The Running Community is the Best Community

I just came back from what was basically a weekend-long runner’s sleepover at Boston College for the inaugural Runner’s World Heartbreak Hill Half-Marathon and Festival.

And it was amazing.

Running has changed my life in so many ways, and it fills my heart with all the warm and fuzzies to spend the weekend with other people who feel the same way.

I was inspired by everyone I met and talked to, but especially:

Shalane Flanagan Heartbreak Hill Half

ZOMG SHALANE FLANAGAN. I MET SHALANE FLANAGAN. Her talk was great, and I’ll go more into depth on it soon, but suffice to say, I hung off of every word she said and tried not to go up to her and totally fangirl her and OMG I HAD TO STOP WATCHING THE BOSTON MARATHON WHEN YOU GOT PASSED BECAUSE I COULDN’T HANDLE IT. She’s an elite athlete, and she came to this race to share her experiences with us normal runners, and run the races with us, letting others win.

Sarah Reinertsen Heartbreak Hill Half

P.S. You can’t see the secret back row, but I’m totally doing a sorority squat so you can see them. I wasn’t even in a sorority. 

Sarah Reinertsen. I was lucky enough to meet her and run with her a few years ago. (And she totally remembered me and waved to me when she started speaking the other day!) Sarah lost her leg as a child, but hasn’t let that stop her. She’s competed in marathons, Ironmans and works closely with the Challenged Athletes Foundation to help make prosthetic devices more accessible. Her “running leg” costs $36,000, and none of that is covered by insurance, despite the fact that, you know, preventative health is cheaper in the long run.

I’m inspired by Caitlin, who busted out the Five and Dime (5K + 10K on Saturday) 15 weeks pregnant.

I’m inspired by Katy, who told me I was crazy when I did the Hat Trick in October…and who finished her own Hat Trick yesterday.

I’m inspired by Heather, who so badly wanted to drop out because she wasn’t feeling well, and Larisa, who wouldn’t let her, and walked with her for 10 miles to the finish.

And I’m inspired by all of YOU! I met so many readers this weekend, and I’m proud of you all, too, for getting out there and chasing your goals—especially on this hot weekend on a super-hilly course. (A little foreshadowing here…)

Why do you love to run / the running community? 

Runner’s World provided me with bibs for the races, lodging and some meals. All leg fatigue is my own.

15 comments on “The Running Community is the Best Community

  1. Kaitlin

    It was so nice to meet you after the 10k this weekend as I’ve enjoyed your blog for a few years now! I was nervous to interrupt you and say hello but I’m so glad that I did 🙂

  2. Jillian

    Glad you had fun in Boston — what a beautiful weekend! I ran the 10K on Saturday morning (I was itching to run the half, but am 25+ weeks pregnant and that didn’t seem smart) and agree… the running community is simply the best. A book I read this weekend said something about how, “celebrating others accomplishments doesn’t diminish your own,” and I think that sums it up really well. Everyone is out there getting it done, cheering one another on, and sharing the race day experience at all levels. I love it! Congrats on the Hat Trick!

  3. Shawna

    looks like such an awesome weekend full of all things running — doesn’t beat that. i love running for 43252434 reasons, mainly because of how amazingly healthy it makes me feel and what an incredible reminder it is to embrace your health and life and be thankful for the wonderful ways your body can work, and the challenges you can overcome, both physically and mentally. i love the “me” time it provides me as well, esp in a city as crazy as ours!

  4. Shelly

    I love the running community because everyone is so darn nice and supportive. I’m a slow runner who often gets passed. I absolutely love it when people tell me “nice job” or “keep it up” as they’re passing me. It happens all of the time, and makes my heart smile at others’ kindness.

  5. KATIE

    Best disclaimer ever! I love that no matter how far, how long, or how fast, if you run, you are a runner. Also, the beer post-race doesn’t hurt !

  6. Ange @ Cowgirl Runs

    I had the opportunity to meet Bart last weekend during my Ultramarathon and, man, he’s just such a fantastic addition to the running community. He pretty much made my weekend 🙂
    I love that no matter what our background, all runners can come together and talk about SOMETHING, it’s awesome.

  7. Ash Bear

    Like I said earlier – you all inspire me too! I love that you were in a dress when everyone was in workout clothes. Way to represent 🙂

  8. Katy

    I still can’t believe I was able to do the hat trick but you are 100% right when you say that *you* believed I could — and that gave me so much confidence! I miss you already, roomie.

  9. Katie

    Love your blog! Just started my own weight loss blog. Hopefully I’ll have similar successes. Congrats on all your hard work!


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