Inaugural Mother’s Day run in Olympia benefits local nonprofit

More than 150 people put on their running shoes Sunday morning, then dashed through the streets of Olympia, and they did it all in the name of Mom and a local nonprofit.

That’s because the morning run, a 5K that started and ended at the Hands On Children’s Museum, was the Family Support Center’s inaugural Mother’s Day run.

The Family Support Center, which is based in Olympia, works with low-income and homeless families. It also operates Pear Blossom Place, the largest homeless families shelter in the county, development director Natalie Moran said Sunday.

Sunday’s goal was to raise close to $10,000, she said.

The race started at 8:45 a.m. Just under 20 minutes later, Earl Zamora, 53, of Olympia was the first to cross the finish line.

Before the race, though, Zamora made sure to call his mother in New Mexico. Then he set out to run the 5K in less than 20 minutes.

It was a personal challenge for him because he has never done well on a 5K course near the museum, he said, which typically takes advantage of a long stretch of East Bay Drive before runners head to the finish line.

On Sunday, he met his challenge.

“You’re never too old to run,” he said. After the race, he was headed to a Mother’s Day brunch with his wife and daughter.

The first woman to cross the finish line was Laurel Coleman, 47, of Olympia, who said she wanted to run for the nonprofit and what she called a “great cause.”

“I support what they do,” she said, adding that her family had a salmon dinner planned for her on Mother’s Day.

Another competitor Sunday was Cleo Li-Schwartz, 15, who ran in the fall on the Black Hills High School cross-country team.

“I hadn’t done a 5K in a while and wanted to do it,” she said. After the race, she, too, was headed to brunch with her mother.

The inaugural Mother’s Day run also included a 1-mile run for children.