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This winter and spring I’ve had the opportunity to connect with others in the act of running. On Sundays I’ve been attending the TrackTown Fitness event at famous Hayward Field here in Eugene. At this event, they split people into three groups: runners, run-walkers, and walkers. Each week they have a specific workout and also bring in a specialist of some kind. One week it was a cardiologist, another week it was a nutritionist. The dynamic of running in a group is hard to explain – it’s not the same as running in an actual race, but there’s a connection with others who are out there for a variety of reasons. I’ve been able to meet some very nice people this way by attending these running workout sessions.

The other group that I was invited to join is the UO Noon Runners Group, which apparently has been going on for some 30 years. This group meets every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at noon and does a variety of routes around the campus area. I was invited by another campus IT professional, Cleven. I’ve known Cleven on and off via our work worlds for awhile now and we often would talk running whenever we saw each other. He is the most positive runner and one of the most friendly people I’ve ever met. Each run he always greets other people with a warm, “Good morning!” and a smile. I’ve noticed, too, that he runs freely, sometimes pushing the pace and other times slowing down to let the slower runners catch up. It’s always a good workout and a nice way to break up the day. I’m extremely grateful to have been invited (which happened on a whim – I was heading over to do my own run when Cleven saw me and invited me along).

Running is often a solo activity for me – a meditation of sorts and a time to focus on my breath, let my mind wander and clear it out. It gives my body a chance to de-stress and ultimately relax. Running with others has added a completely new dimension to this and so far I’m very content.

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