I would never classify myself as a runner. Somehow I just fell headfirst into it. I’ve always been involved in competitive team sports and at least one gym. I really thought that was all there was the fitness. During college I captained my women’s rugby team for 5 of my 6 playing years, even winning a national championship. (No, I’m not a forever student- I actually got my doctorate in that span!) Rugby workouts had really been my adult fitness life. Occasionally I would venture for short runs outside to mix it up, but never really enjoyed it until after I graduated. You see, my boyfriend and I love to eat drink and be merry…but that catches up with you! He had been a competitive runner and already had a love for it, so we started running together. The more we ran the better we felt! It became really enjoyable to run, a mind clearing therapy session for free. We decided to try out some small races with the goal to run a big one at least once a year. Just around that highly inspired time, the one and only Stephanie Prince asked us if we’d like to be part of the first ever New England Relay. Being a good family friend, I think she knew we were down for crazy. We were thrust into the awesome world of Vansomites. We were literally put into my dad’s Honda Pilot with 4 strangers and set off for a 24-36 hour adventure of running. During that time I met some of the most amazing people and friends, my running family. We were in less than ideal cramped conditions, we were hungry, smelly, and even ran the Pilot into a ditch (closing off the road and jeopardizing the rest of the relay…also receiving the ‘most
likely to fall into a ditch and finish’ award!) We didn’t kill each other – we loved it! I never thought running could be a team sport. I thought that camaraderie, that deep bonding feeling could only be forged through teams, but I was so wrong. . I also couldn’t be more proud to run in the memory of an amazing captain’s brother. Shortly after the New England relay we signed up for the Reach the Beach MA relay that we completed as Team Vansome in May. I am so happy and lucky to have met such awesome people who love to compete, run, and have a great time together. Running isn’t just for exercise anymore; it’s social! Who knew?!
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