By: Carmen Troncoso

My husband, Ricardo and I spent this past weekend attending various social events. On Sunday night, we commented on the wide range of people we know in Austin and even though not all the events were running related, the topic invariably comes and goes something like this:

Them: What do you do?

ME: Well, among other things I coach and I run…

Them: Oh, I run myself or, I used to run when I was in HS, or better yet, my wife ran that 10K marathon last October. 

These are conversations we as runners have on an almost daily basis. What struck me as marvelous this time around, however, was the demographics of the sample.

Running in all is forms reaches across more borders and groups of people than any other sport I can think of. You can be rich, poor or anything in between, you can be a woman or a man, young or old, have numerous PhD’s or not even a HS diploma, be fast or slow, tall or short, big or small…you get the picture.

The obvious reasons of course are clear: you don’t need a lot of equipment to get out and have a nice jog. Even though these days we spend a lot of money on equipment and gadgets, it is not really necessary. You don’t need a lot of time, thirty minutes of your day will suffice and even give you a good buzz. You can go by yourself. Finally, the health benefits are obvious and have been written about for over 100 years.

The thing that caught my attention this time was the human connections that we make when we involve ourselves in this sport.

When we join a running group, each one of us comes in with different goals and expectations. Yet, one thing is the same, we want to be a part of the running community – this community in which we are runners first and everything else second. Because while we are running and training, we all “huff and puff” exactly the same. When we wake up the day of the race, we all feel the same general feelings. Our goals might be different time-wise, but we all want to get to the finish line and as quickly as possible.

If you don’t believe me, try to find any other event that can amass 30,000 people, gathered on any given morning to try to complete 26.2 miles or 13.1 or 6.2…

NASCAR you say? Football? Soccer?…the list goes on.

I meant gathered to PARTICIPATE, not spectate.

And now me.

Here’s my fitness report: I’m making progress at a screaming snail’s speed. Can you hear it?

As for the title of my blog, it was just to grab your attention.


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