Photo Gallery: What a Mother Runner Looks Like, Part I

Note how her arms and abs are captioned.

A few weeks ago, we asked you to bare your strength and stretch marks in all your glory, and you did.

Did you ever. (Thank you!)

More than 100 of you bared your soul and your abs, and they're all beautiful. I was teary today as I put this together; so much confidence and power and might and honesty and awesomeness here. I could go on and on, but suffice it to say, I have a huge crush on this mother runner tribe.

Details: I split the group in half—split up purely on when we received entries—because I didn't want to be the annoying relative that makes you watch an endless slideshow. Better to savor it in two parts. Part II will air next week, most likely on Monday. If you want to be included in that round, feel free to join in the party. Directions are here.

If you like what you see—and I guarantee you will—please, please share this. Tweet it, Facebook it, email it, otherwise love on it. I want the world to know how badass we are, both individually and collectively.

Thanks again, mother runners. You make us so proud. xo.

Nikki, 38, mother of 3

"The first time I ran one mile without stopping, I called my friend and left a message saying, “You are friends with a chick who just ran one mile! One. Freaking. Mile!” Even though I just completed my first half-marathon, that first continuous mile was tougher and made me prouder. It was a turning point in my life."

Sara, 31, mother of 3 (including a 7-week-old)

"After a year of running an old man said I had the finest ass in the parking lot while tailgating. Glad people notice, even if I wasn't sure if I should take offense."

Caroline, 43, mother of 2

"My brain keeps getting better with age; knowledge and wisdom increase with the years. But my legs are important too. I truly believe that running saved my life and got me out of postpartum depression for good."

Jeanye, 38, mother of 3 and grandmother of 1

"My proudest running moment was hitting a 5K in under 30 minutes. The next day my husband and I both set a new PR for our 10K as well."

Erica, 48, mother of 2

"I used to hate my thighs: all fat, huge, giggly, with cellulite. Now they are toned, strong, and can carry me anywhere and as far as I want them to go. They still have some cellulite, but that’s ok."

Katie, 41, mother of 4

"My proudest running moment: finishing my first 100-mile race with my family and my BRFs by my side."

Meredith, 33, mother of 2

"Favorite running moment? Finishing a half-marathon at the end of a half-Ironman triathlon."

Bea, 40, mother of 2

"I never thought I would be able to run as far and as fast on my legs as I have so far."


Sarah, 46, mother of 3 (twins + 1)

"Proudest running moment: clocking 4:01 at the Big Sur Marathon."

Catey, 34, mother of 9

"My proudest running moment was crossing the finish line of my first marathon."

Stephanie, 42, mother of 2

"Proudest running moment: finishing my first marathon in 1999. I felt like I could have kept running even after 26.2 miles!"

Tamara, 43, mother of 2

"My best running moment was finishing a marathon with my dad."

Teri (left), 39, mother of 2; Kara (right), 39, mother of 2

Teri: "I was most proud when I crossed the finish line at a mud run with my 18-year-old son. I was completely unassisted; no one had to carry me." Kara: "When I lost weight after pregnancy and while nursing, my behind was pancake flat. Running has made me curvy and strong again."

Holly, 31, mother of 2

"Here's a before and after; I've only been a serious runner for about 3 months. I love the muscles my legs are developing."

Alison, 51, mother of 4

"Never in a hundred years would I have expected to be able to (not just run, but) RACE 13.1 miles."

Shelly, 50, mother of 3

"I've only been a runner for a year, so my proudest moment was completing a half marathon with my best friend since kindergarten."

Denise, 45, mother of 2

"Favorite body part? I'm working on it. I've lost 50 lbs since I started running, everything is transforming. It's great!"

Ellison, 55, mother of 1

"I was most proud as a runner when I qualified for Boston at my very first marathon. At age 48."

Jana, 47, mother of 1

"My favorite body part used to be my calves but they have turned against me lately. So I will say my shoulders."

Robin, 39, mother of 4

"I've been running 20 years, but my 39-year-old self would totally kick my 19-38 year-old selves' asses."

Laurel, 41, mother of 2

"My favorite runs are the ones where Dimity makes me run faster and longer than I really want to." (And yes, she might have hijacked this caption.)

Renee, 42, mother of 1

"Most proud of running my first marathon. It's not done yet—race is in a few days—but I'm claiming it."

Dede, 46, mother of 4

"Proudest running moment? When my 11-year-old told me that his friends say they see me running all over town, and he thought that was cool!"

Rebecca, 42, mother of 3

"I had my oldest daughter—17 and a committed XC and track runner—pose with me in this pic because my kids, especially two daughters, are a significant part of my mother runner badge. I feel it's vital for parents to model healthy behaviors for their kids, and it only adds to a girl's empowerment if she know her mom's a BAMR."

Amy, 44, mother of 2

"Proudest running moment? Crossing the finish line of the Twin Cities Marathon with friends."

Kristin, 41, mother of 2

"With so many distractions and commitments, I'm proud every single time I make it out the door for a run."

Julie, 44, mother of 3 (twins + 1)

"I have a love/hate relationship with my quads. They're big and strong from years of leading bike tours in my 20's and all my running; I can't buy a pair of jeans without altering the waist."

Susan, 38, mother of 3

"My proudest moment was finishing my first marathon after overcoming broken bones and kidney stones during training."

