Race #9 – Running in Celebration of Local Run Clubs

Run Buds: Me & Cathy

Race #9: The Dover 10 Miler, Dover PA

The Cause: First race in the York Road Runners Winter Race Series, York County, PA

Today’s race is in support and celebration of, well, running! Running clubs began forming in the U.S. about 60 years ago. Many are still forming today, to support running communities by connecting runners and organizing runs and races.

Lots of run clubs offer winter race series, to keep runners active through the off-months. It’s a great way to head into the spring, feeling trained, in touch with your competitive edge, and ready for your goal races. I’m sure most winter series are not money-makers for the clubs, but instead, they foster invaluable camaraderie and community.

The Road Runners Club of America is the nation’s umbrella organization with 1,500+ running clubs. One of them is the York Road Runners Club based in nearby York County, and this is the third time I’ve signed up for their Winter Race Series. Although it is still fall, it’s starting to feel more and more like winter–my gloves and headwraps are becoming the norm for morning runs.

Thankfully this first race in the series was held at 1 pm–not in the cold of the morning. But oh my gosh, it was challenging. And by challenging, I mean H I L L Y. Despite the hills… I really don’t know how this happened… I set a 10-mile PR… BY FIVE MINUTES.

This was part of a mile-long incline toward the end of the race… it might have actually been a 1.5-mile climb.

A big group of my running friends signed up for this series last year, and we had so much fun we all decided to do it again this year. We carpooled together, celebrated our runs together, went out for post-race breakfast together, and had lots of fun. Most of our group did the Harrisburg Marathon today, so it was just my friend Cathy & I at today’s Dover 10-Miler.

Cathy & I met through another run club–the Fleet Feet Mechanicsburg Run Club–about three years ago. We hit it off right away! Not only are we about the same age, running about the same pace, but we also discovered we were reading many of the same books. Many of our runs turned into book chats.

That’s not where the similarities end. “Six degrees of separation” is real!

More than a year after we met, we realized that Cathy and my sister-in-law Denise had worked together, for the same state agency, for YEARS.

And another year into our friendship, we realized we had attended the same college–although her 4 years directly preceeded mine. So we weren’t there at the same time, but we swap college stories and memories and have the same frames of references.

Friends who meet through running clubs experience friendships… with a running start.

Look for future posts from the YRRC Winter Race Series!


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