Our obligations as a runner?

For me, a reality check from time to time!

Doug Hay, better know as the Rock Creek Runner, is an amazing ultramarathoner who co-hosts the No Meat Athlete radio podcasts (among other things!) of which I am an avid fan and subscriber  and which I listen to most mornings when I run.

Today I saw his latest blog post drop into my email, and two things struck such a chord with me that I had to share it. In the blog, which you can read here , Doug talks about the obligations you may have as a runner. Whilst a few were more to do with trail running, the following points really resonated with me and where I am on my running journey – pun intended.

Under the ‘Obligations to Yourself’ section, Doug writes –

Respect where you are, now: There will always be a faster time or tougher route. To achieve your fullest potential, you need to respect where you are now. Live in it, and learn from it. Then push forward.

This is very true – I am always thinking about where I want to get to, how fast I want to complete a mile, the timing of my next race, rather than realising that two years ago I couldn’t even run to the kitchen from the sofa and now I am training for a marathon. Time to check in and put things in perspective.

Secondly, under ‘Obligations to the Community’ –

Celebrate all achievements: We may all share the same field, but we’re each playing our own game. Whether someone ran/walked their first 5k, qualified for Boston, or finished an ultramarathon in the middle of the pack, all achievements are worth celebrating. No matter what the pace or distance, at the end of the day we’re all just runners. 

This is something I struggle with – running my own race, not someone else’s, and not being secretly smug when I pass or lap someone who looks roughly my age during a race. We should all support each other, we are on the same team after all. In the same vein, this is why I make a point of smiling, nodding or acknowledging other runners when we cross paths – it’s a community and we should all remember that!

Thanks for this Doug, it really made me take a reality check!

Happy running, team!



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