why i run...

one of my favorite hometown events has to be the vermont city marathon. i am admittedly unbelieveably partial when it comes to this race - as it runs right by my front door, happens on my birthday, and i get to be part of the American Cancer Society's DetermiNation program - a group of inspiring athletes who dedicate their training and participation in the race to the fight against cancer.

so, when i had the opportunity to write a little something about "why i run" for the vcm blog, i was thrilled. it got me thinking about the answer to that seemingly simple question, and what i found out through writing it all down, was just as rewarding as a nice long run might be! (and believe it or not, if you are planning to run in this year's race, it's almost time to start training!)

here is just a little snippet from that little something i wrote. visit the runvermont blog to read more about me and a whole lot of other awesome folks!
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So, you ask, why do I run? It’s simple really – I run because of the people. I run because of the people standing with you at the start line. I run because of that friend who finds you on last stretch down the bike path when you think you have nothing left. I run because I like being part of the coolest, happiest club around. I run because of the people you meet out there on the pavement. I run because I really like the people at Fleet Feet where I buy my sneakers. I run for the people who can’t. I run to hear the stories.

I am lucky enough to work with the
American Cancer Society and our DetermiNation program here in Vermont. Through this work, I have met the most amazing people. Cancer Survivors who are working their way back into marathon shape after Chemo knocked them down. Caregivers who are braving their first 26.2 miles in honor of someone they love who is fighting the disease. Each of them is making their miles more meaningful and each and every one of them is a champion and a friend. I have discovered that running and story telling are ties that will bind us long after our shin splints and blisters have healed. This group of us runs together every week because we not only share the love of running, but also, the same vision – a vision for a world with less cancer and more birthdays. And really, what could be better than that? After all, every 5th birthday means a different age group, and we all know what that means to a runner!

There is a famous quote that says “if you share of coffee with stranger, by the time your cup is empty, you are strangers no more.” I feel that way about running; it connects people. The most unlikely bonds are formed out there on the pavement, whether it’s spoken or not.

So, I challenge you all, before the year is out – go for a run with someone new. Or, if you are a braver soul than I, just strike up a conversation with someone you see out on the road. Make a clever remark about the weather (always a hit up here in Vermont) or compliment them on their fancy sneakers. If you are a bit more daring, and really up for a debate, ask them about how they feel about the barefoot running craze or interval training, or just ask them what they really think about for all those miles. I have found that often, asking the simple question “Why do you run?” has been the best question of all….

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