They’re mothers. They’re running. They are the running mothers of Australia. Running Mums Australia aims to encourage, equip and empower women in their running journey. The site was created to share achievements, events and exchange information about running, fitness and nutrition. It has grown so much over the years and continues to grow with thousands of members across the country.
Here Nicole Bunyon, founder and director of RMA, talks to Her Collective about their aims and future plans.
How does your network help mothers become healthy?
We help mothers and women in general to become healthy, or healthier, by giving them a platform to be inspired and inspire those around them on their running journey. We provide advice about running and wellbeing, training tips, and the chance to network with other women who run from all over Australia.
Were you surprised at the response you got from the community when you started the group? What were the first initial reactions?
When I started Running Mums Australia it was because I found that I lacked people around me that shared my love of running. I wanted a network of women who I could talk to, learn from, dream with and celebrate my running achievements with. I never dreamed that it would become what it has become. People love RMA and are drawn to it because we are ‘real women’. We all have a journey and a story and whether you are an elite runner, or just starting out, we are all runners and we all just want a bit of connection.
The group has been going for several years now, why do you think it continues to be active?
Running Mums Australia continues to grow every day. We have exploded into over 9,000 members in just over 12 months. This is because we offer something that no one else does. A free safe space where you can share, the chance to meet other women just like you who are into the same thing as you and who you can train with wherever you are in Australia. Advice, tips, clinics and stories, support from experts and members and networking with real women who give back to the community. Oh and LOTS AND LOTS OF RUNNING. What’s not to love about that?
What do you think is the hardest thing about running, or exercising in general, for mums out there?
I think the hardest thing is starting and believing that you can reach the goals that you want for yourself. Once you get over the hurdle of starting and you keep going, you can achieve your goals. It’s always easier with the support of others both online, in our community, and physically out on the roads and trails. We make it fun to be a running mum and we make it fun to exercise. Lives, families and communities have been transformed and the first step is often the hardest one.
Did you ever receive negative comments from people or have been trolled? How did you deal with them?
No not really. Our community is very supportive and friendly and we have pretty strict rules about what kind of ‘vibe’ we want on the RMA forum.
What would you say to a mum who thinks she’s totally unfit but wants to do something about it?
I would say she should join RMA! Where else can you get free advice and support and find an instant community of women who believe in you to help you on your way? Everyone starts somewhere and fitness is something that we build as we move forward in our journey. With support from others around her she would be smashing those goals in no time.
What’s next for the group?
The world is our oyster. We may just take over it.