I played team sports in high school and college. When I found triathlon, I began as an individual athlete. My true joy in the sport happened when I found a group of individuals that shared my passion for the sport. Although the sport remains an individual activity, my team at MCC brings me joy in so many ways; camps, Strava, Facebook, messaging and racing together.
A year or so ago, Katie suggested that I start some type of running group. I thought she was daft. Who the hell would want to train with me at 6 am on a loop that was just slightly more than a half mile? Why this loop? It is in an Indiana University parking lot in the athletic complex. It is lit all the time and safe. Katie found the loop and loved that she could walk there while I ran. And she will take credit for it until the day I die. In truth, the beauty of a loop like this is that no one gets dropped or lost. And you can cheer others on regardless if they are faster or slower. I think of it a bit as an outdoor treadmill!
I am not quite sure how it evolved, but my sister Jane and her husband were one of the first runners to join me. Others started trickling in one by one. We are now up to 27 physical and virtual members. We meet at 6 am on Tuesday and Thursday at Gate 9. I bring a workout that is optional and adjust for each person depending upon ability, health, and goals. We have everything from walkers to people that will run under a three-hour marathon. The energy is competitive, positive and contagious. I am grateful for our crew as they have made me a better coach, runner, and a more joyful athlete.
At some point, I decided we needed a name. I thought about club, team, etc. but nothing felt right. And then it hit me. We are a group of people working towards a common goal. This defines the word crew and hence our name the Gate 9 Running Crew (G9RC) seemed fitting. I started a private Facebook page for people to participate. We have no attendance, no dues, and no requirements. I post the workout online each morning after we finish. If you can’t make it you can complete it on your own.
This past weekend I was struck by the number of folks we had running the Sam Costa Half Marathon. This race is no joke as it was cold and hilly. We had a blast hanging together before the race and after. What I missed the most were our loops! I wanted to see everyone and cheer them on to the finish. They each ran an amazing race and I was so proud of everyone.
I know it seems like a cliche, but we are better together. If you are interested in improving your walking, jogging, and running in a team environment, please join us. The Gate 9 Running Crew (G9RC) meets at 6 am on Tuesday and Thursdays at the Gate 9 Purple Lot. The entrance is on N Dunn St. near the Bypass. No easy way.