Runners, I Love You | Eclectic Cake: Runners, I Love You

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Runners, I Love You

Photo Credit: Matt Alexander, www.mattjalexander.com

About a third of the way through my latest 10k race, a familiar blue-topped runner came up beside me for the third time. But rather than overtaking me, running out of steam and dropping back again, she decided to join my steady pace. Although I’ll never know her name or what she does for a living, we silently supported each other during the rest of the race, side-by-side tackling each mile.

A little further on, we passed a guy who had just begun to walk. “Come on”, I said, motioning for him to join our mini run club. Reluctantly, he began to trot again and easily matched our speed. I pointed to the closest landmark and suggested we aim for that, then the next one, then the next, before we were only a few kilometres away from the finish line and he’d not walked another step.

By the end, after another runner had joined our growing group of support, a wheelchair racer whizzed by declaring he expected PBs from us all. This request convinced me to break off from our team, speed up for the last kilometre and collect a half-decent time.

I arrived at the race alone, yet received and shared the same amount of support I’d get if running with friends. Without these similar-minded strangers, the race would’ve been a little lonely and a lot harder to complete.

But the support doesn’t stop on the course. Every Saturday morning my alarm goes off and (after hitting snooze thrice) I reach for my phone and scroll through hundreds of tweets from runners on their way to Parkrun, halfway through big training mileage or digesting their porridge before lacing up. These little snippets give me the push I need to grab my lycra. It’s hard to take that first step outside, especially when it’s cold and dark and wet, but it’s also difficult to not get inspired and motivated by others making the effort.


And for that, runners, I love you.

8 comments :

  1. I spot myself in that photo! Great post, I do love the support from the running community on Twitter :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for modelling for me! Everyone is so supportive, it's brilliant to be a part of such a great community.

      Delete
  2. Yay totally agree with this, Mr bleeding nipples who offered me sweeties at bramley 30 and his crew gave me a boost when I'd broken ahead of my club! Parkrun soon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I love it! I've shamefully never done a Parkrun. Let's definitely do one together!

      Delete
    2. Yes! Where is your closest? I love a bit of parkrun tourism. Also I commited a parkrun sin there. They like lowercase!

      Delete
    3. Oh no, I made a rookie mistake. Will change it now. I'm west London so anything from Black Park to the one near Shepherd's Bush are my locals.

      Delete
  3. Ahh this is super cute. I love runners too, from the hill runners who encourage me up the hill, to the random man I've accidentally made friends with because we clearly run the same training route (went from a nod, to a wave, to a hello, and now we are on 'how are you?' terms ha ha!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's brilliant! One day, you might be best friends!

      Delete