Running for (and with) Your Mom

By: Susan Blexrud


This year, a number of new runners are expected to participate in the Ramble Run, but the popular event will also welcome back many mother/child teams who enjoyed the inaugural event in 2011. Last year, 65 mother/child teams competed in the run. Among those teams competing for the second year will be Amber Moran, 33, and her mom, Kathy Pressley, 52.


Amber, a school health nurse, has been running for 11 years. She’d been active in several sports in high school and ran a bit in college, but after graduation and initiation into her professional life, she took up running again as a stress reliever.


She was attracted to the Ramble Run last year because she and her mother had run races before and had found them to be a great bonding experience. “Part of the draw of the Ramble Run was the focus on mother/child categories,” said Amber. For 2012, expanded mother/child categories in both races will recognize moms running with children above and below 18 years of age.


So, how did this mother/daughter team begin their quest to pound the pavements? “Initially, I got mom interested,” said Amber. “Running is something we can talk about, plan for, and then celebrate after the race has been run.”


Though Amber was the catalyst for running, her mother Kathy was the one who pointed them to the mother/child division of the Ramble Run last year. “And this year, I said ‘let’s do it again.’”


Do these fit women have a strategy for running the hills of The Ramble? “Oh, gosh, not really,” Amber said. “We just run for the fun of being in The Ramble. My philosophy is ‘go hard from the start and hang on.’”


Amber and her mom will probably celebrate the completion of the run with a congratulatory lunch, kind of a dual celebration of the race accomplishment and Mother’s Day.


What does Amber like best about running in The Ramble? “Got to be the hills,” she said, “and I appreciate how well-organized this run is.”


Once again, proceeds from the run will benefit the Women’s Fund of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina. The Women’s Fund is dedicated to organizations that help women find safety in the midst of domestic violence, increase their economic security and become healthier.


“I love when races benefit charities, and the Ramble Run truly supports women running for women,” Amber said.


Running together has created lifelong memories for Amber and her mom, and isn’t that what Mother’s Day is all about?


The second annual Ramble Run, presented by Mission Sports Medicine, will be held Saturday, May 12.


For more information or to register for the Ramble Run, visit


Susan Blexrud, former spokesperson for the City of Orlando, now resides in Asheville where she writes novels and leads a book club at Malaprop’s.


Sandi Tomlin-Sutker
Written by Sandi Tomlin-Sutker