Saturday, June 4, 2011

Nothing Like the Running Family

Some of my SID Running Family
When I picked up running and eventually the 'bug,' I didn't have an inkling of what I was in store for.

I thought I knew what it was all about. After all, I've been involved in sports my entire life. Heck, my entire 17-year professional career has revolved around athletics either as a member of the sports media or as a sports information director.

I was even on the track team in high school, although I competed in field events only tossing the discus and shot put.

Sports is my life. So, one would think I knew what to expect when I became a 'runner.'

Yet, nothing could've have prepared me for what I was about to encounter.

The fact the sport is so addicting didn't shock me. I mean, anything you have a passion for can easily consume your life. And running has become an obsession. Can't tell you how much time I've spent about runs I've had, runs I'm planning and searched for races to run weeks, months and even a year away.

What I didn't expect was the acceptance from other runners. And not just from a few runners here and there, but from nearly every runner I've crossed paths with.

Having played just about any and all sports I could growing up, this is something I never experienced before. Yet, rarely do competitors become comrades, especially during the heat of battle.

It is truly a running family.

I didn't really experience a lot of this at my first half marathon, partly because I knew some others running. Plus, it was my first half marathon and I was pretty much focused on that.

Runner's World's Bart Yasso & Me
However, at my second half marathon, it was completely different. I knew no one else running in the Go! St. Louis Half, but I had no problem striking up conversations with others. It was neat being around the hotel and seeing all the different race shirts being worn, representing races all over the country. And riding in the complimentary shuttle to the expo (yes, the Go! St. Louis Half & Full Marathon provided a FREE shuttle to and from the expo), conversations quickly sprung up as we rode along.

At the expo, I got to meet Bart Yasso from Runner's World, and we talked for a while. We talked as if we were long-lost friends, catching up and discussing the runner's life. But Bart and I connected because we shared a common bond: we are runners.

And then there is my virtual running family. I have met so many different runners online there is no way I would want to begin to mention each one of them because I know someone would be left out. Twitter is great for runners to converse, share with and encourage one another. There are several hashtags to follow like #running #runchat and #runschool.

Lastly, there's my SID Running Family. This group is special to me because SIDs are not known for their physical health. Well, we are but not in a good way. So, to be able to join forces with fellow SIDs on the pavement is extra special to me.

It can be daunting and a lonely feeling when you first start out running. But believe me, you are not alone. There's a big family here waiting for you. All you've got to do is join the journey.


  1. Yes, the running community is a big family that always accepts new members. In most sports, you feel like you need to be a star to quickly fit in with the rest of the team. However, the running family gladly accepts anyone who is up to the challenge of putting one foot in front of the other.

  2. I think my favorite thing about running is the community. We are really luck where I live in OH to have such a large dedicated community. I especially love that they accept everyone, regardless of size or speed.

  3. runningonwords - I love the motto/slogan for my local running group: "We have a place for every pace." How awesome is that!

  4. I love the running community. It is so nice to connect with people who have the same passions...and who think less crazy things about how much you run.