I thought I’d go a little off the beaten path for this post and not speak about the donations or how to raise funds to participate in International races with charities. Instead, I want to talk about the people and fellow runners you meet along the way.
Most of the Canadian charitable running groups are made-up of runners from across the country, so you may know one or two runners that you run with locally but more than not you will not know everyone… and this is a good thing.
As you make your way to the destination chosen, you often meet some of your fellow runners at the airport, train station, or other junctions for travel. This is a great opportunity to get to know one another before the general meet-and-greets the charity puts on once you arrive at the destination.
Outside of getting to know your new friends, it’s a good time to talk about your training and bounce around ideas or issues you’ve been having; all runners have an opinion on how to avoid injuries, what to eat before a run, using sport gels while running, etc. Sharing is caring!
These may also be the same people that you have an amazing adventure and experience with. Over the years and destinations, I have met a great number of people from all across Canada and a few of us have become a really good crew. In Iceland – my first International event – I met a group of runners from the Ottawa region, we had a great time and had wonderful chemistry and have run as a group in two International events afterwards. We’ve also traveled to other Canadian events to compete together.
What’s even better about new friends is they are there when you most need them. If you’re having a bad run, feeling pain as you make your way to the finish line, they are there to support and lift you up. There is nothing more inspiring for a runner struggling on a long run then when fellow runners are on the sidelines cheering you on or they jump on to the running course and run with you to make sure you feel supported.