Utah mom cheered on by thousands after pumping breast milk during half-marathon

Posted at 9:12 PM, Sep 16, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-16 23:12:41-04

NORTH SALT LAKE, Utah -- A Utah mom is getting a lot of attention for going the extra mile. A photo that shows her pumping breast milk while running a half marathon has gone viral after it was posted on Facebook.

Anna Young had been planning to run the half marathon for a year.

She thought it would be a good way to get back into shape after her pregnancy, and five months after her daughter was born it was race day. She had to leave her house at 4:30 in the morning to catch the bus to the starting line, so she brought her gear along, knowing it was likely she'd have to pump.

“I was really nervous, and I felt really embarrassed because I was running with kind of a CamelBak and I had a pump in it,” Young said.

A photo captured Anna Young at mile 8 on the course of the REVEL Big Cottonwood Canyon Half Marathon last Saturday.

“I kinda stopped, and there weren't a lot of people around me, so I pulled the pump out and kept walking and pumped while I was going,” Young said.

When she became a mom, Young knew she'd get good at multitasking, and, for five minutes, she proved she had mastered the art. Young was pumping and running.

“I decided to keep walking and moving with the flow, more people started passing me, I wasn't sure anyone could tell what I was doing because they were coming from behind,” Young said.

Young says at least one fellow runner cheered her on.

“I had one lady turn around and kind of look at me and say 'Way to go, good job!' Because she knew exactly what I was doing,” Young said.

After pumping, Young took off at full speed and completed the 13.2 miles. She crossed the finish line to find her baby. Little did Young know, thousands would continue to cheer her on after she posted her story to Facebook.

“Whether I run fast or slow, I have a good story, and I never realized it would turn into such a big story so many people would share and take a part of,” Young said.

Young says she shared her story because she wants to encourage other moms.

“For me it's an accomplishment we are still breast-feeding, because there was a point I didn't think we could or we had to give up,” Young said.

Her hope is to empower moms to not be afraid to nurse in public.

“I guess my message behind it is you can still do the things you love even after you're a mother, and you can still breastfeed your children, and you can do these things you're passionate about,” Young said.

Young's post about the moment has been shared thousands of times on Facebook, and the story has been featured by outlets like Buzzfeed and The Huffington Post.