Oftentimes in this sport called running, we are alone. We run for ourselves and we run to beat our last best time. We don’t have to think about anyone else but ourselves. It’s normally quite nice to not have the pressure of being part of a team. I used to panic in Phys Ed prior to team sports. I hated letting anyone down or looking silly. Probably why I wound up on the swim team.
When you are racing alone you want to place in your age group or beat that random old guy that always smokes you, but if you totally bonk and suck wind – there’s no one to answer to but yourself.

Now on the flip side of this coin, the coast to coast relays that are popping up in every state, allow runners to be a part of a team. When you run well, your team is there to share in that joy with you. When you don’t run well, and your team is like my relay team, you get a pat on the back and a praise for doing your best. Sometimes, you don’t even give that praise to yourself. But that’s what the team spirit is all about.

The relays have provided a way for lots of us to stop thinking solely about our own goals and think about how our running applies to a team. Last year at Ragnar I pushed myself harder than I think I would have had I been in the race alone. I want to make sure that my team does well and I feel good about my contributions, decorations or otherwise.

Even more than doing well, I want to look out for my teammates. They are my friends and running buds, so I like to make sure everyone is happy and safe. And the beauty of the team is that I know they are doing the same for me.

As it is less than 24 hours to race time, today, I’m thankful for the Ragnar Relay. Without it, I wouldn’t get to spend 25 plus hours with a group I am happy to call teammates and of course, friends.


What are you thankful for today?