#297: Bunk to 5K: Unique Running Program for Women Inmates

Sarah is joined in studio for a special conversation with Trisha Swanson, founder of Reason to Run, a training program designed to encourage and support both new and experienced runners who are incarcerated at the Oregon state women’s correctional prison, plus Mimi Clinton, a mother runner who was in the program in 2016. Trisha and Mimi detail the 8-week Bunk to 5K program that has inmates circling a 0.1-mile loop in the prison yard—or doing burpees on indoor days. Mimi describes what it was like to always have people—including prison guards--watching her run her first steps. She talks about how she found strength in the community of women in the program—and continues to experience the positive effects of the running community since her release. Marvel as Mimi describes in vivid detail her “glorious” first post-prison run. Tear up along with Mimi when she admits, “it takes someone else to believe in you to remind you that what we tell ourselves isn’t true.” The trio agree on the barrier-breaking power of running and the activity’s ability to provide a few moments of peace from a chaotic setting.

Dimity + Sarah catch up in the intro, talking about fur-babies + their human kiddos. Laugh along with their Roman numerals debate. Here’s the promised Eventbrite link for the podcast recording at GU Energy Labs HQ on the Ides of March (aka March 15). At 26:18, Dim drops off and the conversation with the guests begins.

Order a sweet Valentine’s Day-themed package from The RunnerBox. Limited quantities selling fast!

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4 responses to “#297: Bunk to 5K: Unique Running Program for Women Inmates

  1. I loved this podcast for SO MANY reasons! Like all things Mother Runner related it reflects the great good that comes from the power of community! It also emphasizes that what we do in our community is not just about running. How could you not tear up at the end to hear Mimi tell Trish what it meant to her to know that someone believed in her!? What great dividends are coming from Trish’s investment in this program! To hear that some of the women are continuing to run when they leave the prison is so exciting! What she said about sharing her passion and having others catch it made me smile. Even in the chit chat about family I felt appreciation for the solid truth being shared. The exchange about Mimi’s son getting up to go to the track with her for runs and how Trish’s son talks freely to her as they run together was a great example of what is happening in our relationship with our children as we pursue our love of running! Great episode! Thanks for sharing, Trish and Mimi!

  2. So great to hear this. I worked for years with HIV+ people, sex workers, IV drug users, LGBTQ community, prisoners, and other marginalized communities, so it’s great to see you include representatives of peoples we tend to forget exist. It helps us all become more inclusive in our thinking by enhancing our understanding and expanding our sense of humanity. Love what you guys do!

  3. This is one of my top favorite AMR podcasts. I am so inspired by the courage and love and hope coming out of this episode .

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