All the way back in April, Emma and I were networking with our fellow UC competitors from UCSRN and brainstorming about putting together an inter-UC race. A few months later Emma made friends with a running group based in Amsterdam called the Running Junkies, and we thought they’d be a nice addition to our event. They were a successful running group, something that Emma and I want the Roosevelt Runners to become, and they could provide extra motivation for our schools to keep running, as well as ourselves.
Fast forward to today, and I’m reading a text from Yoshi in our group chat thanking us for a “great weekend and an amazing event”. I was also scrolling to our past messages, realizing we had been talking with him since July. We have been beaming at the success of this seven month project all weekend, and probably will continue to until graduation. Everyone had a good time despite several set backs and route confusion. All external parties were orchestrated to the best of our ability, and we were at the top of our game for 12 hours straight.
Last night we got to let loose a bit and enjoyed the Junkies’ company while showing them around Middelburg. The picture above was us at the Flying Dutchman. They’re a lively bunch that like to have a good time as much as they like to run. Jokes were made, songs were sung, and stories were shared. And yes, it doesn’t hurt that they’re good looking. Maybe more of UCR will join the Roosevelt Runners now that they know runners really are the best people, inside and out.
I haven’t processed everything, as it will probably take me a month to really think it all over. But what I can say is that I am extremely grateful to have met the Junkies, really appreciated UCU and AUC for coming out, and loved all of the volunteers that helped us run this town. But I was most proud of Emma and I. We single-handedly orchestrated an event from budget proposal after budget proposal to volunteer organization and cooperation to the event itself. I think this is the longest project I have worked on, if you don’t include obtaining a bachelor’s degree a ‘project’ haha, and while it was the most stressful and complicated, it was definitely the most fulfilling.
In the seven months leading up to this, we’ve been working hard at growing the team and solidifying a base of role models and friends. Emma made friends with a group of runners similar to the Junkies in Hamburg called the Tide Runners, who I also had the pleasure to run with while visiting her this summer. And I made friends, briefly, with a small group that is sponsored by TomTom in London a few weeks ago. Last night at dinner, Mark was telling me about these two running groups BURT, based in Belgrade, and another based in Zagreb (Croatia!!) who are really good friends, and have orchestrated a run from Zagreb to Belgrade. Hanging out with the Junkies, and hearing all of these stories about big social running groups spreading the run bug in fun and creative ways made me want to do the same. It would keep my love for running constantly fed and motivated, while giving me the opportunity to meet some of the coolest, funniest, nicest people. Such as the Junkies. Tide Runners. Even our brief interaction with another Middelburg group, Runderground, was inspiring. These groups are all over the place, and it seems that they have this network between them to keep the spirit alive, and I think it’s fantastic. I want to be a part of it, and I think I am slowly being inaugurated into it (Yoshi, Mark, Amrit, Thomas, and Wan, if you’ll have me that is!).
Up next on our world domination list: Roosevelt Runner team sweaters, lights for our night runs, collaborations with Runderground, and taking field trips to Amsterdam to chill with the Junkies. And for us to complete a marathon together. Together, nothing can stop us.