Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Running Community

Way back in 2007, when I first started putting one foot in front of the other in tennis shoes at a pace that probably was just a little faster than walking, I had no idea what kind of community I was entering into.  For as long as I can remember, my dad has run.  He was the only person I knew who strapped on his tennis shoes every single day, rain or shine, and went out on a run.  I saw his dedication and determination.  I had absolutely no idea that there was an entire community of people just like him.  They're called runners.

It took me signing up for races to truly understand what it means to be a part of this amazing community.  We wake up hours before others can even start stirring to pound the pavement.  We spend obscene amounts of money on dream races where we get just the satisfaction of crossing a finish line.  We run when it's raining, when it's snowing, when it's blazing hot outside, in 45 MPH winds.  We cry when we get a new PR, when we get injured, when we hear a story about someone overcoming every obstacle and still finishing that race.  We laugh over runners trots, black toenails, snot rockets, and waving our arms in the air because we truly believe it helps our watches find the satellite faster.

What I love the most about the running community, however, is how we band together as a unit.  We are just as proud of our accomplishments as a runner as we are of other's accomplishments as a runner.  Just having a blog about running has shown me what an amazing community of people runners are.  Your PRs make me just as excited as my PRs.  Your devastating run makes me devastated too.  We are competitive, but it doesn't feel that way because we celebrate everyone's victories.  When things get hard, we push harder.  If you run, you are a runner.  And that is something that we don't find many places.

A year ago, our community was devastated.  The unthinkable happened, and while I was across the country, my heart broke.  But watching what happened in the aftermath, reading the stories of heroes, watching the survivors get back up and show that we won't be knocked down has made me so very proud to be able to call myself a runner.  Thank goodness for this community that welcomes everyone, from all walks of life, all races, all genders, all religious backgrounds, with open arms and no judgements.  And in less than a week, we will show them just how strong we are.

I can't wait.


  1. Yes, love this. No runner is a stranger, you know? No matter how different we are, we all get the passion, struggle, challenges, and exhilaration of the sport...I think more than any other group of athletes, runners just 'get' each other.

    We believe in rising above challenges, and that's why the attack on Boston had the opposite effect than was intended; we rose up stronger together. I can't wait to watch the marathon this year!

  2. LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!!!!!!!!!! :) :)

  3. This post is beautiful and I love it. :)