Making Friends on the Run

10/25/2011 - 09:58

By Lisa Overall
Memphis Runners Track Club

Lisaphoto2.jpg Runners I have met are some of the nicest folks I have ever known and I can truthfully say that some of my dearest friends are the ones I run with currently.

It is difficult not to become close when you share the agony of a 20-mile run in the middle of August in Memphis, Tennessee, or a three-mile run in January when an "Arctic Express" cold-air blast dips down from Canada.

We share the misery, but we also share the beauty of a crisp fall morning run, or an evening run in the spring on the local trails. We share the excitement and joy of an achieved goal, the disappointment of a qualifying time missed, or an injury derailing our training.

Such events are usually followed by a flurry of text messages and emails of congratulations, encouragement -- and always, support.

Running friends will not repeat the secrets shared on the run. Much like Vegas, "What happens on the run stays on the run." We show up for birthday milestones, kids' graduation and coming-of-age celebrations. We offer hugs and tears over the loss of a loved one. I have witnessed four engagement and attended three weddings for couples who met through the running club or local running clubs.

All of these moments remind me that running is not just about the physical activity itself. It is also about friendship and a sense of community. It is about family. With more than 3500 members, there are many friends to be found and relationships to develop through our running club.

(Editor's note: This article was part of a story in the Memphis Runners Track Club publication, The Roadrunner.)

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