This morning, despite -14 windchill and at least 4 inches of fresh snow, 10 of us local runners got together for a little run. Ever since I moved here two years ago, I have knocked around the idea of trying to get a running club going, but didn't really know where to start. Well, lucky for me, it turns out if you sit on a good idea long enough, someone else will take it and run with it (pun intended). After some mass emailings to everyone with a local address who ran one of the local half or full marathons last year, we ended up with the beginnings of a club.
Somehow, I have been designated as the guy who knows where to run, even though I don't actually live in Spearfish (although I work there) and therefore rarely run there (and when I do, it's mostly on two routes that I'm familiar with). But, as usual, I tried to at least make it look like I knew what in the hell I was doing by showing up with several mapped routes I slapped together on www.mapmyrun.com and, for the most part, have never actually run myself. Given the cold and snow, we settled on a short loop and took off for our first ever group run, a 3 miler around town. Once I finally warmed up (about two miles in) it was actually quite enjoyable, although casual conversation proved difficult because your mouth seriously doesn't work as well in sub-zero temperatures....it's like trying to have a legible conversation after chugging a few pints at the bar.
After the first 3 mile loop, we stopped to discuss the date and time for a midweek run (Tuesday at 5:30, followed by beer and popcorn, if you care). I was contemplating heading out for a second loop to get my scheduled 6 miles in for the day when one of the ladies present asked if anyone would like to run some more. I recognized her as the same gal I had outkicked to the finish of a local 10K last April (nearly pulling a groin or passing out or both in the process....see the picture to the right), but wasn't sure if she recognized me. Turns out she didn't (must be the winter beard) when I brought it up as we started our second loop. I didn't rub it in (too much...okay not at all....really, but I HAD to mention it). In any case, I learned a valuable lesson today: Running in negative windchill is much more bearable when you aren't doing it solo....or at least you feel slightly less dumb for doing it when you have a group of people with you.
So, the Spearfish Running Club is born. Hopefully our numbers will grow as the temperature warms up.....and hopefully I don't lead a bunch of us astray someday by trying to look like I know where we are going on some route that I've never run before.