The Simple Pleasure Of The Weekly Group Run

AJW ponders the value of trail running with friends.

By on August 15, 2014 | Comments

AJWs TaproomWhile there are certain less-appealing aspects of modernity’s ubiquitous presence of social media, one of the great blessings is the way in which people can connect and get a peek into what other people are doing. In this respect, I find particular motivation in how news passed over the internet inspires my own running and my own desire, from time to time, to hop into a few group runs.

On any given day over my Twitter or Strava feeds, I have the chance to voyeuristically check in on my friends and their runs. Whether it is Craig Thornley and his weekly “hunts” with a ragtag group of Californians or Jimmy Dean Freeman and his “Coyotes” in the San Gabriels, group runs are documented the world over.

Looking for companionship in the the deserts of Arizona? Check our what Jamil and Nick Coury are up to. British Columbia? Look no further than Gary Robbins. How about the nation’s capitol? The VHTRC folks have that covered. In short, there are groups all over the place connecting to do what we love. Just looking at that from the outside makes me happy.

Of course, I have not yet gotten my act together to host weekly group runs here in Charlottesville, Virginia but I am working on it. So, stay tuned.

Finally, what I find particularly compelling is that this modern technological connectivity has allowed people to share what is, essentially, an utterly simple and solitary activity. I’ll admit it, I derive most of my running pleasure while running alone. However, on those rare occasions when I can jump in with a group, I love it. Maybe all this technology isn’t so bad after all!

Bottoms up!

Wachusett Brewing Company  Larry's Imperial IPAAJW’s Beer of the Week

This week’s Beer of the Week comes from Wachusett Brewing Company in Westminster, Massachusetts. Their Larry Imperial IPA provides a perfect sendoff to summer. It is one of those imperials that has just the right amount of resin to warm the heart without beating the senses too much. Worth a try next time you’re in New England!

Call for Comments (from Meghan)

  • How often do you run in a group? What about group running do you enjoy most?
  • Do you keep tabs on the running of others via Twitter, Strava, and other social media? If so, what about this act of connecting do you most enjoy? And, whose running do you enjoy following?
Andy Jones-Wilkins

Andy Jones-Wilkins is an educator by day and has been the author of AJW’s Taproom at iRunFar for over 11 years. A veteran of over 190 ultramarathons, including 38 100-mile races, Andy has run some of the most well-known ultras in the United States. Of particular note are his 10 finishes at the Western States 100, which included 7 times finishing in the top 10. Andy lives with his wife, Shelly, and Josey, the dog, and is the proud parent of three sons, Carson, Logan, and Tully.