Esther Paine knew her sister, Amy Locher, was going to run. It didn’t surprise anyone, in fact. She always runs. 

From the Leprechaun Chase to the Good Life Halfsy, it’s just what Amy does. But she never does it alone.

“Market to Market gives us one more reason to all come together, even if not everyone can stay the whole time or if someone has to come late. We spend a year knowing this event is coming and it means we’ll all be together in that van, for however long we can all be here. People are buying plane tickets and rearranging their lives to make it, and you just know that it’s going to be this fun, sweaty, silly weekend.”

And with six busy women managing jobs, lives, and families, coming together might not always mean in-person. 

“We have a group chat that’s always active, people shooting out invitations to go for a run. Someone is always up for it.”

“Esther lives in Iowa, but whenever I visit or when she’s back here, we always make time to go for a run. Theresa Bender and I have been running together since Cross Country in High School. It’s kind of nice to know that someone is always going to show up. We just have such a great group of women, and we’ve had friends move away, and new friends join… but it just feels like a really strong core.”

Many of us find that maintaining friendships as busy adults can fall off our priority list, and even treasured friendships can go untended for too long. This team came together through running, laughing, and supporting one another, and no matter the miles, nothing has managed to keep them apart. 

“This year, planning the wedding… it was a lot more than I thought it was going to be. I’m ready to be married, we even hovered a moment when we went to the office for our license. Just that moment of… we could just go upstairs and sign a few papers and be married. We could just be done… but then we think of actually spending that day with the people who love us. It’s going to be worth it.”

And running became a respite from the daily to-do lists, phone calls, and inevitable misfires that come with wedding planning.

“Knowing that not only could I just take a break for a run, but I kind of had to in order stay ready for M2M, it gave me a break from feeling like I always had to be working on this.”

As M2M approached, the women had the idea to take Amy’s bachelorette party to the streets. 

“My friend Bridget made us all matching sailor hats that said Bride, Maid of Honor, Bridesmaid… and our van read ‘Last Sail Before the Veil”. It was just a fun, silly time with these women I love.”

“One thing that was different this year was that we had a kind of intermission. There is a place where the bridge is still flooded from the spring, and everyone piled into the van and drove to the next leg… some of our team had to leave right after the race, so it was really nice to have that one more chance, all of us together again. They’re just really wonderful women.”

And those wonderful women think the world of Amy, which is why they were willing to run right along side her on her last sail before the veil.

Congratulations to Amy, her future husband, and to everyone who gets to be part of this energetic, positive, supportive team. We’ll be thinking of you on November 9th!