It’s a 50 mile race. Each gal takes 1-2 legs lasting anywhere from 3- 12 miles until the finish line. We get ready for it by running together throughout the year. We share the intimate details of our lives, while exercising our legs and lungs. It’s one of my favorite times, and these are some of my most beloved women.

On the day of the event, we arise early, make our coffee, and get all our gear, our food (Oh, The Food!), and ourselves packed tightly into the van. We drive to the starting line, and follow the first gal to the gun shot. We cheer fervently as she runs away with the pack. We scurry to the van, climb aboard while searching for a snack, and drive to the next checkpoint. This happens 10 more times throughout the day, ending 8-9 hours later, and 50 miles away from were we started.

Sometimes we battle heat. Other times rain followed by sleet and 30 mile an hour winds. All in the same day. The elements do not care about runners, and we do not let them deter us. We Keep Calm & Run On.

We each have particular roles: leader, organizer, fastest runner, cheerleader, best pb&j maker, navigator, driver, best hair, van decorator, muffin maker, etc. Like all good teammates, we share these roles and adjust when necessary. We are flexible and funny. We laugh and sweat and celebrate each other. Together. All day.

This race, and the routine I describe sounds incredibly mundane, yet it feels like magic to me. Every single year.

My heart is a little broken right now as we decided not to run this year for the safety and health of each other, and our families. Reflecting on it has helped me see more gifts it gives me even without participating.

I’m entering this month in our country, and all it’s chaos, with the same mindset I use to enter our race. I’ll train using a quiet and consistent building up of resilience. Mostly for myself, so I can share it with those around me.

Like the Fall 50, the outcome kinda matters. I know I can only control my leg of it, so I show up with a collective WE in mind, versus a singular ME. I head into this month calm, flexible, and preparing for the long road ahead.

“As we run, we BECOME”.

~Amby Burfoot

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