Back on Track – It’s All about the People


It was touch and go for a bit on Saturday morning. After ‘running’ into the Forerunners gang last week, I had promised myself to be at this week’s clinic. Due to my summer hiatus, I’d been sleeping in on the weekend, so morning came early. But that wasn’t the issue – it was actually car trouble!

Being a downtown resident, we don’t own a car; rather, we utilize 3 different car shares available in the city (depending on the circumstances). Well, I had booked my car to get me to the clinic, but due to system issues I was unable to access the vehicle. I was on the verge of starting to run towards Forerunners, but I knew I wouldn’t make it. But car2go to the rescue – one was available just a block away (not always guaranteed!), so I was at the store before things had even gotten started!

A flurry of activity, quick reunions with some folks, and we were off. One of the things I love most about these runs is the people I get to talk to, and the topics we cover. So rather than tell you about the run, I’m going to tell you about the things we talked about! I’ve used initials rather than names to protect the innocent! ­čÖé

1) LC (newly minted pace group leader extraodinaire!) and I got caught up on our summers, her post-marathon wedding in Hawaii, and my Honolulu Marathon plans.

2) I had to stop at the washroom at Jericho Beach (due to being late at the start, and the lineup at the store), so I ended up a bit behind my group. Kept pace with TK, who I hadn’t really talked to before. We chatted about running injuries (his back, my muscle pull), and why I now swear by Pilates. “Is Pilates kind of like yoga?” led to some further discussion – I hope I convinced him!

3) As we started up the UBC hill, I fell back. Being my first long run since June, I just couldn’t keep up. Nearing the top, though, I caught up with JS – one of my very first running buddies. She’s one of the ‘pleasant-looking strangers’ of my #42for42 blog post. We spoke briefly of our respective care of older parents (she lost her dad earlier this year, like I lost my mom last year).

4) A kilometre or so later I matched pace with JL, and we got on the topic of destination runs. He talked about the possibility of running Chicago, but having challenges with accommodation, due to some questionable behaviour by a potential airbnb host. I told him of my plans to visit Japan at Christmas, and he told me of his visit there a few years ago.

5) At the water stop (finally!), BB came cycling along. She was my fearless pace group leader last season, but has taken a break from running as well. It was wonderful to catch up with her and hear a bit about her new business venture. Also had a brief word with AR before starting back towards the store.

6) Now I as with a whole group. BN told us about his plans for the New York Marathon, and his excitement about this being his first trip to the Big Apple. DB shared some of her tips for visiting, since she’d been there in the past year. BN also told us about the ‘urban legend’ of the NY Marathon: that if you end up on the lower deck of the Verrazano Bridge, you might get peed on by people on the upper deck. Further research proves that this is not a myth!

7) I caught some snippets of conversation between RW and SC about finding long lost relatives due to the happenstance of a news story. I wish I’d heard more about this one…and it made me think of my college roommate – who wrote a book about his own experience (Orphan 32).

8) Finally, DB and I talked about her travel plans for the Olympic Peninsula, and my visit to Central Washington back in August. She also shared the drama (and eventual success) of her sister’s recent wedding.

And then 17 kilometres came to an end. An hour and 40 minutes had just flown by because of these fantastic and interesting people. My Forerunners family. It’s good to be home.


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