On Tuesday evening, Red River Runners had their annual post Fargo Marathon wrap up party at Lincoln Park in Grand Forks. Everyone in this picture completed one of the races (6.1, 13.1, or 26.2 miles) in Fargo last weekend, and we gathered to share our stories and to congratulate one another for simply finishing what we started back in January.
Take a look at the picture again, and you will notice that our running club contains a wide variety of members. We are male and female. We are young and not so young. We are fast and not so fast. So what is the bond that holds us together? We obviously all enjoy running, but there is something much stronger that ties us together: I think it’s the camaraderie that develops in a group that shares a common goal. Our group does run, but it becomes more about helping each other overcome adversity than it is just putting in miles. We all gain satisfaction in meeting our goals, but within this group, we also gain satisfaction from watching each other meet their goals too.
Some of these people just ran their first 10K race. Some completed their first half marathon. Some finished their first full marathon. Some ran well enough that they qualified for the Boston Marathon next year. Some ran hard but missed qualifying by mere minutes. Some set new personal records (PR’s). Some have battled through injuries. One person even went through chemotherapy during training, but still lined up and finished the half marathon! Did I mention we overcome adversity?
This rag tag mob of runners is the finest group of people I’ve ever been associated with in my entire life! Some I’ve known for many years, and some I’ve just recently met, but to a person, they all genuinely respect and care about each other. They encourage and cheer for each other like they were family, and when someone is struggling, the help that is offered is plentiful, and it comes from the heart.
These people are successful in life because they aren’t afraid to try something difficult. When I look at the picture, I see more than just a group of runners; I see winners! Congratulations to everyone who conquered Fargo this year! It’s my great honor to have trained with you!