Why I Love The Running Community

17 Apr

…and I think most of what I will say about the running community is also true of the general fitness community. (PS-This may be a longer post)

After everything that has happened the past few days, I have been reflecting, and began thinking about the running community as a whole.

I knew no one who was running Boston, or up there for the marathon.Yet, I still felt as if I did. I felt sad  and heartbroken hearing the news pour in. I saw this quote on Tumblr, and it made me realize why:

As a fellow runner, I feel as though someone just attacked my brothers and sisters. Praying for you, Boston.

The running and fitness community is amazing. We are strangers, yet I have created relationships with other bloggers and readers. We support each other despite not knowing each other. This was first evident to me when I started my blog on Tumblr. And it is even more apparent now as I read the stories of runners, and the acts of kindness they experienced. Here are a few examples I read from Kate’s blog at SoCal Runner Gal.

She was running at Boston…and the “runner love” started at the starting line. She realized her pants had a hole in the butt (!!), so her and her friend walked around the athlete’s village seeing if anyone had an extra pair of pants or shorts. This is what happened:

We found a woman who gladly gave me the tights right off of her body.  The very tights that were keeping her warm while we sat for hours in the cold.  That is typical of a runner.  Runners support one another even if they’ve never met.  I was incredibly grateful for this woman’s generosity but not at all surprised that I found someone in a crowd of marathoners willing to help out a stranger.  Runners are supportive, kind and generous human beings.

She also said:

I can’t tell you how many times I thought to myself, “Man! People are awesome!” as I smiled and ran.

Which is so true. I got emotional just watching the marathon on TV because I remember what it’s like to be running a marathon and having the spectators cheer you on and believe in you. When I was struggling in the New York City Marathon, a man hopped in the race and said he’d run alongside me for the next block, and said “You can do this!!!” He gave me the little extra push I needed…and I had no idea who he was…

Thankfully Kate finished the race before everything occurred. But I have read so many other stories of people who were stopped at mile 24-25, and the acts of kindness they experienced from strangers.

I saw this posted on Facebook by a woman, who is asking people to share the photo so she can find the man who did this…it is an incredible gesture. She was stopped around mile 25, and was emotional after hearing her family was okay. Then this happened:

The woman took the space tent off her husband, who had finished the marathon, and wrapped it around me. She asked me if I was okay, if I knew where my family was. I reassured her I knew where they were and I would be ok. The man then asked me if I finished to which I nodded “no.” He then proceeded to take the medal off from around his neck and placed it around mine. He told me “you are a finisher in my eyes.” I was barely able to choke out a “thank you” between my tears.

That literally brought tears to my eyes when I read it!

I’m not really sure where I am going with this post. But I just have been so touched by the things I am reading regarding acts of kindness and helping. We are all part of the running/health/fitness community, and we support each other without knowing one another. And that is what I love.

Feel free to comment with your own thoughts, I’d love to read them.

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9 Responses to “Why I Love The Running Community”

  1. Jim Hartman April 17, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

    Awesome post Patty ! Thank you so much for sharing and I totally agree with everything you said.

  2. luvwhatuce April 17, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Totally agree! I’ve participated in several races, where I end up chatting it up with random (great) people. In my last race, I was struggling to make it to the end. There was a lady next to me, who was in the same boat. We decided to run the last few miles together, and we’d never met before. Just one of the many things I love about runners! People are always willing to help 🙂 Also, your thoughts on Boston were great- it’s hard to put into words…

    • reach-yourpeak April 17, 2013 at 8:41 pm #

      thanks for the comment! yes you are right, people/runners are always willing to help, especially in races…I love that too!

      • luvwhatuce April 17, 2013 at 8:58 pm #

        Yeah, I just feel like it happens SO often in the race community…really a neat thing to witness & be a part of! 🙂

  3. moveeatcreate April 17, 2013 at 9:50 pm #

    Beautiful reflection. I certainly could not have said it better myself. Thank you.

  4. seethisgirlrun April 17, 2013 at 10:22 pm #

    I completely agree! Just in starting my blog I could feel how tight and supportive the running community is of each other, but since the events in Boston, I have completely fallen in love with being a runner in new way. We’re a family, even though we’re strangers. We believe in each other, we support each other and we help each other. Just because that’s what runners do. It’s amazing and it makes me so proud to be part of this family.


  1. I Love Runners | - February 3, 2014

    […] year, I wrote this post about why I love the running community after the terrible attacks at the Boston Marathon. So many […]

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