It’s a given that one of the must-haves when participating in this “solo” sport is running friends. They are a source of motivation, understanding and reasoning when things don’t go your way and also help to find solutions to problems only other runners could understand.
When I started this journey to get back into running early 2013, there’s no way that I could have imagined the awesome people that I have connected with, in real life and online.
I’m a solo runner. None of my close friends run, so really it’s just me and the pavement day in, day out. So how do I connect with fellow runners to chat all things shoes, compression socks and how it feels at the last couple of kilometres (or miles) in a race?
Twitter is honestly the runner’s dream, and a way that I have connected to some awesome people that I have met (and those yet to meet). If you aren’t on twitter- get on there now. There are weekly twitter chats to discuss all things running – #RunChat is Sunday nights (times differ per week) but Monday AU time and #BibChat is Tuesday nights 8P CT (Wednesday AU time). A simple search of the hashtag can find thousands of tweets, and users chatting about all things running any day of the week.
I never really knew the huge amount of Facebook running groups until I decided to sign up to a Disney race. A search provided a list of private running clubs/groups that were dedicated to running Disney or running the specific events – such as the Dumbo Double Dare. All of these groups are privately run and addition to the group is done by administrators. These groups are great for asking anything to do with running (or Disney if that’s what you’re after) and you can connect with some really awesome people!
Becoming an Ambassador
This year I was lucky enough to become an ambassador for the race review website BibRave. When I signed up I thought it was awesome to be part of this team that promoted a cool new website and perhaps run a few races. What I didn’t expect was the really close friendships that I made with the other BibRave Pro’s – they are truly the most amazing set of runners that I have been able to be a part of, and certainly extremely motivating!
Best news yet is that 2015 applications for being a BibRave Pro are still being taken (until Nov 30) – just click through here!!
Another great group I have found is the Sweat Pink Ambassadors (known as SPAs), whether you’re into running, yoga or any other type of fitness – the whole point of the group is to encourage other females into taking part in fitness and to be proud of it!!
As I’ve mentioned above, this is the time that many product ambassador applications are being taken for the next year – just search for your favourite running brands and check it out!
Attending a race solo
For me, it’s not an option but I can recommend attending a race solo! So many other runners turn up without a group and you definitely get talking before, during and after the race. I’ve turned up to cities in another country as a solo runner and have had lovely conversations with fellow minded people as we take a running tour around the city!
Join a local running group
There are many running groups out there, or Parkrun groups that are more than happy to take on the casual runner. Generally you turn up at a specific time, run and then perhaps go for a coffee (or eat) afterwards. This is great to meet fellow runners in your local area.
Sure, I may run the road by myself but I can now list a group of amazing friends that I have made across the world thanks to the means above. They are my support network and am thankful that I have met (virtually and in real life) these incredible runners who motivate me to become better a better runner – and to go out and do those “must-do” races and reach for those goals that I would have been a little scared of.
So to all my awesome friends out there – thank you!!