2012-04-05 / Sports Spotlight

Running Moms make connections

Scarborough group sponsors the second annual Race2thePoint
By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


For the past year Katie Norfleet, back row, far right, has been organizing running workouts for a group of Scarborough women. The group, Running Moms of Maine, trains for charity road races throughout the year. Most recently, Running Moms of Maine sponsored and ran in the Race2thePoint along Pine Point Road. (Michael Kelley photo) For the past year Katie Norfleet, back row, far right, has been organizing running workouts for a group of Scarborough women. The group, Running Moms of Maine, trains for charity road races throughout the year. Most recently, Running Moms of Maine sponsored and ran in the Race2thePoint along Pine Point Road. (Michael Kelley photo) A group of women in Scarborough have found running is not only a way to stay active, but also a way to connect with other women in town.

For the past year, Kate Norfleet has led Running Moms of Maine, a weekly running group for women who train for charity road races throughout the year.

“We train together from February to December,” said Norfleet, who has led the group since it was started last spring. “Throughout the year we train for seven to 10 weeks for every race ranging from a 5K to half marathon to marathon.”

The group recently spent the months of February and March training for Race2thePoint, a 5K held along Pine Point Road on March 31 that benefited the Scarborough Primary School Parent Teacher Association. Jodi Shea, PTA president, said the event, sponsored by Running Moms of Maine, was expected to raise $10,000 for the three primary schools. Each teacher in the three schools will receive an allocation to use in their classrooms and building principals will also get funding for school-wide events, she explained.

Norfleet said beginning on April 7, the group will start preparing for the Portland Sea Dogs Mother’s Day 5K on May 13 in Portland.

“People can sign up and pay per session. I provide them with training support. We meet on Saturday mornings and do hill workouts, sprint work, long runs, short runs, whatever is in the training plan at the time,” Norfleet said.

Members of the group, who don’t have to be moms, are encouraged to train outside of the Saturday group workouts, which Norfleet said includes things that the women are not necessarily going to do on their own. The group is an offshoot of Moms in Motion, which dissolved last year after its leader, Jill McFarland, moved out of town.

Norfleet said she does not have a background in athletic training, but does have a lifelong love of staying active.

“I have always been a runner and an athlete. I pull my running plans from just about every source out there,” Norfleet said. “I don’t follow one philosophy or technique religiously.”

Since Running Moms of Maine started just over a year ago, 79 women have signed up to be members of the group. Each training session, Norfleet said, typically includes between 30 and 40 women. Race2thePoint 5K included 35 runners from Running Moms of Maine among the race’s 341 participants.

“Its an amazing group of women. One of my goals is to foster a non-judgmental environment,” Norfleet said, adding that everyone in the group is encouraged, no matter if they run a 7-minute mile or a 14-minute mile.

“It pushes you more than you would normally,” said Allison Stratis, of the group dynamic. “You definitely reach a higher potential than you would on your own. You have a whole group to cheer you on. You are not just an individual.”

She said running in a group of friends also keeps each runner motivated to the end goal.

“I think a large majority of us would not be running in a road race if we didn’t have this group,” Stratis said.

Tricia Mokriski said the group has helped her not only physically, but socially as well by introducing her to a group of women who serve as role models for her two daughters.

“For me it is a fun way to stay active, but I have also met people I wouldn’t have met if I didn’t join the group,” she said.

Heather Cuzzi said she also enjoys the combination of physical activity and socialization in the group.

“I don’t have the luxury of meeting other moms through school,” said Cuzzi, who has a young child not yet in school. “I have met a core group of women who are my support net and friends.”

Women interested in joining the group can get more information at www.runningmomsofmaine.net or on the group’s Facebook page.

Staff Writer Michael Kelley can be reached at 282-4337, ext. 237.

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