My mom remarked a few weeks back that our run club is our community. That’s absolutely true…and it’s a great thing.
I sometimes jokingly refer to our Sunday morning run-club as “Church of the Running Room.” The more I think about it, the more apt I think that nickname is.
Growing up, we were regular church goers in our family. In fact, these days my parents take our kids to church almost every week while we run.
For us, church consisted of a couple of distinct phases:
- Getting ready: wake up, get dressed in your Sunday best.
- Get to church and chit-chat with people prior to the service starting.
- The service itself…usually about an hour or so, although longer on special occasions.
- After-church coffee with lots of socializing about what was going on in the community.
Contrast that with the Church of the Running Room:
- Getting ready: wake up and get dressed in the appropriate running gear for the weather.
- Get to the Running Room and chit-chat with people prior to the start of the run.
- The run itself…usually about an hour, although longer on some occasions.
- After-run coffee with lots of socializing about what is going on in the community.
Running Rooms are like local churches from the same denomination. If you are from out of town, you can find the local Running Room and show up at 8:30am on Sunday knowing there will be a group run happening.
People who run at the Running Room have similar beliefs and creeds – running is fun, 10 and ones are the way to go, John Stanton is our “Pope” (I resisted the obvious parallel there to a higher power, but I bet some see him that way).
Whether you see running as a religion or not, there’s no denying the depth of the running community and the many great benefits that being part of the running community provides.