Not so lonely runners . . .

From left, Harry, Alec and Kit -- after the 15K race this morning

From left, Harry, Alec and Kit — after the 15K race this morning

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.


3 thoughts on “Not so lonely runners . . .

  1. It is amazing how many people I have met through running. The variety of friendships you can develop in this social activity of running is incredible

    • Hi Kevin: Going through past posts, I saw your comment, and realized I have never responded. I’m so sorry! Since then, I have done the Honolulu Marathon, getting third in age group in the 80-84 age group. Yes, there is an 85-and-over age group, believe it or not. And I did strike up some conversations on the run, one with a lady running with Team in Training (TNT), raising money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). I did many TNT runs, in memory of our daughter Patty who died of lymphoma. Her younger sister Sandy also loves to run, and in June did the San Francisco women’s half marathon, running with TNT. . . . Much aloha

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