Run, chat, bond

Get healthy while creating friendships with the mothers of Maple Grove

by Sage larson

MGSH STaff Intern

Need a way to improve your health? Want to create friendships with moms in this town? Join a running club; particularly, Moms Run This Town.

Moms Run This Town (MRTT) is a club for all types of mothers — mothers-to-be, young moms, older moms, pet moms — that want to join a group of great women while getting healthy. MRTT started in 2010 and has now reached over 400 chapters nationwide including Canada. CBS network in Minnesota declares MRTT as one of the finest running clubs in Minnesota. The best part of this group is that it’s free to join, no registration fee or membership dues.

Within the 400 groups, a chapter in Maple Grove exists. Kandi Ganoe is the chapter leader. Ganoe has experience with this program because she was a chapter leader in Duluth before coming to Maple Grove.

Ganoe became a part of MRTT for a number of reasons, “I was obese, very uncomfortable, and did not have a lot of self confidence. I certainly never imagined I would run, let alone join a running group,” she said.

In 2011, Ganoe made a New Year’s Resolution to lose weight. Checking out Google, she found a MRTT chapter in Duluth, but it needed a leader. After some thought, she decided to take the leadership position. Then the running began. “When I first started running, I really couldn’t even jog for more than 10 seconds,” she added.

In her first 5K, Ganoe ran the race in 38 minutes. A year and a half later, she ran a 5K in 27 minutes and 25 seconds. To date, Ganoe has lost 85 pounds while working, attending graduate school and raising two kids.

“I have been thanked for being an inspiration to people,” Ganoe said. “Not only have I helped motivate and inspire others, they have done the same for me. There are some truly amazing women in this group, not only in my local groups but nationally as well.”

Currently, the Maple Grove chapter has 25 members that meet once a week to walk or run in the Maple Grove Dome and exercise for an hour. Once the weather warms up, the group will run outside in different locations depending on the groups’ wishes. They’ll possibly meet more than once a week with longer run times, if the group chooses. On the runs, baby strollers and well-behaved dogs are welcome.

Majority of the mothers do run races, or intend to one day. The members usually run races in the Twin Cities Area, anything from a 5K to a marathon. It is not a requirement to run a race, a member can run a race whenever she feels ready to.

The mothers keep in touch outside of running. They have an online Facebook group  where the moms chat about running, food, advice on running gear and more. Moms can chat on the Maple Grove page or even chat with mothers from all over the nation on the national MRTT Facebook page.

Also, the Maple Grove members have met up for breakfast and want to do more. Family members are welcome to these gatherings. Some members would like to do a girls night out soon.

Want to join? Find the Maple Grove MRTT Facebook page and ask to join it. Once accepted, people will be in the loop of group runs, events and the online chatter.

“MRTT is free to join, but the fun, motivation, and support one receives is priceless,” Ganoe stated.