Lysette Marchegiani submitted this story as part of our Rise to 5K story contest. Lysette won first place with this story of her local Rise to 5K running group making a big difference in her life!

Hi my name is Lyssette. I moved to Bennington, Vermont 2 years ago from Chile. Before I had my two little kids, I used to ride my bike and run. However, since I moved here I‘ve been so busy with my kids at the house, plus the weather most of the year makes it hard to motivate to exercise outside and I didn’t have any friends. So I found out about the running group and it changed my life. I know it’s just a few hours a week, but it’s time for myself—solo mama time! The group is such a good time to make friends and take care of myself while I get ready for a 5K. I have more energy for my kids and my kids think mommy will win the race! As a stay home mom with kids that have a ton of energy, I was tired all the time! This mama needs to feel healthy, energetic, and be a model for them too. #momsarepeopletoo