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A Solitary Runner Goes Social: Hug A Runner 2014

Caught on a compression sock day

It was odd yesterday morning. Even though the trails are clearing from the weekend’s snow, I just didn’t want to head out. I thought about the wind. I thought about the treadmill. I thought about not running. I thought that maybe the evening run, a Hug A Runner event at the Boulder Running Company in Cherry Creek would suffice.

Then, I watched The Runner in Winter, a short movie featuring Anton Krupicka. If you have yet to view Joel Wolpert’s classic (, it is the tale of one man’s quest (promise, maybe) to get out there and do it despite the conditions, despite the lack of company. You get out there mostly because that’s what you do (and because you’re Tony Krupicka you do it like no one else). So, I went anyway (thanks, Tony). And I went they way I have gone for a little over forty-eight years: alone.

I have run a lot of miles since 1966 (105,000+). Despite being on teams my first seven years and despite a corral full of wonderful training partners, I have easily run at least 95% of those miles with no one but myself. The Runner in Winter, and Spring, and Summer, and Fall, indeed.

I am certainly not complaining. I get a boatload of stuff done out there. I clear the slate, I clean the slate, I add to the slate. Mostly, I nurture the slate. I am so much a better me that I can be when I have logged the miles. Those thought provoking, escaping, creative, wonderful miles. So off I went. AND….. I lived to tell (write) about it. Needless to say, I was less than enthusiastic as the sun set and it became time for my wife, Linda and I to head to the Hug A Runner Event at BRC CC. 

Kara Goucher and Linda

A little background is needed here. In August Linda attended Kara Goucher’s Podium Retreat in Napa, California. It was there she met Kara, husband Adam and Tim Catalano. Arriving home she bubbled for weeks about how fun it was and how wonderful the dynamic trio were. We thought it would be great for her to see them again at this event of Adam and Tim’s making, say HI, and catch up a bit. And it was just that ….. great.

Talk about three wonderful people. In a world where many professional athletes have no personality, are rude and completely self absorbed, there are Adam and Kara Goucher. Accessible, sweet, caring. Yeah, that pretty much says it. And Tim…… OMG what a fantastic guy (and not too shabby of a runner either). 

The evening’s objective was to run a 5K with the group, celebrate Girls On The Run (a fabulous cause, Hug 5 runners and be able to hang out with Kara, Adam and Tim. Linda and I had a blast. We ran our 5K with Mandy Eberly, a visiting landscape architect from the DC area who had rolled into town two hours earlier. Sub-groups based on pace popped up as the run moved on, all with one consistent dynamic; chatting. So many runners of all shapes, sizes, ages and speeds sharing a common thread: community.

The Hug A Runner Community BRC CC Style!

Runners are a community. I run alone so often, I forget that. Some of my best times were participating in that community, whether it was on the Wyandotte Roosevelt High School team, the Wayne State University Cross Country team, or the Boulder Road Runners Monday night splinter group. Other runners are cool, AND I have to tell you, they deserve hugs the other 364 days of the year as well. And the group last night, completely huggable.

After a run, prize drawings, pictures and community, we headed out the door. As we hit the door a voice from the Boulder Running Company Cherry Creek staff said, “You’re welcome to join us every week for one of our group runs.”

You know what, I just might do that.

Some important links to cool stuff:

1 thought on “A Solitary Runner Goes Social: Hug A Runner 2014”

  1. It was so nice meeting you and Linda. I enjoyed running and talking with you for our 5k. I had a great time in Denver and even got out for a 5 miler Sunday. Man, that altitude killed me- was panting like a dog after about 3 blocks. 🙂 Run Happy Friend! And tell Linda HI!!!

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