A couple of week ago, Chris and I organised a night run on the Two Bays trail.
We thought it would be a great opportunity to invite the runners we coach and some other friends out with us to have a little Friday night adventure and get some great social running done on a beautiful trail.
We didn’t expect what happened next…
This was our first official organised group night run and we didn’t really know how many people would be keen to drive down to the Mornington Peninsula for a fairly late starting run at the end of the working week. To our surprise, over 30 people decided to join us, some of whom had to drive 2 hours or more to get there. Impressive when you consider that we didn’t finish until around 1am… so a pretty late night for some.
The calibre of the runners that indicated interest in the run varied greatly, so we decided to have two start times, in the hope that the faster late starting group (45 mins later) would eventually catch the earlier group and everyone would then finish somewhere around the same time. It was a total guesstimate with the timing, but lucky for us it meant everyone finished pretty well within a 20ish minute window of each other.
The thing that struck me the most on reflection was the fact that many of those that attended did not know Chris or me personally, nor did they know anyone else that was there. They put their faith in the fact that the trail running community is filled with good people. They were willing to step outside their comfort zone and join a group of others in a challenge that would bring good will and a sense of belonging to a movement that is building like a snow ball all over the world.
Chris and I have been working really hard for several years now to make Brewsters Running a trusted and respected name in the running world. We take our reputation and what we create seriously, because we know that trust is hard to win but easy to lose. We have gotten so much personal satisfaction from running over the years and to be able to contribute something back is the reason we started this thing in the first place. So, it was heart-warming to throw an idea out there and have so many people answer with a resounding “Yes”.
But it is not just us who has built and supports a community. Perhaps the most impressive running phenomenon in our home state of Victoria is the Surf Coast Trail Runners. In a relatively short space of time, Dion Milne and Matt Hosking have built an enormously supportive and fun trail running family that regularly gets huge numbers of runners show up to organised trail runs on and around the Surf Coast. There are others too, the Alpine Trail Runners, Dandenong Trail Runners, Melbourne Trail Runners, Peninsula Trail Runners, etc, and that is just Victoria.
I can’t think of another sport or leisure activity that regularly attracts large groups of people to come and participate in a non-competitive, social, physical activity that challenges their abilities and puts them in environments where they get to experience the beauty our country has to offer. The group run concept and the running community really is a very special and unique thing, and I for one feel very fortunate to be a part of it all.
So, to everyone who came and joined us for the night run, thank you and I look forward to sharing the trails with you again soon!