I think for some non-runners, the running community is a bit of an anomaly. I've only been a runner for 2.5 years, but I've already gotten used to talking to someone about races, IT bands, and gear before learning their name. My mom, who's never run, chatted with a runner (a women in her 50s or 60s) this week in a doctor's waiting room and relayed the story to me. Here's the "transcript" of that conversation that I got from my mom:
Mom: You're wearing a Boston Marathon jacket, did you run Monday?
Runner: No, it's from <insert year that Mom couldn't remember, 90-something, maybe?>. I'm surprised you recognized it, not a lot of people around here do [there in western NH]
Mom: My daughter ran the 5K on Monday, I bought her a shirt with the Unicorn logo on it
Runner: Oh, your daughter runs! How long has she been running? How old is she? What distance does she do? Oh, she does halves? Has she ever done a biathlon or triathlon? I do biathlons. Tell her she should try it, she's not too old!
As my mom was telling me this, I started smiling. Just thinking there was this woman in NH who never met me and was so excited about my running that she was encouraging me through my mom! Then, my mom added "It was weird". And I thought I misheard my mom. But, then I realize the whole conversation was alien to her, while it made perfect sense to me. We're runners, and two things we love are: running and sharing running.
You share running by talking about, encouraging others, running with (or against!) others. It's why we race, get to the finish line, chug some water then start cheering for everyone behind us. It's why on those U-turn courses along Comm Ave, the middle of the pack seems to be cheering the whole run; cheering going into the U-turn for the Elites at the front and on the way out of the turn those not quite as fast.
Since April 15th, I think we all needed some extra sharing.