fitnessIssue 24

Modesto Moves Coaches Residents to Better Health


By Jacqui D. Sinarle

When it comes to Modesto Moves, the name says it all. “The Modesto Moves Training Team is a nonprofit organization whose main purpose is to get people out and moving,” explained Leanne Mason. She and husband Mike, both longtime members of ShadowChase Running Club and Team in Training, founded Modesto Moves in April 2016.

mod_moves-01“We want to help local residents get moving, be the best they can be, and be healthy,” Mason said. “Some people want to train for an event, while others just want to become more active. We provide encouragement and sound advice on how to avoid injuries and especially to have fun. Running or walking is much more enjoyable when you have company!”

The group is open to adults of all different fitness and skill levels who want to become active. Modesto Moves meets from April through September, and the program fee ranges from $50 to $80. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to assist people who can’t afford the full cost of training.

“We encourage everyone to join and no prior experience is required,” Mason said. “We have six different training levels—a wheelchair group, a walk group, a walk/run group, and three different walking/running groups that are organized by speed. Many new members start out walking, progress to the walk/run level, and ultimately end up running.”

Modesto Moves is supported by Doctors Medical Center, Surgical Artistry of Modesto, and a number of local sponsors. The team is led by a volunteer board of directors and 40 mentors and coaches who are certified by the Road Runners Club of America.

“Our coaches set up a training schedule, meet with their groups twice a week, and provide coaching on form, speed, injuries, and motivation,” Mason said. Participants follow a training calendar for the rest of the week and meet with each other to increase their mileage.

“We started out in April by training to walk or run in the Peace Officers Half Marathon or 5K on Sept. 25,” Mason noted. “Along the way, we’ve participated in a 5K at the Modesto Classic and a 10K at the Escalon Park Fete, and we’ve also presented nutrition seminars, injury prevention seminars, and shoe fitting and foot care seminars for our team.”


A Ripon/Manteca Moves group is slated to start in January, with future branches planned for Turlock, Riverbank and Oakdale residents.

“While walking or running a half marathon may sound crazy, anyone can do it,” said Mason, who’s participated in several herself.

“It does take commitment,” she admitted, “But if you bring the commitment, we will get you to that finish line and help benefit your overall health through walking or running!”

For more information about Modesto Moves, email the Masons at [email protected]. For more information about the Peace Officers Half Marathon, visit


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