Jessica, 40, mother of 2

"Someone told me once that I had Michelle Obama arms. I'm not sure if that's true, but it was a great compliment!"

Melissa, 31, mother of 3

"My favorite body part may be weird, but it's my collar bones! When I was 60 pounds heavier, I couldn't see them, and now I can!"

Lisa, 39, mother of 3 (and one four-legged)

"When I trained for my first half marathon I finished my ten-miler and felt so strong and confident, as I rounded the corner near my house, I actually cheered for myself...fist pumping, arms up in the air, the works! It was a beautiful moment!"

Patty, 58, mother of 6 and soon-to-be-grandmother of 1

"I have been running a year. Yes, I started late, but I'm really okay with that. I broke my foot in March while training for my first half marathon. I watched my daughter run that half, but finished my first half in October in 2:15. Just makes me smile."

Susan, 43, mother of 2

"After a recent half-marathon, a runner told me, 'You were really booking it during the last couple of miles!' That made me feel great!"

Ami, 30-something, mother of 2

"I was really proud, after a year of running, when I ran a half-marathon with little training. Made me very happy."

Jana, 47, mother of 2

"Favorite body part: feet. They have been plagued with plantar fasciitis for almost a year and are finally starting to heal. (And I'm scared that if I don't pick them they will rebel!)"

Denise, 58, mother of 2

"My proudest moment was when I completed a Tough Mudder with a group of sassy girls I run with nicknamed the 'sole sistas.'"

Sarah, 31, mother of 1

"Despite many injuries, surgeries, and now runs, my legs still are strong and carry me wherever I want to go. They rock."

Heather, 33, mother of 1

"I recently suffered a miscarriage at almost 13 weeks, and my doctor told me to wait at least three full cycles before trying to conceive again. In that time I will complete the an 18-week marathon training plan and compete in my first-ever marathon!"

Lisa, 37, mother of 2

"In September, I dropped 20 minutes off my 1/2 marathon time in three months to PR at 2:10!"

Lacy, 28, mother of 1

"My proudest running moment: nursing my daughter at mile 27 of a 50 mile trail race."

Molly, 45, mother of 3

"Proudest running moment: going sub two-hours in half-marathon in April 2011."

Nancy, 51, mother of 1

"Truly, every day run is my proudest running moments. I have never been any kind of an athlete and the fact that I am running 3 times a week just astounds me each and every time."

Elizabeth, 28, mother of 1 + 30 weeks preggo

"I love my abs, pregnant or not!"

Patty, 44, mother of 1

"My favorite body part are my knees. I'm hoping by flattering them they'll continue to hold up so I can keep running like I stole something!"

Megan, 31, mother of 1

"I've had many proud moments, but the best so far was finishing my first half-marathon!"

Jo, 44, mother of 2

"My legs have carried me countless miles and they’re stronger than I give them credit for. They respond to strength training and hill running by getting stronger. If I would just listen to my legs instead of my head, I would run faster and farther."

Randi, 26, mother of 2

"Not sure if the picture does my shoulders and traps justice, but I oogle them when I have to run on the treadmill (in front of a window at the gym)! I worked hard for those!"

Jennifer, 45, mother of 3

"Super proud that I recently ran a 5K in 18:08, just about as fast as I could 20 years ago!"

Jessica, 42, mother of 1

"I was really proud to finish my third half-marathon in August 2012 after not running for about 4 yrs...except my 15 weeks of training!"

Karen, 42, mother of 1

"Favorite body part? My heart."

Elizabeth, 42, mother of 2

"I was injured about a year ago and so I decided to learn to swim. The first day I got into the pool I could not make it from one end to the other. Learning how to swim got me to the starting line of my first triathlon and gave me a great cross-training activity. I never knew what swimming could do to your body! My son actually looked at me recently and said, 'Wow, Mom! You actually have muscles!'"

Deb, 41, mother of 2

"I'm proud of my tummy. It's pretty.flat, despite 2 kids, 2 c-sections and 2 other major abdominal surgeries."

Apryl, 26, mother of 2

"My proudest running moment was finishing my first marathon in sub-5 hours one week ago today!"

Christine, 43, mother of 3

"I was NOT a runner but my friend passed away from cancer at age 48 on Oct 2, 2010. On Oct 9, 2010 I saw on Facebook that my cousin was running a half marathon in New Orleans on Feb 12, 2011 as a charity runner for Amercian Cancer Society; I joined her team that moment.I took my deep down grief and decided to do something positive. I finished in 2:37. I'm proud of that, but I knew I would finish it. It was DECIDING to do it that I'm most proud of."

Amanda, 31, mother of 2

"Favorite body part? All of it! I'm proud to be a woman who loves her body and feel very lucky about it as well."

Lani, 36, mother of 1 + 1 32-week-old

"I ran until 35 1/2 weeks with my son and loved showing off my pregnant belly--and getting some looks, both positive and negative, and comments from others. This picture was taken right after a 5K."

Charlotte, 44, mother of 3

"My proudest moment was a run three weeks ago when I just didn't need to stop. I kept running past my four-mile mark, and it felt so easy to keep going. I ended up with 5.2 miles and a happy feeling my cross-country running son diagnosed as 'runner's high.'"

Amanda, 39, mother of 2; Heather, 43, mother of 2; Erin, 38, mother of twins

Running highlight: getting this amazing picture taken by a professional photographer (another mother runner named Laura Mahoney).


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