Runners and walkers of all ages cross the finish line of the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Runners and walkers of all ages cross the finish line of the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Run/walk sets a pace for parenthood along the challenging course of life

“Mamas just get stronger and stronger. We have no choice.”

This article has been corrected to refer to a kids’ half-mile race during the event, rather than an 80-yard Toddler Trot.

Six months after giving birth, Amy White again had a prominent bump curving out from her midsection, only now her son Koa weighs about 20 pounds — not including the well-padded carrier he was in — and she was out among runners and walkers on a race course Saturday morning to make a collective statement about parenthood.

Youngsters, some accompanied by their parents, dash out from the starting line of the 80-yard Toddler Trot as part of the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Youngsters, some accompanied by their parents, dash out from the starting line of the 80-yard Toddler Trot as part of the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

“Mamas just get stronger and stronger,” said White, a tour manager for a local helicopter company, while walking the one-mile portion of the event. “We have no choice. It comes in the package.”

White and her son were among about 75 people participating in the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail, which took place in crisp fall weather under partly sunny skies. The event sponsored by Bartlett Regional Hospital is meant to share experiences, struggles and successes of parenthood issues such as pregnancy, infertility, birth trauma and postpartum mental health.

Lily Levy, 3, dashes ahead of her family during the one-mile walk portion of the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Lily Levy, 3, dashes ahead of her family during the one-mile walk portion of the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Mikaela Levy, a lactation consultant for Bartlett who works with postpartum mothers, said while walking with her daughter, Lily, 3, and other family members that getting back to physical activities can be a challenge that’s best handled gradually.

“Take it slow, give yourself grace,” she said. “But it is possible and, if they find that they’re having a hard time getting back to the activities, they like to ask for help.”

Young kids, on the other hand, frequently are naturally suited for running trails and other such activities, said Garrison Field, shortly before the youngest of his three children, Briar, 5, joined her brother Holden, 7, in a kids’ half-mile race during the event.

“Oh, you know, she runs up and down our hallway a lot, runs from her brother, stuff like that,” he said. “Real-world training.”

Holden Field, 7, high-fives his parents, Garrison and Brooke, after completing the kids’ half-mile race during the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

Holden Field, 7, high-fives his parents, Garrison and Brooke, after completing the kids’ half-mile race during the second annual Real Talk Walk/Run on Saturday at the Airport Dike Trail. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)

As for Briar’s endurance, her mother, Brooke Field, said they’d find that out when the entire family participated in the mile walk.

“We’ll run down this trail and see how long she can last,” she said.

Numerous participants showed up with heavy-duty strollers to push one or more of their children in, something Brooke Field said was a habit after she became a new mother after her oldest daughter, Harper, now 9, was born.

“It used to be my favorite activity, my oldest in a stroller and doing a three-mile loop in my neighborhood,” she said.

The event also featured a 5K run, with Elijah Levy, 16, winning the overall race with a time of 24:42 and Amy Kramer the fastest women’s finisher.

• Contact Mark Sabbatini at mark.sabbatini@juneauempire.com or (907) 957-2306.

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