alicia stressed that women of all levels are welcome and encouraged to join:
“We have a lot of people who are really quiet. The biggest worry women have is about pace, and most of the time others are happy to share their pace in advance, you just have to ask.”
If she could run anywhere Alicia would head back to Pike’s Peak. She attempted the Pike’s Peak Ascent years ago, but was just short of making the 10 mile cut off. She hopes to visit this beautiful area again, for another attempt or just to hike. Locally, her favorite spot to run is Erwin Park in McKinney, for the unpaved trails and beautiful scenery.