An awesome group of people at varied levels of running, the group enjoyed it's 6th run last week. As I stood in the parking lot pre-run I looked around at the group and thought to myself. "These people keep coming back...and bringing others with them." And I wondered ~ "why?"
I've run several races from 5k to 1/2 marathon distances, throw in a sprint-triathlon and mud run to spice it up a bit and you've got my racing repertoire. My children ask me why I race and I never have a great answer. In every race I find myself running solo. No pack of people around me. A group ahead-I can see them, a group behind-I can hear them, and me...alone...in the middle.
Finding myself in that same middle position last week I realized part of why I run races or start/join run clubs. There is a comfort for me in the race or group run accompanied by the spirit of competition that drives me to strive for more from myself. Although I may not personally know any of the people in a race or in these groups, I am surrounded by people "like" me. People working it out on the road, one step in front of the other. I may never be running with the runners in front of me-but there is a comfort in knowing they are there in front of me should I happen to catch them, I'm not alone. I may never be running with the runners behind me but I know they are there should I need someone to run with.
In every race I've completed, lead runners head back up the course (medals in hand) for one reason or another and ALWAYS encourage me. Their presence assures me I can complete the task at hand and their voices tell me I'm doing great.
Whether formally brought together by a group, a race, a chance meeting or conversation, or even on-line, runners are a community. A community that "gets" each other, supports each other, encourages each other.
So as I was running I realized the reason I run races or start/join run groups is because....
I'm a runner~a community I'm proud to be a part of.