What do you do when you get together with your friends? Do you eat and drink? Do you celebrate life events like birthdays, marriages, and the joy of children? Do you discuss politics and religion? Do you talk about your favorite sport team? Do you talk about work? When I’m with my friends we talk do all of these things, but we also do something else: We run together.
Although none of us are professional runners, most of us take running quite seriously. We run together year round, although mostly when it’s nice enough to do so outdoors. We generally train together for both a spring and a fall long race, but also have fun competing in a host of other shorter races throughout the year. Most of us take part in other physical activities like biking, skating, and swimming, but running certainly seems to be the common thread that binds us all together.
Training for a distance race like a marathon requires an understanding family who is willing to tolerate many hours away from the house, but it also requires friends who understand the rigors experienced before even reaching the starting line. Distance running is an extremely physical, mental and emotional sport, and few individuals would be capable of competing in it without a strong support network of both family and friends. Without a doubt, the best thing about my friends, most of whom are associated with a club called “Red River Runners” is the warm words of encouragement we continually give one another. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: My running friends are the finest group of people I’ve ever been associated with!