Camaraderie is a recurring theme in my posts. It is one of the unexpected joys I discovered at races. Maybe it’s because our country is very divided right now, but I find it refreshing that there can be so much community among runners, who are basically strangers, or start off that way. My latest example of this running community camaraderie happened at Monday’s Memorial Day 5k/10k.
Three years ago at Five Star’s Memorial Day race in 2017, I met a fellow runner as we ran alongside each other from time to time on the course. I don’t remember our conversations; it wasn’t much, just typical running stuff. We didn’t even exchange names.
A year later at the 2018 Memorial Day race, we ran into each other again (in the pouring rain) and crossed the Finish Line together. This time, we at least exchanged names!
Cut to the 2019 race; you guessed it, we found each other again, 3 years in a row! This time when I saw her, she was sprinting past me. She has obviously increased her time and I have stayed the same, or gotten slower. But I found her after the race and we hugged as old friends would do and posed for a picture together to commemorate our once a year racing friendship. I failed to get her contact info to send her the picture of us. I hope she reads this blog post and reaches out.
What I like most about this story is that she and I are 2 very different people and, most likely, in our day-to-day life would not interact. We live in different parts of metro Atlanta and are years apart in age, but we connect in running. I like that.
I also like the positive reinforcement runners give each other. I love it when runners who have crossed the Finish Line stay back and cheer on others crossing. Because I’m in the back of the pack, there are usually not many runners behind me. However, because the Memorial Day race included a 10k, I was able to be a cheerleader for the 10k’ers crossing the line. It was so much fun!
Positive energy is very important to me and there is so much positivity in running…physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. I’m grateful I am part of the running community!