Running is an interesting hobby in comparison to most other sports. Lifting weights usually requires going to a gym. Many team sports imply running from one end of a field to the other. Most sports have clear boundaries that makes them fair and fun to play. Running isn’t one of them.
Runners get to take in the world around them. They aren’t stuck in a room or inside painted lines. Running is naturally a form of travel. Often, there is a goal in mind, but the joy in running isn’t found at the finish line. The joy is found in the journey. We decided to talk to some runners and learn about the running path they have traveled.
Many of the best friends we find in life are people we share interests with. Frequently we start a new hobby with a specific goal in mind, and as a result find ourselves in the company of new people.
Patty Holliday is a 40-year-old mother of four. She started running in 2007 with the intention of losing the baby weight. While losing the fat, Patty found new friends along the way. Patty exclaimed, “I succeeded in losing about 30 pounds through running but even more importantly found an entire community. I love my best runner friends!”
Running has also given Patty an opportunity to travel around the world. One race alone took her to Mexico, China, Norway, and England (the small cities at Epcot that is) “My favorite places to run are actually Disney World and Disneyland. I runDisney and am proud of it! They say that every mile is magic and I completely agree!”
When asking for advice to those who are just starting out, Patty recommended walking as needed, and she encouraged, “Everyone can run. If it’s 16 minute miles or 6 minute miles: you are a runner. Just do it.”
On the other hand, our friends sometimes introduce us to our greatest passions. Alison Feller fell in love with running after forming a new friendship. She had just moved to New York City, and Ali found a new roommate on Craigslist. “She had all these medals hanging on her bedroom walls. I didn’t get what they were, and she told me they were half-marathon medals, and I had never heard the term half-marathon.”
It wasn’t long before Ali’s new roommate had convinced her to give running a shot. “First I ran one block. Literally one block. And I was tired and I whined and complained. But the next day I tried again, and I went a little further. Soon, I was making goals to run ‘just to the next lamppost,’ and eventually to the ultimate reward: the adorable dog park one mile from my apartment. The day I made it all the way to the puppies was a huge victory.”
Later that year, Ali signed up for her first race, a quick four-mile run. Since that first race in 2008, she has completed a several half-marathon and three full marathons. Despite all these miles, for Ali there is no place like home. Her favorite place to run is a dirt path alongside a reservoir in Central Park. “My favorite loop is the 1.57-mile dirt path around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir. It’s flat, it’s right on the water, and the views are unbeatable. Try to get there in the early morning to see the sun rise over the east side of the sleepy city, or hit it up at night, when the orange sun is going down over the famous west side buildings, like The Dakota.”
Some people pick up running as a healthy habit to get them back into shape, and others use running as a foundational habit to get back on track after letting themselves go for a few years. As Michael Wade approached 30, he began to recognize he was out of shape and really need a change in lifestyle.
Michael had a bit of a background in running from when he was a teenager, but didn’t realize how far he’s fallen out of shape. “Come to find out it takes significantly more effort to propel a 240 pound body than a 140 pound one!”
Despite the difficulty Michael set a goal of one mile. After he could complete a mile without stopping he started to train for the oldest marathon in the world, the Boston Marathon.
Now a father of 4 and Competition Coordinator of a running club, it has been 16 years since Michael’s first marathon. He’s had the opportunity to run in a lot of beautiful places, but the White Mountains of New Hampshire is his longstanding favorite. “There is nothing quite like the feeling of running and skipping from rock to rock high above the clouds. The air is crisp and clean, the views are out of this world and you have to earn every single one of them!”
Michael offers up this piece of advice for a running newbie: “Don’t be afraid to fail. Only by pushing ourselves to our absolute limits can we truly find out what we’re made of.”
Running offers many opportunities to run in cool races and beautiful places all over the world. After getting your feet moving, you might find you are planning some of these trips for yourself. If you that sounds like you, a travel map would be perfect for pinning your favorite runs and future travel trails. Recording your past adventures (and times) can be a wonderful way to see just how far you have come.
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