All Summer One Sport: Running
Two Feet and a Heartbeat
“How can you be bad at running?” That’s what I was thinking when I was out of breath one kilometre into the run. It’s literally the most natural activity you can do. Thank god we didn’t see a bear, or I would have been toast. If only I knew how humbling this would be before I met with Don Lee, president of the Calgary Roadrunners.
I met Don and the fellow runners in the Silver Springs Community Association parking lot. After some quick introductions, we headed across the road down an unassuming trail (it looked like something deer use). It didn’t take long before we were on a ridge, perched above the Bow River.
While running might be the reason that people join the club, I quickly figured out the reason people stay: community. There is a strong focus on running, don’t get me wrong. But there is also a highly ingrained social aspect. I experienced this first hand fifteen minutes into the run. I remembered the lady behind me talking earlier about travelling to Spain. I quickly struck up a conversation with her (I used to live in Spain) and what would you know? I completely zoned out and forgot I was even running!
So, who exactly makes up this club? Well, the club has people at every age, from 10-year-olds to 75-year-olds. Don’t let running with someone your age be your guide though. I quickly found out, based on my speed, that I belonged in the master’s group (ages 35+). There is an even mix of men and women in the club, although this really didn’t affect anything. I was still the slowest, man or woman.
Nature is my favourite part of running outside, and the reason you won’t find me on a treadmill. I like to feel the sun on my face, the wind blow in my hair and smell the flowers while I run. I just want to feel like I’m in a Nike commercial. Who wouldn’t want to get fit and get a tan at the same time? It’s the peanut butter and jelly combo of fitness.
Since moving to Calgary three years ago, I had never been to the Silver Springs escarpment (I didn’t even know what an escarpment was). I often think “Why would I choose to live in a city and never explore it?” This run allowed me to experience so many different aspects of the city, from running atop of a ridge, through a forest, across a valley and even by a waterfall! Who knew there was so much variety on just one section of trails in Calgary (apart from Don)?
So, did this experience turn me into the next Gary Robbins? I can’t say it did, but I am now looking forward to going for a run this Sunday in Edworthy Park.
To sign up for the next Calgary Roadrunners run, click here. The first three runs are completely free, so you can get a taste of what the Calgary Roadrunners can offer to any runner- novice to expert.
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