Please join us for the

Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention



The MOM mission is simple:

To erase the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide, provide hope, and raise funds for life-saving programs. Since its inception in 2006, the MOM Race has brought thousands of people together to celebrate life, strengthen community, and raise $250,000 for local brain research, suicide prevention programming, and crisis intervention services.

MOM Race Overview

The MOM Race is a USATF-certified 5K run/walk for mental health awareness and suicide prevention that takes place in Royal Oak, MI the first Saturday in May each year. Proceeds benefit The University of Michigan Depression Center, KnowResolve, and Common Ground.

The race starts/ends at Starr Jaycee Park and features professional B-tag timing, age group awards, plentiful refreshments, raffle prizes, live music, and more. MOM stands for “Mind Over Matter.” If your life has been touched by mental illness or suicide, or you are just looking to participate in a 5K for a good cause, you’ve come to the right place. Learn more about our story.

Important Dates

February 1

Online registration for the 2017 MOM Race opens!

March 1

Early bird registration ends, rates increase by $5

April 10

Last day to sign up to become a 2017 MOM Race business sponsor! All donations made to Mind Over Matter are tax-exempt under IRS 501(c)(3).

April 15

Last day to pre-register and guarantee yourself a commemorative MOM Race T-shirt.

May 4

Last day to register for the 2017 MOM Race!  Online registration will close at 11:59 PM EST.

May 6

12th Annual MOM Race!  The 5K run/walk will start at 10 AM from the south side of Starr Jaycee Park and take participants on a journey through some of Royal Oak’s most beautiful neighborhoods.

I wrote and posted this on my wall and a couple people suggested I share it here as well. I'm very pleased to find out a group like MOM exists...

Three years ago today I wrote this remembrance of a friend still very much missed; in fact it remains quite a haunting loss. Mark was a close friend, a guy that fit the definition of a friend. A beautiful, sweet, generous, very funny guy who was haunted by things none of us could get at to help (and he was widely loved, with many friends) and he decided he was done with life.

I don't believe anyone takes their own life because they want to die; they want to stop the pain somehow. Mark wanted to quiet those devils of despair--uncertainty and anxiety-- as well as something profoundly un-nameable—a loneliness so deep and dark he must’ve used all of his energy to hide it. But I can’t believe only that part of his story, the part that concludes him. Because he was so alive, and loved with too much vigor, with too much specific vitality to just be hiding something—he loved his friends, memorabilia, guitars, his business and the art of the deal, his cottage, Pt Lookout, his boat, his fishing...but he still had this desperate cafard that would distance him from everyone.

Mark and I had talked frequently throughout that fall of 2014. It was in summer that I had the good fortune of seeing him nearly every weekend. His cottage was the place to be. It was always fun, unpredictable, and full of laughter. It was a good summer, and nobody seemed to enjoy it more than Clinker (one of his many nicknames, and he was the King of creating the funny name for others).

But then about a month before his death, Mark reached out to me with a different purpose—he thought that since I’d been through some rough stuff, maybe I could help him through this terrible depression that had befallen him since summer. So we started talking and texting often, almost every day, and he began to improve I thought. We’d say if we could just make it to the next summer, it’ll all be good again. But February, our shortest month, became our longest and most cruel that winter.

There comes a time for all of us when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you might ever be. And then you accept it or you don’t. Or you stop looking in mirrors. Or you open a bottle if you don't like what you see, or take a drug to ameliorate the disappointment. Or, as in most cases, you learn to live with it and find a kind of begrudging happiness. Or, if the pain is unabated by anything and everything, you think of ending your own extistence with your own hands. And somewhere in that whole process, Mark couldn’t accept what he was or what he had or didn’t have, or if he had more behind him than's impossible to know. And the phone calls stopped being returned or were returned with texts saying I’ll call you later. He gave me hundreds of words and images, so many chances to see that he was in a kind of trouble I thought I recognized. But I didn’t hear those words or see those images well enough, and in the end I failed him. And it haunts and hurts as if it were yesterday.

When a soldier is under deadly attack that will inevitably lead to his death, he often chooses to take his own life first, rather than be killed by the enemy. In fact, this behavior has been applauded and encouraged for centuries, and is accepted even now as an honorable reason to die. So I ask--How is it any different when you are under attack by your own mind? And the circumstances of your own life are the enemy? Mark was no coward. Love, success, and friendship are not always enough to counter the pain and destructiveness of real mental illness .

When people are suicidal, their thinking is paralyzed, their options are spare or nonexistent, their mood is despairing, and hopelessness permeates their entire mental domain. The future cannot be separated from the present, and the present is painful beyond words. I could tell from our phone calls that life could not get Mark’s attention any more. Two days before his death I did ask him if he would ever hurt himself. He simply said, "No." A hollow promise from a hopeless soul. Suicide is life turned on its head.

Maybe those most pragmatic realists are correct. You can never really know someone completely. That's why it's the most terrifying thing in the world, really–to have a friend, to be a friend- taking someone on faith and trust, hoping they'll take you on faith too. It’s such a difficult balance, it's a wonder we do it at all. Yet Mark was a true friend—he took everything on faith, except finding the faith to continue on in this life himself.

He would’ve given the world to any of his friends, and often he just could not find a way to continue living in it any longer. I loved ya Mark, and I'll miss you beyond the words we were unable to exchange, or were said too late. It haunts me I couldn't help you further, so every day I again say goodbye with love and faith that, as BB King sang, "there must be a better world somewhere." The life of the party remains among the missing.
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The MOM Race is a great fundraiser that I would recommend to anyone looking for their own unique way to pitch in and make a difference. The staff is top notch, the event is extremely well organized, and everyone who participates definitely rallies together in the spirit of the occasion!

Guy Kebbe, Macomb Township, MI

I have been volunteering for the MOM Race for five years now. It is so rewarding to be a part of something supporting mental health and great to witness how the event has grown over the years. The 5K is very well run and a great way to spend a spring morning!

Laurie Falcon, Royal Oak, MI

The MOM race is about tenacity... refusing to be powerless in the wake of suicide and/or mental illness and doing something positive and proactive to make a difference. That's the definition of mind over matter.

Audra Quinn, Los Angeles, CA

I have walked and volunteered for the MOM race since its inception. The cause is so worthy and the course is beautiful. To support this wonderful organization on a beautiful May morning is a labor of love. Thumbs up MOM!

Grace Safko, Waterford, MI

The MOM Race is a wonderful way to connect with others dealing with the same situation -- a wonderful support group, and a place to be able to share without being judged. It is also a way for me to honor and remember my son in a beautiful manner.

Maureen DuJardin, Dearborn, MI

Volunteering for the MOM Race is one small way I can help ease the grief many of us have had to endure. When I am at the crossroads, at a water station, or near the finish line and see all the runners/walkers, I know that none of us are alone or immune to the effects of mental distress.

Tom Hill, Clawson, MI