- Posted August 16, 2013 by
Morgantown, West Virginia
24 Hours of Running Bliss and Friendships to Last a Lifetime
I am a proud military spouse who has moved many times over the last 19 years. It was only when I found my passion for running that moving became easier. Running has been my way to find new friends no matter where the Army sends us to live. This is how it started.
We got stationed in a remote location with no base for hundreds of miles. The instant connection I was used to making with other military families was not an option. It was in 2006 while working at the YMCA in Brookville PA I met a great group of ladies. We took a variety of fitness classes together. They ran every Friday and invited me to join them. I was super excited except for the fact that I was not a runner. I was in great shape just not a runner. I took myself to the local track and started running. My first goal was to complete the quarter of a mile track without stopping. I was shocked that I was able to do so and kept going. After completing four laps I was done. Running, for me, was much more difficult than step aerobics, spinning, kick boxing and the other fitness classes I was used to taking. I devised a plan and set a goal to run with the ladies in two weeks. When the day arrived I was pleased and proud to keep up with them for nearly FOUR miles. The conversation was great and I quickly learned the best part about running was the conversation shared on the run.
Over the next several months I didn’t miss a Friday. It became my weekly running therapy. We talked story and covered a lot of ground. One of the ladies, Amy, was training for a marathon. Some of our adventures were in the double digits. I agreed to enter a local 5k. Race day came and we had a blast. We all placed in our respective age groups. I quickly set my goal on longer distances. I am competitive and figured if Amy can run a marathon I will run an ultramarathon. Within six months of starting to run I completed my first 50k (31 miles) ultramarathon. Over the next year I completed several more 50k races and couple of 50 mile ultras. Then we received orders (my husband is in the Army) to move to KY.
I continued with running and found a new group of ladies to run with. These ladies were all marathoners. I entered several races with them and several ultras in the area. The friend pool just kept growing and so did my passion for running.
Over the next three years we had two more moves. We were in Savannah GA when I joined a group called the Savannah Striders. This was the largest running group I had ever joined. They have runners of all ages and abilities. This group became like a second family to me. I set my sights on completing my first 100 mile race, the Umstead 100. The first challenge was to get into the race. It sold out in 4 minutes but I was in! When I shared the news with fellow Striders they instantly devised a plan to help me train. I had people meeting me at 3 in the morning to help me log miles. As part of my training I registered for a local 24 hour race, The Delirium, and asked people to come run a few laps with me. I was shocked when they came out all day and night.
This picture is of me with some of the Striders who were there at the finish line of my 24 hour adventure. Now you can see why running is a great part of my weekends.