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Runners: A different kind of breed?

Go time! I had my game face on before the Race Against Racism in 2011.

Go time! I had my game face on before the Race Against Racism in 2011.

People dedicate their time and energy to a number of different extracurricular activities for a number of different reasons. I’ve recently come to realize, however, that of these people, it seems the most dedicated adult athletes are runners. Maybe it’s because you don’t need equipment or a fancy uniform to run. You don’t need a team. It’s just you and the road.

They seem to have an addiction to running that I’m not sure I’ve seen in other activities. I view it as almost a secret society whose daily happenings are unbeknownst to outsiders. They wake up at sometimes ungodly hours, risk their lives every day on the open road and push their bodies to the limit and through injuries. Am I missing something here?? A friend of mine was on the waiting list to run a 100-mile trail on ‘a demanding, rocky course in the Massanutten Mountains of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley.’ A hundred miles! The winner from 2012 (who is actually from Lancaster, Pa.) ran the race in 19 hours, 33 minutes and 18 seconds. Was your mind just blown?

I have dabbled in a couple races in the past. The first 5K I ran was the Race Against Racism in Lancaster two years ago. It started out well for the first mile or so. Then, two-thirds of the way through, the only thing racing were the thoughts in my head. I wondered why people did this and thought to myself, ‘I am never doing this again!’ Nearly in the homestretch, I was taking a break (so as to not walk over the finish line) when a young boy came running up beside me and said, ‘Come on…you’re almost at the finish.’ Who was this kid? He didn’t know me. After giving it some thought, I was very appreciative that he took the time to encourage a stranger to push themselves, and someone older than him at that. Is this something they teach you in the secret society?!

My level of dedication to running is far from exemplary. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little afraid that if I start to commit myself to running, I will get sucked into the vortex. That said, I ran a 5K in mid-May and finished in 25 minutes and 48 seconds. I found out the morning of the race that a college friend had passed away the night before. I ran that 5k for him and shaved exactly two minutes off of my best time. As my interest in running grows, I decided to reach out to fellow Susquehanna employees to see what 5Ks they are running this summer and what motivates them. Here’s what I found:

On July 13th, Lisa has a running date with her husband and more than 1,300 other participants at the Ta-Ta-Trot in Sunbury. As the name suggests, they will be running to benefit the PA Breast Cancer Coalition.

Susquehanna employee, Lauren, isn’t afraid to get a little dirty in this year’s Dirty Girl Mud Run. Lauren put it best when she said, “I signed up to support cancer research and awareness, to challenge myself, to strive toward living a healthy lifestyle and to spend a day with amazingly strong, talented, fearless, and friendly women.” You go, girl!

Are you more of a night owl? Join Andrea on July 20th for the Electric Run in Philadelphia. This definitely looks like an event you don’t want to miss! Starting at 8:45 p.m., you’ll run through an ‘electric wonderland’ with ‘music custom mixed to match the mood of the lighting elements.’

And lastly, for those of you who need a little motivation behind each step, there’s the first annual Dawn of the Lititz Dead: a zombie-filled 5K obstacle run. You’ll run to ‘escape the horde of the undead’ while you maneuver obstacles to get safely to the finish.

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4 Responses to Runners: A different kind of breed?

  1. Nari says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for mentioning the evening run at Philly. I usually don’t see many of those so it is helpful to get that info through a tweet which led me to this blog.
    I guess Running or Jogging is one of the easiest recreational athletic activity most people can participate!

    1. Danielle says:

      Hi Nari! I’m glad I could help! The Electric Run sounds like an awesome experience. I’m hoping to get some Team Susquehanna members to run it with me ;)

  2. Taura Thompson says:

    Great article! I also “dabble” in running. My friends and I ran in Manheim’s Rock N Glow 5k this weekend and it was fantastic. 1500 runners for the first year running in fun “glow in the dark attire” for a 9pm run. It was so much fun although hot and humid this past weekend. It’s a great event to consider next year. This event supports the Manheim Downtown Development Group, I believe.

    1. Danielle says:

      Thanks, Taura! I would have loved to run in that but unfortunately I missed the registration deadline :( That’s a great turnout though…shows that we need more local and fun 5k opportunities!

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