Celebrating Mother's Day at M.O.M.'s Run

The M.O.M.'s Run in Somerville has quickly risen to one of my favorite local races.

I love it so much I have run it each of the last three years.

I love what the race stands for:

In November 2002 the Pilotte family lost our mother and grandmother to cancer, and for the past twelve years, we have hosted the Annual Mary O’Brien Memorial 5K for Cancer, known as M.O.M.’s RUN, held on Mother’s Day in her honor. Mary (Pilotte) O’Brien was a longtime Somerville resident and was involved in many local organizations throughout her life dedicating much of her time to helping others.

We continue Mary’s legacy by making this effort to help others and hopefully save lives. A full 100% of the funds raised by M.O.M.’s Run benefits the Claudia Adams Barr Program in Innovative Basic Cancer Research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, widely recognized as one of the largest and most successful programs of its kind. Not only does the event enforce the need for supporting cancer research, it brings family and friends together to promote awareness for the health and wellness benefits of walking and running.

The family has raised over $85,000 from the first 11 M.O.M.'s Runs.

This is another very family focused race. There is a .1 mile kids run (ages 9 and under) prior to the 5k. Which might be the cutest thing I ever watch. I seriously need these kids to teach me proper running form.

Due to road restrictions and timing, the walkers head out at 9:45 and the runners at 10:00. It is such a great inclusive vibe. All are truly welcome.

Plus I think it is the only 5k around that has Dunkins coffee and donuts and local fresh bread available right before the race. Mmmm carbs!

We lined up at 10am and got ready to rock.

The sun was shining bright and the humidity was picking up. I know the course has a lot of inclines so I tried to take that into account while devising my race strategy. I wasn't feeling confident so I wasn't sure what pace I would produce.

Since it is the same course every year, I at least knew when I would be able to enjoy the downhills.

It is a lovely Sunday morning tour of Somerville - passing the hospital, high school and City Hall.

Mile 1: 7:56

There was some clogging at the beginning of the run due to folks not lining up properly. I am all for people starting where they are comfortable, but it is usually by pace for the safety of the runners and walkers.

I was almost tripped a few times and I know a friend who did wipe out at the beginning due to being tripped by a fellow participant.

It comes with being in a local race, but something people should be aware of when lining up at the Start.

The race began on a slow gradual incline, but the legs felt strong. Thank you Spinning!

I turned my watch upside down so I wouldn't worry about pace and focus on taking in the scenery and the experience.

Oh but first let me take a selfie!

Mile 2: 7:45

The great thing about the walkers heading out first is you have a constant stream of cheerleaders! And they are moving right along with you. :) For safety, the runners are on one part of the street and the walkers are on the sidewalk.

Just before hitting the much-needed downhill, there was a water stop. Again I don't normally stop, but with the sun beating down I opted for hydration over time.

But don't let that downhill fool you, once it ends the next steady incline begins. It is a battle, but the thing to remember is you get to finish strong on a downhill.

As I was making my way - putting just one foot in front of the other - I came across an older gentleman. His stride was strong, but his breathing was labored. I was worried, but a friend of his came up alongside him. He was 80-plus years old and just out there dominating. He said that is how his breathing always is so I stopped worrying and just listened. The older man talked about how many races he has done and how strong he felt. Ah-may-zing! It put a little extra something in my step. Especially since I am a good 50 years his junior.

Mile 3: 7:49

I tried to leave a little in the tank so I could dominate the final stretch into the Finish. Plus, I knew an iced-cold Harpoon IPA waiting for me at the Finish.

The volunteers were handing out carnations at the Finish to all moms. Such a sweet touch.

I took a water, thanked the volunteers and headed straight to the beer.

After securing my delicious beer, I headed back to the course to cheer on the other participants and my wife. I love that the post-race party happens in a parking lot right next to the Finish shoot so you can cheer and party at the same time.

I chatted with my friend and fellow Slumbrew ambassador Frank while I waited. Between the two of us, we have shed over 150 lbs thanks to Weight Watchers.

Now I mentioned the awesome pre-race food, but the post-race can't be beat!!

All the local restaurants in Davis Square donate delicious food: Redbone's BBQ, Mike's Pizza, JP Lick's Ice Cream and more.

The wife rocked one of her first 5ks back from her ACL replacement and was ready to celebrate. We hung around to chat with friends and pretend to dance to the DJ's tunes.

I was able to easily enjoy the festivities and the race knowing that my stuff was secured in the Blue Trailer Mobile Lockers.

Molly and her crew do a great job. For just $5 you can rent one of these lockers, leave all your valuables inside and someone will watch it the entire race. Calms my nerves and I don't have to run with my car keys in my hand or pocket.

While the race is about running, food and family, we can't forget the reasons why we participate and help to raise money. The race directors help remind you with the touching memorial wall.

Hands down this is one of my favorite local races. The race directors do a wonderful job making everyone feel special, the volunteers are encouraging and the post-race spread - both food and beer - are rarely topped. Plus, it is cool to see so many families spending Mother's Day getting active or out supporting the mom they love so much.

Overall, I wasn't happy with my performance. I keep getting slower at this race somehow, but I had to remind myself. The first 5k I ever did was 38:21. How can I truly be angry with a 24:14? How? I can't. So I say that and move on because every race won't be a PR!