Running Friends May Be The Best Friends You Ever Have
By Rachel Bull in All,Challenges,EtchRock,Running
I feel very lucky to have met the people I have through running, and truly have made some of the best friends through a love of this crazy sport. I am certain that this is true for many runners out there, I see it in photos, at races, through stories. This got me thinking as to why, what is it that allows us to have such great relationships?
For me one of the amazing things that happens when people meet for a run is everything gets left behind, your background, your job, your age, your gender. None of it is relevant. Running is an open sport for everyone, it doesn’t matter if you have a lot or a little bit of money, whether you have a university qualification or left school at 16, all you need is a pair of trainers & a passion for running. This alone encourages us to speak to people we might not normally, it breaks down any perceived social barriers. We are all the same at the start of a run.
Secondly for many of us we use running as a way to de-stress, a way to declutter what may be going on in our lives. This can make it a very personal time, at times we may need to have a little rant about something annoying us, we may need advice on decisions, we may need adult conversation away from kids, we talk & share (& sometimes it is the silence we share) to help us de-stress. Therefore I always feel very privileged to be part of that space, & energy, to be allowed and invited to spend that special time with them out on the run.
Running is raw and honest. Fullstop. There is no glamour (well not for me!) and there is no room for pretense on a tough run. We see each other going through all emotions when running, we sometimes see each other at our lowest – the steep hill at mile 18 when you are doing a 21 mile training run, the run where you forgot to fuel properly & hit the wall, the run where everything hurts & you just want to cry, the run where you trip over and cut your knees, the run after the night before – and our friends get to see all of this. But, and it’s a big but, we don’t judge because we know. We know what that is like we have been there. It happens, it’s part of our sport, it is what makes us stronger.
However this is where it gets good because even though there may be tough times, our running friends also provide the best support network available! We share our last gel, handover our last tissue, giveaway our last drop of water. We provide encouraging words, a smile, a hand over the rocks, a push up the steep hill. We are in it together, and together we motivate and inspire each other.
Of course running can be tough when you are working towards a goal or you are pushing yourself to get a PB, but never forget that when out together you will laugh a lot more than you cry! You will smile and giggle at the silly little things, you will share silly jokes, laugh over a love of jelly babies, and remind each other how crazy you both are you! And you will still be laughing when you sit down together to have a cup of tea at the end of a training run, you will be hugging each other at the end of the race when you have your medals, and your photos will show those smiles that you will treasure for years to come and keep you motivated to keep going out there, together.
Many of you will have your own personal stories as to why you and your friends have built up a love for running together, and why your running friends make for the best friends please do share with me. If you are lucky enough to have great running friends I challenge you to say a big thank you and have an extra smile on your next run together. If you are new to running the exciting part is that I believe you will soon be making new friends. But this is where your challenge comes in somebody has to be brave and take the first step, and so go ask that colleague, that neighbour, that person you sort of know, who you have seen going out for a little run whether they would like to go for a run together one day. Or if you have local running clubs go join them for a run, it may seem a daunting prospect but go pull up those running socks nice and high, take a deep breath and pop along. You never know who you might meet, and the friendships you will make along the way.
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