As we near the end of the year, it’s hard to not reminisce. Races run, injuries avoided, miles achieved…all things to note and to consider improving upon for next year.
Before you fill up all 52 weeks of 2016’s race calendar though, cast your mind back to that time you struggled. You looked that hill up and down and decided you couldn’t do it, until a chipper stranger shouted over your shoulder that you could and you proved yourself wrong. Or the runner’s pace you copied for five of your hardest 13.1 miles. Or the girl on such a crazy mid-race high, her high-five powered you all the way to your fastest finish.
Yes, you race as an individual but when you run in an event, you’re part of something bigger. A whole team of crazy people who’d rather shovel porridge down their throats at dawn, than stumble home from the pub. We support each other and provide that extra push that keeps us going. And now is the perfect time to thank your teammates.
Our team doesn’t just include the trainered pavement-pounders, though. Those finish arches and way-finding arrows didn’t put themselves up. It wasn’t elves who posted your race bib. And that life-saving Jelly Baby, didn’t drop from the heavens, it was kindly handed to you. Without race organisers and volunteers, you wouldn’t have a shiny new PB to brag about this year.
There are a lot of people to thank!
If you haven’t already given them a big sweaty hug, find a way of showing your appreciation to ‘team running’. Take time to encourage others on race day, pass on the same support that you’ve found so useful in races. Even a simple nod can make all the difference – a way of saying “you’ve got this”, when actually all you can gasp is a weird squeak.
Even better, temporarily hang up your Garmin and volunteer at an event. How many people does it take to run a race? More than you’d think – on average, there’s a volunteer for every nine runners. If everyone volunteered every tenth race, we’d eventually all do our fair share of the chores.
Spread some runner love this festive season and say thank you!