Running is a competitive sport, but unlike many other sports, runners compete primarily against themselves rather than against others. This type of competition rarely leads to hated rivalries like those that form within other sports, but instead leads to a strong feeling of camaraderie between runners. Red River Runners is an organization built on the philosophy of runners helping other runners, and many wonderful friendships have been built on the excitement that surrounds this dynamic sport.
Tomorrow, six of my Red River Runner friends will be taking part in the most famous marathon in world, The Boston Marathon, and I’m so excited for each of them!
Rachel Hellyer (bib #17404) is a familiar face to the entire Grand Forks running community and is either organizing or competing in every race that takes place in our fair city. Rachel has the distinction of having run in the 2013 Boston Marathon which was shortened by the bombing tragedy.
Barb Murphy (bib #20637), like Rachel, has run the Boston Marathon before, and is a veteran of many marathons. Barb is a fierce competitor in everything she does and has a special passion for running!
Loren Howard (bib #5041) is fairly new to Red River Runners. I got to know Loren a little when he joined me for a Saturday morning run earlier this year. It’s always nice when a fast young runner doesn’t mind sharing a few miles with an old guy like me!
Dan Hanson (bib #4744) has been with the group for a couple of years, and is quite the accomplished runner. Dan has completed races in remarkable times like when he won the 2013 Wild Hog 10K (a field which included Olympian Carrie Tollefson), but has also ran leisurely like when he encouraged Barb and myself along during the 2013 Twin Cities Marathon (posting many “selfies” in the process).
Richard Dafoe (bib #670) is a pillar of the Grand Forks running community and the driving force behind the Wild Hog Marathon. Richard is the fastest of the group, and will be starting in the same Boston Marathon corral as the elite professionals!
Nick Flom (bib #6555) is the one that I’ll be cheering loudest for! Nick has been SO close to qualifying for Boston for three years, but always missed the necessary time by mere minutes, and one time, just three seconds! Nick continued to work hard and Red River Runners (and his family) continued to cheer him on, and last June he finally qualified! Everyone in Red River Runners will be especially cheering for Nick tomorrow!
If you want to receive Boston Marathon updates about any of these runners, text their bib number to 234567. Good luck everyone!