Want to stay fit, have time for yourself and have fun while raising a busy family?
The answer for three busy moms is, in one word, 'running'.
Erin Poirier, Shauna Wilcox and Sarah Macdonald each have young children and careers.
That is what connects them. But their love of running has given them an even deeper bond.
"As a new mom, running helps me maintain my identity beyond being a mother," said Poirier, whose daughter is five months old. "Running helps me be my best self."
Poirier has completed some impressive races. She ran three consecutive Boston Marathons and in July 2011 she completed a 17 day, 424 kilometer fundraiser run across the West African country of The Gambia.
Shauna Wilcox says running has helped her cope with life.
"I love being a mom more than anything, but I still need an outlet, something that I can do just for me," said the mother of four boys.
Wilcox grew up in Antigonish, ran competitively for St. FX and for Dalhousie University for a year while doing her masters in nursing.
"After a busy day with my family, it's so great to be able to hit the road for an easy run or a hard workout and feel rejuvenated afterwards," she said.
She met Erin when they were both doing their masters, became friends and discovered they both shared a passion for running.
Sarah Macdonald, the third of the mom-runners trio also ran at St. FX, has run several short distance races and in between having her two sons started training for full marathons.
"Not until well into my nursing degree at U of T did I ever even consider running a marathon. I can say that my main inspiration was my sister Tonya who started up the marathon bandwagon. I thought she was nuts initially and now it has turned into one of the main topics of our conversation," said Macdonald.
The three moms have formed a team and are entering the Lucky Seven Relay at the Halifax Commons on Nov. 18.
Racers will be encouraged to create dream teams of three or they can try their luck and be randomly paired with two other runners. Each member will run 7K in a team half-marathon. There will be plenty of random prize draws and jackpots , especially for people who cross the finish line 7th, 77th and 777th , their teams win $300.
"In a relay like this, you run one at a time so you get to cheer your friends on during the whole race. I can't wait to cheer my friends and mother-runners Shauna and Sarah on during the relay."
Wilcox loves running with friends and says relays are always a fun way to foster friendly competition and to enjoy yourself.
For info on how to register for the Lucky 7 relay to be held Nov. 18 go to www.lucky7relay.com