The other day I was chatting with another runner just before heading out to cover some miles. We were exchanging details of our next marathons: which states, dates, other runners we’re meeting there, any time goals–the usual highlights. For some reason, we both started chuckling at ourselves and the conversation. We acknowledged to each other how crazy our pursuit of our sport probably seems to most of the rest of the (non-distance running) world.
We don’t plan one or two week vacations after consulting travel websites and perusing glossy brochures. We go on race weekends. Unless it’s a big “destination race,” e.g., Hawaii, we look for a cheap flight and even cheaper motels. The idea is to get to as many races you can afford and physically complete. Since marathons in Florida pretty much dry up from April through September, I look north for summer races.
They show up after snowstorms to shovel out Lambeau Field for the team, which is the only non-profit, community owned major league pro sports team in the U.S. As a decades long member of Red Sox Nation, I am intrigued. And the Green Bay marathon starts and finishes at Lambeau Field, with a tailgate-themed party at the end.
We’ve been doing this for a long time. I remember getting together in 2005 in Omaha. One couple in our group brought their young son, who played the piano for us in the hotel lobby. Today he’s in college, turning twenty years old. And we’re still running.
We all plan our vacation days around marathons. And then there’s the sister group, Half-Fanatics. A little more measured, they run half marathons. Lots of them. There are over 14,000 of those folks (of course, some of us are repeat offenders and belong to both).