WESTFIELD, NJ – The Union County chapter of Moms Run This Town urges women runners of all abilities to join their growing social group, which aims to challenge and inspire its members through organized runs, education and camaraderie.
Largely Facebook-driven, Moms Run This Town of Union County began two years ago with about 10 members and has since grown to 475 members. Erin Weil, 38, of Fanwood launched the group.
“To be in the club, to run, to do the events, everything is free,” said member Janna Taylor-Chernetz of Scotch Plains.
Recently, the group organized a 6 a.m. run at Tamaques Park in Westfield to kick off National Running Day, June 3.
Typically, the club puts together runs of various distances and intensities for weekend mornings and posts the dates and locations on Thursday or Friday each week.
Informal shout-outs for running partners during the week or speed training at a local track is also part of the group’s offerings. The club’s Facebook page is closed to protect members’ privacy, but new runners can ask to be admitted.
Taylor-Chernetz, who ran cross country for Westfield High School as a teenager, has recently been leading trail runs in the Watchung Reservation on weekends. She said this type of running allows her to be fully engaged in her workout.
“You’re out in the woods. It’s quieter. It’s more technical,” said Taylor-Chernetz, who works as a policy analyst for the Tri-State Transportation Campaign and has one daughter.
Weil, who works in finance at Merck and is gearing up to participate in the New York City marathon this November, has been focusing on less rigorous routes with the club.
“I’ve been leading more runs at Nomahegan Park, where it’s flat, to give more people an option,” she said.
Moms Run This Town also sponsors fun activities such as its ongoing Sweatyselfie campaign that urges women to show-off their post-workout look. This winter, the group hosted a talk on how to dress to run in cold weather, and it encourages information sharing on running safety, nutrition and other topics.
Taylor has taken on a unique running challenge, as well. She is in the midst of a “running streak,” where she runs at least a mile each day either outside or on a treadmill. As of June 4, she had completed 556 days in a row of running.
Taylor and Weil noted that women do not need to be moms to join the club. They are also proud to point out that one of their members completed her first mile run last week.
“Every mom needs time for herself, whether she works inside or outside the home,” Taylor said, later adding, “The more women we can get out there, the better.”