I have been a member of the South Valley Running Club for almost two years. I was thinking this weekend how lucky I am to have met all these great people.
On Saturday, I had to do a 22-miler starting at 5:45AM. Did I go it alone? Of course not! Kim called the night before to say she could meet me. Kim and I are both tackling Top of Utah in a few weeks, so we not only started together in the wee-dark hours of Saturday, we finished the final 5-mile tempo together too.
At 6:30AM, Kim and I landed at the Coyote Creek trailhead where we picked up four other members of SVRC. For the next 90 minutes we ran as a group, swapping places and talking partners. I had not run with Craig or Jimmy in a long time and it was great fun just to chat it up. Craig and I talked about books. Jimmy and I talked about schools. Before we knew it, it was 8:00AM.
We were back to the trailhead to pick up about ten more people from the club. I ran with Lynn and Kevin for a while. Chatted with Steve, Andy and Marti. And then peeled off to find Kim so we could get that final tempo done. During our tempo, Kim and I talked marathon fears and strategy. We checked in on each other’s training and had one of those, “What could go wrong,” conversations.
After the run, a group of about 20 of us met up at a local diner for breakfast. Lynn and Kevin are joining ultra elites at the TransRockies race this weekend and we all wanted to wish them well. I looked around the table at everyone who turned out. A nicer group of folks you couldn’t find. All different ages, stages of life, and running levels. All came out just to say “good luck” and enjoy the morning together. For a moment, as I watched everyone talk, pass syrup, toast their coffees, I thought the scene would make a nice ending to a good John Hughes movie (bless him).
I joined SVRC reluctanly. Like most runners, I enjoy running on my own. What is the point of a club? But my good friend was a member and he told me I would really like the people. And then I ran with Craig, our president, and enjoyed it so much I wanted to do it again. I figured, what’s $20 (the annual fee).
I have learned so much about running from these great people. I have learned about heart rates, and track workouts, and how to really train for a marathon. Along the way I have picked up many good partners for training and racing and just enjoying. I have also learned to give back to the sport and community that gives me so much. I wrote the club newsletter for a year. I have volunteered at many races and I am learning to coach and race direct too. All because of SVRC.
And I still run on my own, more often than not. But now I have an incredibly nice group of people who teach me and cheer for me, and hopefully I do the same in kind.