Sunday, June 22, 2014

I Run This: Concrete Runners Season 1 Kick-Off

I kicked off the summer season with a kick off for the Season 1 Concrete Runners.  This was a great way to start the summer. 

Last week, early one morning while scrolling through Instagram, I saw a post about joining a running crew, the Concrete Runners.  I filled out an application, got accepted to Season 1, and put the kick-off event on my calendar.  

The run happened to fall on the day of Swap! Not Shop!, our biannual clothing swap, but there was no way I was going to miss this running event.  I've been itching to be a part of something bigger than myself.  Part of why I love running is because it's a great solo sport, but it's not so motivating when there's no one around that also shares that passion.  I like going at my own pace, trying to beat my own records, but that can be so much more fun with other people around.  

Last year on a trip to London, my mates from Food & Lycra took me on a running tour of the city.  We all went at our own pace, stopped at the perfect places for some photo ops, and ended it with a meal, of course.  It was a lot of fun and it inspired me to not only do more runs in the places I travel, but also to use running as a way to make more meaningful connections....not only with the concrete but also the runners who hit the pavement. 

The Concrete Runners kick-off event was at Chrissy Field and they couldn't have picked a more perfect place.  They offered a few different courses that span off of the Golden Gate Bridge.  That is a gorgeous run, and I was inspired to go for the 6 mile run across the entire bridge and back, even though I really only had time for the 2 mile course.  

But for some reason...I was running late....and I forgot to put on deodorant.  Good thing I realized that in the car and not in the middle of my run!  I stopped at a store on the way there....only to show up and realize that they already took off.  Shoot.  They were probably already 1-2 miles ahead of me.  So what did I do?  I took a shortcut through the trails.

Yes, it was a shortcut, but that also meant many stairs!  What a work out!  I made it to the top of the trail right at the entrance to the bridge, and saw a group wearing the Concrete Runners gear.  This was the 3 mile group and they were just heading back.  I wanted to run the bridge so badly, but I also wanted to be part of the crew.  I turned around and ran the rest of the course back with them.  It wasn't quite 2 miles back to the picnic tables, so I had to run a bit more to make it to the mark.  

Even though I didn't make it on the bridge, this photo under the bridge makes it worth it!

The rest of the event was just meeting the folks in the crew...and taking photos.  It's really hard to remember names, especially when we're all used to the Instagram handles in the virtual world.  Everyone was really friendly in real life and it was just great to be around other people who love running!  

The Concrete Runners threw a cool kick-off event.  There were Clif Bars, plenty of water, sunscreen, face wipes, and it was even sponsored by a drink company called Activate.  It's a sports drink that requires you to activate the vitamins in the top of the bottle by twisting it to release it.  It was a cool concept to see that you are in control of releasing the vitamins in the drink. 
It was a great turn out for the first event and I'm so excited to do more runs...and show up on time so I don't miss out on some miles! 
I was also happy to receive a few gifts from the crew, making it even more sweet. Thank you to the Concrete Runners crew for my new tank top, my headband, and dry shampoo.  Super thoughtful!  I look forward to many more miles! 

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