Health Movement GirlTrek Launches Month-Long “Mamathon” To Honor Moms

May 3, 2017  |  

GirlTrek is on the move again. This time, what’s been called the largest national health movement for Black women and girls will focus on moms.

During the month of May, GirlTrek is hosting Mamathon 2017, a walking challenge, where women pledge to walk 52.4 miles (about 2.5 miles a day) in honor of their mother or a caregiver in their lives. GirlTrek created the #Mamathon as a way to not only honor these important women in our lives, but also as a way to bring awareness to the movement that already includes more than 100,000 Black women and girls who walk daily in local parks, trails, and through their neighborhoods.

GirlTrek co-founders Vanessa Garrison and T. Morgan Dixon gave MadameNoire the details.

MadameNoire (MN): How did the idea for a Mamathon come about?

Vanessa Garrison (VG): Oftentimes, Black women prioritizes the needs and desires of everyone around them before taking time for themselves. We know mothers and caregivers go twice the distance, twice as hard and give twice as much love, care and time to their families so GirlTrek created the #Mamathon to do something special for the caregivers in our life.

We want to honor them. Walk in honor of a woman in your life. Walk because you are a mom and want to honor your motherhood by doing something healthy for yourself. Invite your friends and family to participate with you. This is how we grow the movement and spread joy and healing to the Black women we love.

MN: Why Mother’s Day?

Morgan Dixon (TMD): GirlTrek is honoring mothers and caregivers for the entire month of May. The length of a marathon is 26.2 miles, but GirlTrek knows mothers and caregivers go twice the distance, twice as hard and give twice as much love, care and time. GirlTrek calls this a Mamathon–twice the distance of a marathon, 52.4 miles. This walking challenge is held during the month of May, where women pledge to walk 52.4 miles, roughly 2.5 miles a day, to honor their mother or a caregiver in their lives.

Mamathon 2017 Pledge: “I pledge: To go the distance for my mom or loved one in the month of May by walking 52.4 miles in her honor. I promise to celebrate her hard work and sacrifices by not letting anything–and I mean anything–keep me from my goal. When I complete my 52.4 miles and cross the finish line, it will be a victory for me and a victory for the woman I love!”

MN: Who are some of the GirlTrek walkers?

VG: The oldest walker in the GirlTrek community is 94-year-old Nan Paige of Philadelphia. Her daughter Faye Paige Edwards of St. Louis shared, “At age 94, my mother Nan Paige has lots of wisdom she is more than willing to share. One of her favorites about family relationships is, ‘More is caught, than taught.’ She positioned her family to catch the message that walking is a simple, yet a radical act of self-care.”

MN: Did you ever imagine the GirlTrek concept would continue to grow and grow as it has?

VG: GirlTrek encourages women to use walking as a practical first step to inspiring healthy living, families, and communities. In four years, GirlTrek has mobilized more than 100,000 Black women and girls nationwide. By 2018, GirlTrek’s goal is to motivate 1 million Black women and girls to walk for better health.

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