Mother’s Day Mile creates smiles for MVDS athletes

Shelly Hanan
Special to the Post Independent

The fourth annual Mother’s Day Mile, a race sponsored by Glenwood Medical Associates to benefit the Advocate Safehouse Project, is coming up on Sunday, May 11.

Among those eagerly looking forward to the race are staff and people served by Mountain Valley Developmental Services of Glenwood Springs.

Athletes at Mountain Valley have been walking in the race since 2000 and are some of the race’s original supporters. Last year, Mountain Valley fielded 16 racers, including three people in wheelchairs.

Each Mountain Valley athlete is paired with a volunteer racing buddy who accompanies them, providing encouragement and allowing the racer to proceed at their own pace.

Paula Prince has participated in the Mother’s Day Mile every year.

“I like to walk, and my reading teacher bakes apple pies to eat after the walk and my doctor and her husband and baby are there too,” Prince said. Her teacher, through Literacy Outreach, is Louise Jackson, and her doctor is Susan Inscore.

Training for the race is coordinated by Mountain Valley recreation director Linda Austin-Martin. Athletes train twice a week. They view the Mother’s Day Mile as a great training ground for the Strawberry Shortcut, and Special Olympics track and field events.

“It’s a great race!” said Austin-Martin. “Participants are recognized by name at the finish line, and for many of our racers, finishing is its own reward.”

The Mother’s Day Mile supports many of Mountain Valley Developmental Services missions, Austin-Martin said. It promotes activities that include individuals with developmental disabilities in community events, and offer opportunities for increasing self-esteem. The race also is more about fulfilling personal fitness goals and interacting with the community than competition, she added.

The Advocate Safehouse Program, beneficiary of the race, has been providing services for victims of domestic and sexual violence since 1987. The local nonprofit organization provides shelter, community education, counseling, advocacy, and client support groups for men, women, and children.

The Mother’s Day Mile is what Nancy Reinisch, race director, calls a “friend raiser” because so many folks in the community come out to support the event and the Safehouse.

“Mountain Valley Developmental Services athletes are some of those great folks that add fun and excitement to the race every year,” Reinisch said.

The Advocate Safehouse Mother’s Day Mile starts at 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 11. The one-mile course is for runners and walkers of all ages and abilities. All participants receive a race goodie bag, a finish line rose, and a slice of homemade apple pie.

Race entry is $12 per person or $40 per family ($15 and $50 on race day).

Pre-registration is being held at Glenwood Medical Associates, 1830 Blake Ave., Glenwood Springs, or at Packet pick-up will be 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 9, and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 10. Racers can also register and pick up packets on race morning at 11:45 a.m. Sunday.

For information contact the Advocate Safehouse Project at 945-2632.

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