By Katelyn Thuss
There are many signals we associate with the sport of running: track meets, road races, crowds of spectators, the medal at the end, etc. This all has been stripped away. What we have been left with over the last year is running in its more pure and honest form. That is going out everyday and doing whatever you can just for the sake of doing it. Many of us have done this on our own, logging countless solo miles and workouts as a way to get out of the house and stay sane.
We may not have been able to run with our usual squad or practice with our team in months. Yet during this time I have felt more connected to the running community than ever. Yes, this is partly because I work at a running store, but it seems that now my social life is tied with the sport.
Just like many people my age, we have returned home after graduating college or because our work has gone remote and finding ourselves digging out our sneakers and running our old routes. And when the nostalgia wears off, there is a sense of wanting more, of missing that feeling of belonging to something. The natural socialization around the workplace, or being part of a team or club has gone away.
And in a time where many feel lonely, running has given me quite the opposite. As cheesy as it sounds reaching out to people just to run with you has been a lifesaver during this time. It has led me to new relationships and reconnection with old friends.
That’s the goal of RADAR. Not to be an elite racing team or an exclusive running club, but a way to simply connect runners and fill that sense of belonging, of being part of a group. RADAR is about track workouts becoming happy hour. It’s about the breakfast plans made mid Sunday long run. It’s about the post-run banter. It’s about finding those with similar goals and pushing each other to get there.