Never underestimate the value of running with a group. Within a group there is a wealth of knowledge and experience. If you’re a little shy about joining a group don’t be. It is my experience that runners are the most welcoming people. Most remember what it was like to be the new one, not knowing the course, people and paces, but there will always be someone to run with, and there is an unwritten rule that no one is left behind.
When it comes to preparing and participating in an event you gain so much from the group, and the long and hard sessions don’t feel so arduous when you recruit some friends. If you need to travel to an event or attempting something you’ve never done before, someone in your group will be able to answer any questions you might have, or know who to ask.
I’m a member of the River City Runners here in Brisbane. Over the last few months a large group of us were training for a 50km Trail Race. Almost every weekend a long group run on the trails that were part of the course was organised. Group numbers varied from 3 to 15 with varying levels of fitness and experience. These runs were hard but fun. Some had bad days and others great days, but we started and finished together and learnt a lot.
But the best was yet to come - the race day Finish line. I was again at the finish line to welcome people in. I just love witnessing the finish line jubilations. Some of the group ran together others passed each other on the trail some going out too fast and others simply fading in the final stages. But the support and shared experience was what made participating in the event even more special.
I’ve often travelled to events with a small group, some of the amazing experiences include Convicts and Wenches 50km in Tasmania, New Zealand (Tarawera Ultramarathon), Barossa Valley Marathon, Margaret River Ultra (see a theme here?) and South Africa (Comrades Marathon).
So, I love it when I go to places like the Whitsunday Trail event where I will spot lots of runners sporting their running club apparel. I’m a member of many groups in addition to the River City Runners, I’m also an active member of Running Mums Australia (RMA) and the Australian Ultra Runners Association (AURA) both have different purposes and I love catching up with other RMA who come to Airlie Beach for this event. Be sure to proudly wear your club gear it’s often a great conversation starter or a shared connection if you wear a specific event shirt.