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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