Thursday, April 29, 2010

Caitlin Chrisman: Talkin' About Camaraderie in CRC

This morning I bailed on a 6am run from the Dowd YMCA that I had assured several people I would be attending. However, after a tough 300m track workout last night, I decided to set my alarm clock for 6:10am instead and to run on my own. I did this for a variety of reasons:

1. Extra 30 minutes of sleep
2. Slower paced run (I knew the group usually runs faster on Thursdays)
3. Sore quad

However, around 615am, I heard what sounded like a group of hooligans. Awakened out of my groggy slumber, I assumed the noise was my neighbors coming home from a long night out of drinking and decided to ignore them. Then I heard the unmistakable voices of Matt Jaskot and Aaron Linz saying something about “Hop the Fence!”. It really sounded like they were directly outside my bedroom door, on the back patio.

I found out later that Matt was just trying to jump my fence because Jay had told him my fence was locked (it wasn’t Jay, fyi). With the first attempt an obvious fail, they opted for my front door, which did not allow for as close of a proximity to my bed. Don’t be fooled though, I could still hear their voices clear as ever.

I immediately jumped out of bed because I thought they would all come storming in and see me in my underwear, so I threw on some shorts, and opened up the front door. All I could see were blurry blobs of people and a big light in my eyes. At first I thought it was a car’s headlights, but it was really just Aaron’s headlamp. I didn’t have my glasses or contacts on, so I was practically blind. I told them I needed a couple of minutes. Not sure if they could tell this at the time, but I was absolutely flattered. Little did they know I literally had just gotten out of bed, so I put on my contacts, threw on a sports bra and shirt, and laced up my shoes in record time. I didn’t even have time to go pee, so that combined with the unexpected fast pace for my tired legs made for an unpleasant first 25 minutes of the run.

With my contacts in, I saw that the people who waited patiently for me were: Matt Jaskot, Jay Holder, Justin Breland, Danielle Walther, Aaron Linz, Kevin Ballantine, and Jason Martin. At the Providence Road intersection, I veered off so I could run home and pee in a bush, and the larger group ran on to add more en route to the Dowd.

However, everything aside, I think this story in itself portrays the camaraderie of the Charlotte Running Club perfectly. Longtime club member, Matt Jaskot, was joining us for his last run before he embarks on a journey across the US in a van and people came to see him off. My own teammates went out of their way and waited in the semi-cold weather for me to pull my clothes on to run with them.

I doubt many other running groups can boast that their running groups transforms into traveling cheering and support squads. Further examples include after Cherry Blossom when Aaron and Justin stopped by my house in the middle of one of their runs to knock on my door and surprise me and also after OBX when Thomas and Michelle did the same. Aaron mentioned in his Boston Marathon recap how many facebook messages, text messages, and voicemails he had received after his race. This shared sense of accomplishment is what makes the Charlotte Running Club unique. I hope that those of you who are in the Club can experience this sense of camaraderie that a weekly Thursday morning group has created over the last eight months.

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