Moms start their special day off with a 5K run in Overland Park

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. -- Thousands of women in the metro got a healthy start to their big day at the Mother's Day 5K in Overland Park.

It was a celebration of family, with mom taking center stage.

"Taking some time to walk with my mom has strengthened our relationship," said race director Brandie Campbell. "I see how my mom is close to my grandma. I want to emulate that with my mom.”

Dressed up like a giant daisy, Karen Brown is the mascot for the race. She lost her mom three months ago, and is celebrating the holiday honoring her by encouraging others.

“My mom's nickname was Wild Thing," she laughed. "We try to live up to that.”

Mom is the one who puts her arms around you and knows just what to say.

"My grandma always yelled 'shoot fire'!" one young runner said.

Some runners said they are thankful for their mom's home cooking and family recipes. Signs cheering mom and trumpeting her sound advice dotted the raceway with things we need to remember, like "turn the music down," and "cupcakes are not a breakfast food!"

Men were not allowed to race, although many cheered the moms on from the curbs and medians in Corporate Woods.

This is the 14th year for the Mother's Day 5K, put on KC Express, whose mission is to inspire women to live active, healthy lives.