June 23, 2024

Social distancing miles create smiles

For the past three weeks, my mother has been wearing costumes to run in.

Now, I know that sounds strange, but here is some background. My mom, Johanna Rollins, has run 10K races, 15K races, 5K races, 4 milers, and has been training for two half marathons. So, running galore. She is also in several running groups on social media, so she usually runs with other people (whether it be random people from around central Ohio or me, she usually runs in packs). 

That being said, my mom is incredibly compliant with social distance rules. In fact for the first two weeks that I was home from campus, I wasn’t allowed to hug anyone (just in case). So my mom has taken to either running with me or running alone (and staying at least six feet apart from any passerbyers).

Lately however, she is typically found dressed in costume. 

It started with an elf costume, which she was fond of because it was made out of felt. “When it rains, the water just rolls right off of it,” she said.

All photos courtesy of Johanna Rollins.

The next day, she wore mermaid-printed leggings and a matching headband with a light up tutu and a hot pink shirt. Then she wore a pumpkin costume. Then a fairy costume, complete with sparkly wings. 

And then, she wore a unicorn costume that included a wig that led her to winning a contest for Fleet Feet Running Club (which featured her on their Facebook and Instagram, and she was sent an award). She was on a news channel, she’s been posted about by a few different running clubs on various platforms, and she is not stopping any time soon.

“If there is some way for me to make somebody else smile, in this absolutely miserable and crazy time, I’m going to go my best to try. And if they laugh, at least they laughed about something. I’m putting myself out there. I’m trying to brighten things up,” she said. 

My mom is posting all her runs (complete with mile splits) on her Instagram (@Middle_age_muscles_run2), if you would like to follow her fun costume journey.


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