Running can be a lifetime commitment and in my opinion of course should be. If you can avoid injury and maintain the passion there is no need to ever stop running. Discussing this topic with my friend Dan he raised a good point that company is another factor that can prolong your running career.
Running with friends encourages participation, if only for the banter afterwards over pancakes. In sunny Perth I have running friends who I have met over the years and together we formed the St. Georges Terrace Running Club. (We all work on St. Georges Terrace in Perth hence the name) This entailed purchasing some great running tops (see below) which we actually had professionally designed and made. As a group run together most lunchtimes, encourage each other, offer advice and race together.
Over the last 8 years I have met so many great runners who have become good friends and this week in Rottnest I holidayed with my friends Jon, Dan and Paul and their families; all people I have met through our love of running. So this bond keeps you running as before long you’ll find most of your friends are runners and you need to run to be able to add to the conversations, which invariably are about a new race to enter or current running goals etc.
As well as the St. Georges Terrace Club I am also a member of the West Australian Marathon Club. ( http://www.wamc.org.au ) (WAMC) and this is another source of good friends who I race against but also share the same love of all things running. The WAMC put on around 30 events a year ranging from 4k unto 64k and each one is run and organised by volunteers.
Without these friends I would have found it difficult to maintain the passion as, although I enjoy some ‘Kev time‘ running alone , I also enjoy the banter running with a group. So I encourage all runners to seek out like minded people and spend time running with them. It will be a major factor in the length of your running career as when these runners become your friends spending time with them will encourage you to lace up the trainers.
It also helps at the end of the run as no one likes eating pancakes alone in the cafe.
On my obligatory Sunday morning long run today my mind drifted to the years highs…