Mother Runners of the Month: Danielle Ligocki + Heather Racchini

Each month, we celebrate two athletes monthly in our #motherrunnner community.
[because sports awards aren’t just for youth soccer]

One athlete participates in our Many Happy Miles program and the other one is in a Train Like a Mother Club program: nothing like vicariously living through workout specifics, training cycles, and upcoming (virtual) races, right?

More importantly, they both epitomize the traits that keep us all moving forward: perspective, diligence, badassery, flexibility, and grit.


Location: Shelby Township, Michigan for the last four years, but originally from Chicago

Kids: Dominic is 12 and Gianna is 10

What's your running story?
When I started running, I could only run a third of a mile at a time. That was it.

Slowly, and through many injuries, because I didn't know what I was doing, I built up to 5Ks. My first 5K didn't happen due to a concussion from a random kid-inspired incident, but I signed up for another a month later.  And that was it. I was hooked. That was in 2015.

The year after, I ran my first 15K and the year after that, my first half-marathon.  I had a marathon on my bucket list for this year, signed up, and trained up to 16 miles.  And then 2020 happened.

However I managed to complete the Yeti Challenge in May of this year and then I ran a marathon over 20 hours for the Love the Run You're With Go Long Challenge last week and now here I am!

I'm not breaking speed records, but I love what I do and it's inspired my kids and my husband to all get into running as well!

Why did you join Many Happy Miles?
I joined last December, after getting some Another Mother Runner merchandise from my best running friend the year before.

I signed up for emails and quickly got hooked by the stories (and awesome gear!).

Since then (and especially during 2020) Many Happy Miles has become a lifeline for me.

Usually social media groups are messy or fake or toxic, but this group is anything but. I feel so supported, so seen, and that everyone is really genuine and supportive. So the feeling of community, combined with the awesome monthly workouts, give me exactly what I need in order to feel like me.

Best workout in Many Happy Miles so far:
This is tough. I really like the strength workouts, as they remind me to do the work outside of running. And I'm Type A – if it's on my calendar, it gets done. I also love the runs that have things like skips and jumps mixed in.

Hardest workout in Many Happy Miles so far:
The hardest are probably the speed work or pyramid runs, as they force me to run in a way that I likely wouldn't on my own. Oh! And the heart rate training we did one month – that was so far outside my comfort zone.

Upcoming races?
In 2019, I set PRs for all race distances – 5K, 10K, 15K, and the half-marathon, so there is a part of me that would like to get that speed back that I believe I lost while marathon training.
But I think I really want to get my marathon done, in real life, with a real finish line. I just have to convince myself to do it again, and stay hopeful that in-person races will be a thing again in 2021.

When I run, I feel: free, happy, strong, and less tightly wound than I normally am.


Heather participated (and killed it!) in our Love the Run You're With 2.0 Fall Running Event Series. We have just opened registration for our Love the Run You're with 3.0: Spring 2021. Join us!

Program: Love the Run You're With Virtual Running Events

Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Kids: Three kids and a cat named Snickers

What’s your running story?
I have been running for 30 years but 10 years ago became more serious.

I started running way back in seventh grade and stayed with it all the way through high school track. I ran the two mile race in high school and was also a cheerleader!

Ten years ago after the birth of my third child, I decided to get more serious and run longer distances!

I have run one 50k, three marathons, multiple halfs, and various other races.

What led you to choosing the Love the Run You're With Virtual Running Events and why do you enjoy it?
I was looking for some focus for the fall with all the races being canceled. I've LOVEd it for the community of women and the variety of training.

Best workout in Love the Run You're With Virtual Running Events so far:
Hill repeats because I was always scared of them but ended up liking them!

Most challenging workout in Love the Run You're With Virtual Running Events so far:
Back to back runs on the weekend, but I saw the purpose of them after the fact!

What is your goal for your virtual running events?
To finish and get the major medals - meaning the series of races consisting of six of the largest and most renowned marathons in the world. The races take place in Tokyo, Boston, London, Berlin, Chicago and New York City.

When I run, I feel: so alive and strong!

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