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Moms take on Hartford Marathon

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Moms take on Hartford Marathon (submitted) Moms take on Hartford Marathon (submitted)

A group of mothers who never thought they’d be lacing up their sneakers for the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon, actually are this year.

Two years ago, mom of three Sarah Perillo began running with her friend Patty Girard, who also has three children.

“I was not a ‘runner’ necessarily; I would like to go out and go for a couple of jogs--but I never ran races,” Perillo said.

But that was about to change.

“She asked me if I would train for a 20k race for her--which was a little scary--but I was like, sure you know I'm going to try this. Why not? We'll see how far we get,” Girard said.

They got so far that they wanted to help others do the same thing, so they started the group “Run it like a Mom.”

“When I get home from work and my kids have multiple activities to go to...and I'm tired...and I want to sit down--knowing there's a group of women who support me is what helps me lace up my shoes and get out the door,” said Perillo.

Currently, the group is comprised of about 50 women who mostly live in Connecticut.

“I have three small children at home, and work a full time job, so getting out and running and trying to keep up with the mileage and that sort of thing can be difficult,” said Devonna Hall, of Simsbury.

Eighteen members of the group post regularly on the 'Run it like a Mom' blog, sharing not only running dates, but also stories, photos and tips.

“We always post our run, like 'hey I did three miles today' and everyone cheers you on, like 'good job’,” said Liz Johnson.

Their support runs even deeper than that.

“If you really want to get to know someone, start to run with them and train. You'll laugh and cry, and go through a lot of ups and downs together,” Girard said.

Last summer, Liz Johnson, who used to enjoy running, was diagnosed with cancer. Earlier this year she wanted to get back on track.

“I was really struggling to get back out and start working out again and really get back to know my body,” Johnson said.

After hearing about the group, she decided to give it a shot.

“It's one of those things you kind of feel alone, but then you meet women who encourage you to be everything you can be and push yourself and try harder and be a great mom while also being great working out,” Johnson said.

“Having a community you can reach out to help with the kids, or somebody to run with, is incredible,” said Jennifer Helfrich of Canton.

“It's not a competition; it's about doing something for yourself and your body; and the bonus is that you get to be supported by this awesome group of women who are there for you,” said Emily Perillo of Guilford.

The latest event the women will be participating in is the 22nd running of the Eversource Hartford Marathon and Half Marathon.

The group will be represented in each of the various races, including the marathon, half marathon, relay and 5K.

The marathon said it is hosting a Girls Night event with Another Mother Runner author Dimity McDowell. It's happening on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m. at The Hartford Club on Prospect Street. More information about it can be found here.

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