On Mother’s Day, some moms are treated to a day of no chores, breakfast in bed, presents from their kids and partner, or some combination of other special activities. One group of moms in the Bellingham area doesn’t want to sit around and have a completely lazy day, though. They get up early and go running with other moms.
It all started in 2006 when Polly Favinger, who is now 57, got together a group of five of her friends to go for a run on the Galbraith Trails.
“One of the women was my son’s girlfriend, who is now his wife, so that was cool,” Favinger said in a phone interview. “It was a gorgeous, sunny Mother’s Day, so I said, ‘Let’s go to the top of Galbraith,’ and when we were done I suggested we do it every year as a joke and it’s just continued.”
And the group has continued to grow, reaching as many as 40 and as little as 20 women in the last eight years. It’s not a training run, but more to get out and enjoy fresh air, Favinger said.
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“We don’t go fast necessarily, we just share an hour or two in any weather,” she said. “We’ve done a similar run on Thanksgiving. It’s anywhere from an hour to two hours, and we take a photo at the start and at the top.”
For these women, it’s about feeling good first thing in the morning on their day. Other women might get that from being waited on by their children, and some of the runners still have time to enjoy a bit of the royal Mother’s Day treatment.
“The women that go love to be outside,” Favinger said. “I think the women who exercise find they feel better after exercise than having breakfast in bed. Some of them go home and get back in bed for breakfast, though.”
Carol Frazey is one of the mothers who goes home to a prepared breakfast after the run.
“You get your ‘woman time,’ and a lot of us use it as our sanity and to get that good feeling to start the day,” Frazey said in a phone interview.
The growth of the group in recent years has also brought together a lot of people who weren’t familiar with one another beforehand.
For some of them, it’s the one time a year they get to catch up with the other women they’ve bonded with during the morning run.
“It’s a celebration of friendship,” Favinger said. “There is a lot of chatter on the trail, and it gets louder on the switchbacks. It looks like a ribbon of women weaving up Galbraith, and there are definitely a lot of conversations.”
This run, which started out on a whim and continued based on a joke Favinger made, has turned into a beloved event for the women who go every year.
“It just is a really emotional thing in terms of seeing all these women there,” Favinger said. “As corny as it sounds, it’s the joy of being outside with friends. It’s the joy of being outside and running with people who you care about. Everyone is so busy, but if you have these little constants, you just have a chance to process out loud with someone.”