They talk about “the loneliness of the long-distance runner.” I guess it can be lonely if one runs in his (or her) neighborhood all by himself — and never does a competitive run.
Look at this photo. That’s me at the right. Do I look lonely? The photo was taken after this morning’s 15K (9.3-mile) race starting and ending at Kapiolani Park. Alec and I are both wearing our age-group medals. (At 81, I was the oldest person in the entire field of 711 runners).
But my point in writing here is not to tout personal achievement but to tell of running’s social aspects. This picture was taken by a bystander as we were schmoozing about how we had run the race, and about past and planned future races.
I don’t know of any organition, besides my Rotary Club or our church, that provides more opportunities for social interaction than does running.
Even during a competitive race one has opportunities to socialize In the very first mile, I noticed a couple running together, with “just married” (“just” on one singlet, “married” on the other). As I pulled even, I said congratulations and they confirmed that, yes, it was just yesterday that they had wed. (I’ll bet anything they crossed the finish line together. At least I hope they did!)
Another couple was pushing a stroller with a very young passenger and I offered best wishes for the family.
And then I pulled even with a runner with a Biblical verse on his back and I asked where he worshipped. At a chapel, on base he replied. I said that this very morning, I planned to worship at Central Union Church.
(P.S.) We did attend the service.