What’s Your Favorite Running Memory? Runners Answer: Boston Qualifiers, Yosemite’s Half Dome, and Huarache’s

After having run for over 12 years, it seems like some of my favorite memories have been through running. I’ve raced indoor track, outdoor track, cross-country, road races, and the New York Marathon. My fiancee was a college runner and that’s how we met. Most of my best friends are (or were) runners in high school or college.

Running is a special part of my life and will continue to be for many years. I consider it a privilege to write about running every week and connect with other runners who share the same passion. The running community is a tight-knit group and my hope with Strength Running is to create conversations about the sport we all love.

Recently I asked several running bloggers about their favorite running memory and was lucky to receive some awesome, honest answers. I hope these inspire you to follow your running dreams and make some of your own memories.

What’s Your Favorite Running Memory?

David Finishing a 5k in Huarache Sandals

David Finishing a 5k in Huarache Sandals

“My first 5k race done in huaraches – I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I kept getting lots of confused and crazy glares by the people running past. I was only one of a few people wearing minimalist shoes, but definitely the only one in sandals. In the end, they held up just fine, and my feet were none the worse. In fact, that race ended up being my fastest 5k for the Spring! The glares from other runners were hilarious!” – David Csonka, minimalist runner and author of Naturally Engineered.

“The first 2 miles of the NYC marathon, which was my first one. The cannon goes off and you are instantly filled with butterflies as you realize you are starting the New York City Marathon. In front of you is the massive Verrazano Narrows Bridge, in the distance is the New York City skyline and blasting over the speakers is Bruce’s Born to Run then Frank Sinatra’s New York New York.  It suddenly hits you all at once that you are about to run the best marathon in the greatest city in the world.” – Scott Miles, moderator of Twitter’s #runchat and author of iRunnerBlog.

“I’d have to say being on a total runner’s high for the final 6 miles of the Disney Marathon in January. Disney was the first marathon where I didn’t hit the wall, and it was the first marathon in which I did not have to walk. Getting to mile 18 and realizing that I still felt great was pretty amazing, and the last 6 miles we my fastest of the race. It felt good to finally not be the person trudging along in pain, and finishing that race strongly was one of the most memorable moments of my short running life.” – Pete Larson, Boston Marathon qualifier, shoe fiend, and author of Runblogger. Pete put together a great video of his marathon highlights. Check out his video below:

“Chicago 2002 was my third marathon and I had been training towards a Boston Marathon Qualifier. I don’t think I really expected to actually get the BQ.  I ran the race as if I would though, and it seems to be the one race where everything went well throughout. I got a cramp in my right hamstring and the BQ group passed me, but I immediately got back on the road and kept the group in sight; fortunately, they were a bit ahead of pace and I finished in 3:09:08.  I’ll never forget the feeling of knowing from my watch when the finish line was in sight that I had actually BQ’d.” – Greg Strosaker, Boston Marathon qualifier and author of Predawn Runner.

“One of my favorite running memories wasn’t a race – it was a road trip to Yosemite with seven good friends and a group run to the top of Half Dome the following morning.  Our run started at dawn, and within two hours we made it to the base of the cables with nobody else in sight.  10 minutes later we were on top of Yosemite Valley, with practically the whole mountain to ourselves.  Eventually we made our way back down the Muir Trail, and finished an 18-miler before many campers finished breakfast.  Great friends, a hardcore run, and the beautiful wilderness all to ourselves … it’s a combination that’s hard to beat.” – Donald Buraglio, ultramarathoner and author of Running and Rambling.

Yosemite's Half Dome

Yosemite's Half Dome - Donald's Favorite Running Memory

So what’s my favorite running memory? Honestly, I’ve been struggling with this question for a week. My favorite running memories include my best races, but I think those that are most meaningful to me include team accomplishments.

My senior year in high school, I was a co-captain of the cross-country team and we had an undefeated season within our league and then went on to win our conference meet. I placed fourth in the conference and our celebration on the bus ride home is a memory that I won’t ever forget. The camaraderie we had was unbelievable.

The next year during cross-country season at Connecticut College, I was an alternate for the top 7. While I didn’t race the New England Regional Meet, I was there and supported the team as they raced to a National Championships qualifying spot for the first time in program history.

These team milestones will be with me forever as I look back on my days of high school and college cross-country. And I wouldn’t trade them for anything.

What’s your favorite running memory? Please share it in the comments! If this post has inspired you, please consider sharing it with another runner.

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  1. Great post and thanks for asking me to participate! I hope to create many more “rave” run moments over the next 20+ years.

  2. Cool story Scott. I’ve never been in a marathon before, but I’d like to experience an event like the NYM some day. Not necessarily to run, but to see the spectacle – wow, it must be crazy.

  3. HOOD TO COAST! It was absolutely epic. 36 hours of running!

  4. Thanks for including me Fitz; I don’t know about the others but it was tough to come up with one best memory, there are so many good ones that you create when you run. Training runs while traveling (like around the Imperial Palace in Tokyo, across the Golden Gate Bridge in SF, Central Park in NYC), first races, or even those days when everything feels just right – seems like there can be a new great memory every month.

  5. Matt Fisher says:

    One of my favorites recently has to be running a 5k with my 8yo son. It was his first “real” race. He ran the entire time, averaging just under 10:00/mile. I was so proud of him. We are running another on Thanksgiving.

    • Wow, that’s awesome. I don’t have a child (yet), but I can only assume that’s a powerful memory. Good luck on your 5k together next week!

  6. I agree it is hard to come up with just one. It may be my first marathon, crossing that finish line knowing that I had become a marathoner, but I also have really great memories with running for the first few times and training both of my daughters before they took off and left me in the dust.

    I also think those runs that I thought I couldn’t complete, that turned out great, or the times that I wasn’t clicking when I took off, but ended up running the best run I had ever run.

    I could probably write a book with all the memories so it is hard to nail down a best.

    • It was really hard for me to choose mine as well (I chose two, after all). I think the longer that you’re a runner, the harder it becomes because you build memories along the way. Many of my simplest memories, like some long runs where I felt incredible and thought I could go forever, are also my favorites. Thanks for stopping by Tim! And congrats on your new marathon PR!

  7. As an absolute beginner I don’t have many experiences to draw from outside of training runs. But I’d have to say that my most memorable moment came during my first, and thus far, only official event, the ECO Run 10k in Play Herradura, Costa Rica. Although the course wasn’t what I expected and my time wasn’t what I hoped for, after crossing the finish line I ran back about 3/4 into the course to wait for my wife. When she appeared I ran by her side. As we approached the finish I asked her is she wanted me to drop off, so she could have some finish line photos of just her. She replied, “no, I want us to finish together.” That was a better moment than any other.

  8. My favorite running memory is fairly recent. For the past two years my dad and I participated in the Chicago Shamrock Shuffle 8k together. The first year, he beat me by 6 seconds. This year, I beat him by more than 6 minutes AND P.R.’d (36:59)!


  1. […] experiences with wearing huaraches during races has certainly not been all bad. One of my favorite running memories from this past year was when I ran a different 5k in them, and had my best time of the […]