In March 2013, a group of military spouses on Fort Belvoir formed a running club tailor-made for parents, and the program has grown exponentially in membership and popularity.
Stroller Warriors, founded in January 2010 by Stephanie Geraghty, aims to create a setting in which U.S. military Families worldwide can engage in physical exercise and enjoy outdoor activity.
The free-membership club fosters friendships with community members of common goals, provides playgroups for its members’ children, competes in road races, raises money for charities, volunteers for community service projects, participates in fun social outings and more, according to Stacy Champe, Stroller Warriors Fort Belvoir chapter founder.
“Military spouses and female active-duty Soldiers are invited to attend these free running workouts in the Fort Belvoir area,” Champe said. “Runners and military spouses of all ability levels work together to reach their fitness goals. Since we incorporate our children into our weekday workouts, there’s no issue finding daycare. The children get in some playtime after the run, and, by joining in our workouts, they learn the value of fitness themselves.
“The club provides unique opportunities to build friendships, locate workout partners, share resources, and give back to our local community through outreach and fundraising,” Champe continued.
“I love this program,” said current Belvoir club member, Amanda Mitnitsky. “When I first moved here, I didn’t know anyone, so this was a chance to meet people with kids. I moved here with a 1-year-old and, when you’re nowhere near family and you’re a first-time mom, it was a chance to get out of the house and not be just stuck.”
“This program is fantastic,” added Belvoir club member, Kori Sanness. “We just moved here last summer and I come out with my youngest; my other three children are all school age. We live off-post and I found that this was a way to meet people, get out running again, and (my youngest) gets to be around little kids, too. Having the three older siblings—who are significantly older—he just normally hangs out with the big kids, so he likes to be with (kids his own age). It’s a win-win situation for both of us.”
The next Stroller Warrior event is Nov. 22, 10 a.m. at Pullen Field.
For more information, visit StrollerWarriorsFortBelvoir on Facebook.