Running moms pound pavement for community

Despite all the challenges and responsibilities of raising young children, two southern Denton County moms set out on a mission a couple of years ago to inspire moms to live passionately and fearlessly while improving themselves, their families and their communities in the process.

Erika Westmoreland and her friend Michelle Sedas – with a total of five young children between them – hatched a plan to celebrate motherhood, fitness and community service by creating a non-profit group called Running Moms Rock that features a 5K race each spring in Highland Village.

The original idea for Running Moms Rock took root after Westmoreland and Sedas participated in a 10K race and came away inspired to promote health and physical fitness among mothers while also giving back to their communities.

A love of fitness comes naturally to the moms, as Westmoreland, a Highland Village resident for 33 years, was a member of a Marcus High School cross-country team that finished third at state back in the 1990’s.

Sedas is a graduate of Texas A&M University, where she was a member of the school’s racquetball team. The pair said they believe it is their responsibility to instill within their children life-long habits that promote a positive mind, body and spirit.

“A fit mom is a healthy mom is a happy mom,” Westmoreland said.

This year’s third annual 5K and Family Fun Fest is slated for Saturday, April 21, at 5 p.m. at The Shops at Highland Village.

The event is open to women, men, kids, runners, walkers and even those pushing strollers. Live music, face painting, a photo booth, and a raffle will add to the fun and festivities, and in keeping with the theme of celebrating motherhood and giving back to the community, the proceeds benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County.

Westmoreland said that each year the race just gets better.

“We will now have disposable chip timers for each runner, and the introduction to new Teams of 5.  Teams are able to compete in a costume contest.  Best team costume will receive $500 to use within the Shops at Highland Village. 70% of the people registered so far are in Teams of 5 with some super fun names!” Westmoreland said. 

If you are interested in the Team of 5 entry, you must register in advance at  Teams will not be able to register on race day.

Between 500 and 600 participants and families are expected to attend.

“This is a fun run…perfect for the super competitive runner and the first time 5K runner and everything in between,” Westmoreland added.

Sponsors are numerous and include platinum sponsors the Shops at Highland Village, and Texas Farm Bureau Insurance.

The charity that will benefit, Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County, is a heartfelt choice for Westmoreland and Sedas, who said they feel that being a mom is one of the most important jobs in the world, and they feel it is a blessing to be responsible of raising the next generation.

As it happens, April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, and statistics show one in four girls and one in six boys are sexually abused before the age of 18. By choosing to donate proceeds to the Children’s Advocacy Center of Denton County, Running Moms Rock supports the non-profit’s mission to provide justice and healing for abused children.

“As moms, we have a special place in our hearts for children in need,” Sedas said. “With professionalism and compassion, this local organization provides free services to children and families affected by abuse, and is grateful for each and every dollar donated.”                    

Even if you aren’t a runner, there are other ways you can participate to help the cause. Individuals and businesses can donate items for the raffle and/or make tax deductible donations to the Children’s Advocacy Center for Denton County.”

Visit for contact information, to register, or to learn more about the event.


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